• Welcome to Japanese Gardening Forums 日本の園芸フォーラム. Please login or sign up.
October 01, 2020, 09:06:24 am


Japanese Gardening Forum is a part of Japanese Gardening Organization, a non-profit, educational resource for the Japanese gardening community with the mission of fostering the knowledge, appreciation and application of Japanese gardening.  http://www.japanesegardening.org

Garden Prototype, Type and Stereotype

Started by edzard, February 10, 2008, 11:11:22 pm

Previous topic - Next topic


The quotation reads,

"I see the prototype as the product of the gardener as artist, the type as the product of the gardener as craftsman and the stereotype as the product of the gardener as purely commercially-minded designer."

My suspicion is that the "stereotype" - as in commercially minded, or what is commercially presented to us, is what we term the 'Japanese style garden' to be. Comments are appreciated.. points are only given for participation.  :D there are no right or wrong answers, only your opinions.. , which do count

please vote for whichever option, 1 through 4 you are working to achieve... thx..


Great idea to have a poll. My guess is that 'stereotype' is pejorative and will attract no votes, however common the attitude may be. Also, I guess most craftsmen will think of themselves as artists first and craftsmen second.


Well, I voted, but the question may be beyond me.  Could it be that prototype is the example of existing gardens we view as beautiful and therefore use as templates?  Could the type be our own interpretation and product based on individual taste?  If that is the case, I would say the type would would also be the artist.


Quote from: don on February 11, 2008, 07:43:23 am
Could it be that prototype is the example of existing gardens we view as beautiful and therefore use as templates? 

This would be a stereotype, as it is the use of a template, and existing garden.

Quote from: don on February 11, 2008, 07:43:23 amCould the type be our own interpretation and product based on individual taste?

Not in my perspective, Individual taste would also be a stereotype, because the product needs to be seen first to become 'personal  taste', and to be a craft (type) the product needs to apply to a 'group of people' rather than a 'personal taste'.

Quote from: don on February 11, 2008, 07:43:23 amIf that is the case, I would say the type would would also be the artist.

I suspect that depends on the demeanor of the craftsman, as a garden can not be better than the individuals self. The craftsman would need to apply a specific attribute, that of artistry or willingness to develop a prototype within a set parameter...

Quote from: Henry on February 11, 2008, 12:24:24 am
Also, I guess most craftsmen will think of themselves as artists first and craftsmen second.

Possibly and even probably in this day and age,  :-X thankfully, I am not the keeper of their education, experience or self honesty.

     - depending on the outcome and participation addressing this later may be of interest as the differences are central to the successful Japanese Garden.


The designer and the builder are sometimes two different people.  The designer may lay down a design - even a detailed design, but the builder, an artist/craftsman possibly the equal of the designer is capable of creating many different versions of the design. I dare say the sum product would be better than the individuals self.  And I certainly hope my gardens are better than the individual's self!!!

; )


The split between designer and builder was surely characteristic of traditional Japanese gardens, with the designers being priests or owners, far removed from the practicalities of digging, heaving, cutting and sweeping.


It has been most interesting for me to examine gardens of only one period and to note that the ones that stand out as adhereing to the prototype function of the 'site mandate' are ones built by kawaramono, and according to records the owner had left them to 'finish' the job.


And that period was?  Was there a common thread or influence in their designers? Come on my friend, cough it up!



cough, cough.. ? well the last period I was studying was the Kamakura,... also noticed the effect as far back as the Nara, later, Momoyama, Meiji, and current.

The common thread were the kawaramono.
Should you ask.. what does this mean?
then I would need to say, I'm trying not to form any opinions at the moment.
Though observationally, the woodblock seemed to have stopped this prototyping until later when methodology seemed to be resurrected.

in the end result I think it is important to know what todays thought is, as 'today' seems to be paralleling a period in Japanese history.


-- just a few more days for this poll,.. and the other one as well.. anyone else wishing to cast an opinion?


Well... that was an exciting poll.....

the quote is from Guenter Nitschke.

the reason for the poll was multifold in determining:
1) what depth and form answers should take when people begin garden and have a question.
2) establishing a 'label' from which to be able to answer a question so as not to confuse people by having to provide 'all answers'.

it seems that the Prototype gardens, wherein the gardener is an artist and the garden is unique as a prototype is the winner, and that developing a 'Type' of garden as a craftsmen is second.

3) the last reason for the poll, is that if a person is building a Japanese garden and follows the primary mandate that the garden is designed to the site and its conditions (as per the Sakuteiki), then in every case each of these gardens will be a prototype garden, as no two sites are the same.

This means that the 'elements' used in the garden will each be tailored to fit the site and client, rather than being an element used in the stereotype form. In other words, copying multiple templates and ultimately mixing metaphors will hopefully be forgotten, and real ideas extended from templates may be adapted to suit the site and client.

As Don mentioned that the type of garden authored by the craftsmen may be mixed with the artist (or vice versa), which has in the past developed noteworthy gardens and is often the most important relationship that determines the quality of the garden.

This should encourage craftsmen to hire artists and artists to engage craftsmen to fill in where they may not have the best skills.

One sadness is that 'stereotyped gardens' were not voted for once, and that is sad, as the stereotype connects us with a place in time and is an important aspect of being human and of 'a culture',.. essentially one could safely say, "we all collect photographs that connect us to family, place and time". The stereotyped garden would be a period or era garden that is quite important, otherwise we would not have museums, even as the Adachi Art Museum or 95% of the gardens we value in North America.

I think one of the real challenge's and visual delights is the combining of the adapted stereotyped garden (or stereotyped concept) with the prototype (site) and to experience it often after the initial appreciation for beauty alone, to appreciate the craftsmenship that went into its creation.

Thanks to all that participated, - the affirmation of peoples vote for a forum direction is appreciated.....      edzard

SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk