水前寺成趣園 Garden of Elegance

untitled

Suizenji Jojuen 水前寺成趣園 was originally envisioned by Hosokawa Tadatoshi, the third Lord of Hosokawa, who desired a quiet retreat to savour an excellent cup of tea in the Way of Tea.

IMG_3057

The design of Suizenji Jojuen Garden encompasses the Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido Road.

IMG_3009

IMG_2998

The Tokaido Road dates back to the twelfth century and was a highway that connected Edo (present-day Tokyo) and Kyoto.

IMG_3065

Representation of Mount Fuji in the garden, as part of the Tokaido highway.

IMG_3015

The location of this retreat had been chosen for the purity of the water of the Choju springs.

IMG_3007

The fresh, cold water of the springs originate from nearby Mt. Aso and runs to the garden through underground currents.

IMG_3014

Clean, pure, fresh water is essential for an excellent cup of tea.

IMG_3150

IMG_3138

It was here in this Kokindenju Room that the Imperial Prince Toshihito had been initiated into the secret of  traditional waka poetry by the first Lord Hosokawa Fujitaka who had been a master of waka.

IMG_3139

IMG_3059

 Lord Hosokawa Fujitaka and Hosokawa Tadatoshi on the grounds of Suizenji Jojuen.

IMG_3044

The Hosokawa clan had once ruled Kumamoto for eleven generations.

IMG_3036

The Izumi Shinto Shrine on the grounds of the tea retreat was built in 1878 in recognition of the cultural, moral and intellectual leadership of the Hosokawa family.

IMG_3039

IMG_3041

Izumi Shinto Shrine is where members of the Hosokawa family are now enshrined.

IMG_3040

IMG_3035

IMG_3026

The Longevity Fountain.

IMG_3016

The pure water of the garden springs are claimed to enhance longevity.

IMG_3167

IMG_3050 Inari Shrine on the grounds of Suizenji Jojuen.

IMG_3054

The Inari Shinto deity oversees success, harvest abundance and prosperity.

IMG_3068The Noh Theatre where performances are held during autumn and spring in celebration of this traditional form of Japanese art.

IMG_2969

IMG_3070

The circular garden of Suizenji Jojuen is of the Momoyama period style that evolved during the reigns of the fourth and fifth Lords of Hosokawa.

IMG_3183

The name Suizenji Jojuen 水前寺成趣園 conveys the meaning Garden of Elegance.

IMG_3094

IMG_3155

Work on Suizenji joju-en 水前寺成趣園 began in 1636 and was completed about eighty years later.

IMG_3010

The broader our vision, the deeper our aspirations, the greater the time and effort it takes to realise our intentions.

IMG_3129

Eighty years for one garden from the vision of one man that millions of people around the world can now can experience and appreciate.

IMG_3187

____________

Reference:

水前寺成趣園. The Suizenji Jojuen Garden.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *