Chishaku-in Temple's garden is said to have been created in 1674 and it was praised from that time as the best garden in Kyoto's Higashiyama area. It was designated a national Place of Scenic Beauty in 1945.
Ueyakato Landscape's restoration work on Chishaku-in Temple's garden is based on the reasons given for designating it a national Place of Scenic Beauty. To restore the garden's original scenery, one critical reference source comes to us from a drawing in the Miyako rinsen meisho-zue (Pictorial Guide to Gardens in Kyoto), a garden guidebook published in 1799.
Drawing from Miyako rinsen meisho-zue (Pictorial Guide to Gardens in Kyoto), 1799We are currently conducting two types of restoration work at Chishaku-in Temple.
Before restoration work on the stone shore edging begins, first pond water is drained.
Positions of stones and other objects were carefully recorded to allow them to be restored to their original position.
Stone shore edging (before)
Stone shore edging (after)
All stones are numbered and photographed.
Stone positions, site conditions, and work processes are all recorded.
A coin issued that year is buried underneath each stone. (A unique characteristic of restoration work in Japan)
This provides a critical reference for future restoration efforts.
Karaku rinsen-cho (Pictorial Guide to Gardens in the Flower Capital), 1909
AfterLarge trees must either be cut down to their basic form and regrown or left with that basic form in place. When cutting down a large tree, first a scaffolding is set up. To ensure safety, the tree is not cut down from the root, but rather by gradually working downward from the upper branch tips. The unnecessary tree is cut down and trees that are too visible are trimmed back smaller in size. Large machinery cannot be brought onto the site, so tree parts must be cut small enough for human beings to take down by hand and remove from the site.
The hedge's shape is adjusted after it grows back.
The hedge blends into its surroundingsRestoration work for gardens that are cultural properties is thus conducted by considering "what the garden is suppose to look like" and then applying the most up-to-date techniques and knowledge to restore it to the greatest degree possible. In this process, it is the gardener's job to decipher the garden's current condition, preserve indecipherable areas in the state they have been passed down in, and add knowledge and experience that can be passed on to future generations.
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