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Zen Gardens: The Complete Works of Shunmyo Masuno, Japan's Leading Garden Designer [Kindle Edition]

Mira Locher , Uchida Shigeru

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"This stunning book illustrates many (but probably not all) of Shunmyo Masuno's oeuvre. Not only are there outstanding images but the text accompanying them is interesting, readable and informative. This is highly recommended to all members interested in modern interpretations of Japanese gardens. Masuno is arguably the most important designer to have emerged in Japan in the last 20 years. … If you havenAEt already bought this book, I unhesitatingly commend it to you." —Shakkei

"Locher's stunning presentation highlights 37 master gardens in Japan and abroad (including in the U.S.) that embody a transcendent marriage between the primal elements of nature and metaphysics. […] With 320 color photos and designs, Locher captures the mystery and mastery of Masuno's work." —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"This showcase of the work of Japanese garden designer Shunmyo Masuno marries clear exposition of the designer's philosophy with drop-dead gorgeous color art." —Publishers Weekly, 2012 Best Book, Gardening

"Zen Gardens endorses a spiritual approach to the process of garden design, whereby the design and its inherent aesthetic qualities are allowed to grow from the place, rather than being imposed on it. Illustrated with more than 400 drawings and colour photographs, this book is a wonderful source of inspiration for creating beautiful, contemplative landscapes."— Garden Design Journal

"Even just a quick riffle through the pages of Zen Gardens: The Complete Works of Shunmyo Masuno can cause a healthy lowering of one's blood pressure. Seeing such tranquil spaces in our generally chaotic world offers an escape to an oasis of serenity, or what Shunmyo Masuno himself calls an "unmoving truth." [ … ] Author Mira Locher, an architect and professor based in the United States and Japan, is an excellent guide to this tour of Masuno's work, explaining key elements of Zen and Japanese design and the complexity of such calm splendor. [ … ] Zen Gardens: The Complete Works of Shunmyo Masuno is surely best approached just as one would enter a Masuno garden—with a sense of quiet, curious wonder at how man and nature can sometimes meet as one." —ForeWord Reviews

"Shunmyo Masuno has chosen the most determinate and primal material of all to work with: rock, a substance that ages but does not wither. Embracing tradition and modernity, these gardens are expressive of a keen intelligence and profound knowledge of Japanese culture, yoked with an artist's perspective on landscape. Visionary garden designers like this appear perhaps once in a single generation, if that." —Stephen Mansfield, author of Japan's Master Gardens and Japanese Stone Gardens

"Shunmyo Masuno's oeuvre of thoughtful and thought-provoking designs represents an important contribution to the world of gardens and landscapes. From his training and life as a Zen priest, Masuno has developed a viewpoint and mindset that have strong contemporary relevance yet are clearly bound to Japan's long history of garden design. He is able with his artistry to transpose Japanese concepts to gardens all over the world to delight the eye and soul." —Cornelia Oberlander, landscape architect

"Shunmyo Masuno restores nature in Japan within a corner of urban space. His gardens bring comfort to people who tire of dry city life by cleansing their souls." —Toyo Ito, internationally acclaimed award-winning architect and founder of Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects


Shunmyo Masuno, Japan's leading garden designer, is at once Japan's most highly acclaimed landscape architect and an 18th-generation Zen Buddhist priest, presiding over daily ceremonies at the Kenkoji Temple in Yokohama. He is celebrated for his unique ability to blend strikingly contemporary elements with the traditional design vernacular. He has worked in ultramodern urban hotels and in some of Japan's most famous classic gardens. In each project, his work as a designer is inseparable from his Buddhist practice. Each becomes a Zen garden, "a special spiritual place where the mind dwells."

This beautiful book, illustrated with more than 400 drawings and color photographs, is the first complete retrospective of Masuno's work to be published in English. It presents 37 major gardens around the world in a wide variety of types and settings: traditional and contemporary, urban and rural, public spaces and private residences, and including temple, office, hotel and campus venues. Masuno achieved fame for his work in Japan, but he is becoming increasingly known internationally, and in 2011 completed his first commission in the United States which is shown here.

The book, divided into three chapters, covers: "Traditional Zen Gardens," "Contemporary Zen Gardens," and "Zen Gardens outside Japan." Illustrated with photographs and architectural plans or sketches, each garden is described and analyzed by author Mira Locher, herself an architect and a scholar well versed in Japanese culture.

Celebrating the accomplishments of a major, world-class designer, Zen Gardens also serves as something of a master class in Japanese garden design and appreciation: how to perceive a Japanese garden, how to understand one, even how to make one yourself. Like one of Masuno's gardens, the book can be a place for contemplation and mindful repose.


