Wesleyan University

Freeman Family Japanese Garden Tour


Shôyôan Teien falls within the tradition of the viewing garden, one intended primarily for contemplative viewing from within an adjoining room or from a veranda or bench just outside. Unlike the more expansive strolling garden, which presupposes a moving viewer and sequential experience of shifting views, an intimately scaled courtyard garden like Shôyôan Teien is designed to disclose its full panorama to a stationary visitor seated at its edge. The tradition of the viewing garden has a long history in Japan, attaining its classic formulation in the fifteenth- and sixteenth-century gardens of such Zen monasteries as Ryoanji and Daitokuji in Kyoto.

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