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Courtyard Gardens of Kyoto’s Merchant HousesCourtyard Gardens of Kyoto’s Merchant Houses

Katsuhiko Mizuno
Published by Kodansha International
Distributed by Bookwise

Although visiting gaijin might be lucky enough to visit the teahouse or restaurant gardens featured here, only the most privileged foreigner has entrée beyond Kyoto’s temple gardens and into the gracious private precincts of this ancient former capital.

This book, as did Mizuno’s Hidden Gardens of Kyoto (reviewed in an earlier issue), offers a key to the door of these machiya, traditional townhouses, tucked behind the walls of Kyoto’s narrow streets.

The traditions, architectural purpose and philosophy underpinning the constraint and artifice of these small, absorbing courtyards is explained and presented, along with 150 photographs from 81 gardens.

This fine book is a visual feast for any garden lover – especially those with an interest in bonzai or the Japanese culture – or as a superb memento of a visit to that country.

Weekend Gardener, Issue 212, 2007, Page 29

Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH

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Last updated: March 1, 2021