Japonia Hortus

key to understand the Japanese garden

Meiji Period  and Taisho Period

       During Edo period, Japan was closed toother countries, yetin 1853 Matthew Calbrath Perry forced to Japan open its tradefor oversee countries. This event caused a war between theTokugawa Shogunate accepting the trade offer and lordsdisagreeing the shogunate's decision.
       As the war ended, the shogunate fell, and the opponentlords created a new government and pushed the emperor toplace the top of the politics again. Sumurai who were in chage ofthe shogunate lost its status and politicians and merchantsstarted to seize the power.
       Many of gardens owned by Samurai lords were lost, and afew gardens were preserved by the new government or sold tomerchants and politicians. The government also imported thewestern garden style to create parks for process ofmodernization. Hibiya Park was the first full-blown westernizedpark made by Honda Seiroku. In Meiji and Taisho period,HondaSeiroku produced numerous parks and was called 'the father ofparks' in Japan.
Hibiya Park
       In other hand, the demands of the traditional Japanesegarden continued and slightly changed to more open andnaturalized space. Ogawa Jihei was a garden master worked inMeiji and Taisho period. He used curbed path, stream and openlawn space for gardens to fit the demands of the new society. Hisinfluence has continued in Japanese garden, especially in Zokigarden produced in Showa period.
       Taisho period was time for start of the democracy inJapan. The samurai politicians who defeated the shogunate fadeaway, and politicians from the citizens appeared and began rulingthe government. Democratic citizens' demands made richmerchants open their gardens for public.

       In 1923, a powerful earthquake hit Tokyo and the firecaused by the earthquake destroyed cities and killed many. Thisdisaster moved the government to sets more parks forevacuation points for disasters.

History and Varieties of Japanese Garden