Monday, January 16, 2017

庭屋一如—House and Garden Merged into One World in Japan

In the previous article, I have introduced the satoyama in Japan:
Traditionally, Japanese people regard the concept of "human beings are part of nature" deeply—so deep that they even bring nature closer to their daily lives.

In this article, I will cover the concept of
with which Japanese people design their buildings such that garden (庭) and house (屋) are merged into one world (or bring the outdoors inside).

Away from the Nature

In modern days, city dwellers live or work comfortably within their own confines (e.g., apartments or offices), but very far away from the Nature.  Sometimes kids living in the city never know how their food items are grown or look like in the farms.

In [2], host Peter Barakan said that it took them one-hour train ride from Tokyo to their location for filming satoyama. Besides distance, there are other deterring factors that prevent us from fully enjoy the Nature.  For instances, sometimes wildness could be swamped with pests (e.g., mosquitoes) or could be located at high altitude and the temperature is low, etc.

In satoyama, even woodlands cannot be left as is and need to be managed or maintained regularly (i..e, unwanted weeds to be removed and trees to be cut in proper distances, etc.).  To live in harmony with nature (e.g., as in satoyama), lots of labors are needed.

Closer to the Nature

For people living in rural areas, they are able to live closer to the Nature.  However, most of us living in urban areas are remote from the Nature.  To allow city dwellers to be able to enjoy the Nature too, the concept of
  • 庭屋一如(ていおくいちにょ)
has been introduced to the landscaping and architecture design in Japan.

Japanese Gardens

Japanese culture has created many styles of garden—ranging from tea gardens, to the dry gardens of Zen Buddhism, to pocket gardens of the city dwellers.  The aim of garden designs mainly focus on bringing the outdoors inside and let the breaths of nature pervade the building.  So, from the comfort zones of daily life, Japanese people can still enjoy the nature and achieve the maximum relaxation.

Photo Credits


  1. Satoyama (Wikipedia)
  2. Satoyama (Japanology)
  3. Japanese Gardens (Japanology)
  4. Tea Garden in Yoshiki-en Garden (吉城園 / よしきえん) of Nara
  5. PRIME JAPAN~日本のこころに出会う~ #02日本旅館 Trailer (Youtube)
  6. PRIME JAPAN (Amazon Prime) 
  7. 貝聿銘 |美秀美術館 (in Chinese)

No comments:

Post a Comment