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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.8 von 5 Sternen  19 Rezensionen
8 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Gardens of a special place. 17. Oktober 2012
Von wogan - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Zen Gardens contains the garden designs of Shunmyo Masuno, a renowned Japanese garden designer. The contents are divided into; traditional gardens, modern and gardens outside Japan.
There are explanations throughout that explain what a Zen garden is and the ideas behind these works of peace and beauty. Although for some, the explanations are sometimes vague, as Zen thoughts from time to time are. It is never really explained what the meaning of "wearing two pairs of straw sandals" is.

The background of Shunmyo Masuno is given, as well as his learning and the historical ideas behind these gardens. For each garden and picture, and for most there are more than one photo, a short description is given. Most gardens have detailed explanations of the design, the plans and several colour photographs. Steps in some of the garden designs are shown, with photos of the placing of the rocks. All of the photos are beautiful and show the magnificence of these designs.
A list of Masuno major works and dates is included as well as a glossary.

You will have a good idea of the beauty of Zen gardens after reading and looking at this book. Those who love gardens, design, Japan and Zen will appreciate this work.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Zen Gardens: The Complete Works of Shunmyo Masuno Japan's Leading Garden Designer 6. Januar 2013
Von Erin Carraher - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Whether sited in a traditional Japanese temple, a modern office building courtyard or rooftop in New York City, the Zen gardens of Shunmyo Masuno demonstrate the deep sensitivity and connection to place that are the result of the priest/landscape architect's spiritual lineage and contemporary training. Author Mira Locher provides an entrée for novices and experts alike into Masuno's gardens as well as his design process. Having both the luscious photographs and illustrations of a coffee table book and the thoroughly researched documentation of a design monograph, Zen Gardens: The Complete Works of Shunmyo Masuno Japan's Leading Garden Designer is an accessible and engrossing study of the landscape architect's work.

Through project descriptions, interviews and essays, Locher introduces the reader to Masuno's approach, which marries his spirituality with place-making. "Garden making is a form of mental and physical training for Masuno, an act of self-cultivation akin to the training of a martial artist," says Locher. This rigor is demonstrated through Masuno's hands-on realization of every garden (he personally chooses and places each rock in the garden). The deep history Masuno has as an 18th generation Zen priest is also apparent in his sensitive approach to each site, whether rural or urban.

Says Masuno, "Obviously, there is a great difference between a form that only sets out to be beautiful and one in which body and soul are united at the time of its creation." This elusive but important quality is evident in all of his work. Though I am sure some of these nuances can not be understood without experiencing the gardens personally, Locher's first-hand descriptions of the spaces along with the vibrant photographs and illustrations in the book provide a wonderful accounting of these beautiful and serene gardens. A deep sense of calm came over me when reading the book as I imagined myself in the spaces, hearing the quiet drip of water from a bamboo fountain and the wind rustling through the leaves of a maple tree as I reflected on the temporal qualities of nature within the gardens.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Beautiful, and clearly explained 17. Dezember 2012
Von Meredith - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Graced with beautiful photography and clarifying illustrations, this book presents a clear context for and an in-depth review of the gardens of Japan's leading garden designer. After presenting the notion of garden making as a vehicle for the attainment of truth in Zen, Locher explores the particular conditions that informed the design of specific gardens - traditional, modern, and those Shunmyo Masuno has designed outside Japan. Easily accessible to those curious about Zen gardens and full of detail to satisfy aficionados (including an interview with the designer and an in-depth look at the design and construction process), this book is a feast for the eyes for all.
3 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Zen Gardens, The Complete Works of Shunmyo Masuno 19. Dezember 2012
Von mindfulathena - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Wow! What a beautiful and inspirational book. The photos are not only illustrative of the gardens and the zen concepts behind them, but they are gorgeous too! I learned so much about the concepts of Japanese gardens and especially how Japan's leading garden designer, Shunmyo Masuno, incorporated elements of his own zen practice into the designs. This book made me want to see all of the gardens in person and also gave me the desire to construct a zen garden at my home. At a minimum, I have a better understanding of all that is going on with Japanese gardens in the US. In addition, it inspired me to keep up with my mediation practice; even though I am not going to be creating any zen garderns, this book helped me understand the concept of leaving space for creativity.
3 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Constructing Silence 18. Dezember 2012
Von Tony Atkin - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This exquisite, beautifully organized book demonstrates that the art of Zen gardens continues into contemporary times in the work of Shunmyo Masuno, as demonstrated by his traditional and modern designs, and works outside Japan - all imbued with the powerful sense of silence, flow, and contemplative beauty that has characterized the Zen garden from its beginnings in the Muromachi Period (1336-1573). In addition to many beautifully illustrated projects and an informative interview with Masuno, there is a fascinating illustrated section on his garden design and construction methods. This book is highly recommended for the practicing landscape architect, scholars of garden design, and all of those who appreciate the sensuous delight and abstract tactility of the Zen garden.
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