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Brian Butterfield Travel Blog

Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Nara, Awaji Island, Himeji, Kanazawa, Naoshima (Setouchi Art Festival), Hiroshima, Fukuoka

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    Daisen-in Zen Garden (Daitoku-Ji)

    Brian Butterfield
    Aug 16, '10 8:18 AM EST
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    Part of the larger Daitoku-Ji temple complex in eastern Kyoto, Daisenin is a small but very highly regarded Zen rock garden.
    Daitokuji has an interesting history, tied to Sen no Rikyū who is the historical figure credited with the biggest influence on Japanese Tea ceremony customs. He worked with artisans and craftmans to design everything from tile teabowls to wooden sideboards and a number of small teahouses are credited to his design. You can read more about it here: http://www.zenstoriesofthesamurai.com/Characters/Sen%20no%20Rikyu.htm, though wikipedia gives a more thorough account for anyone who really wants to geek out on tea ceremony history.
    There are some great catalog books that a coworker showed me of all the furniture and objects we know today as having tea ceremony origins that can be traced to Sen no Rikyū.

    Also there is supposedly a great film about him, that I will make sure to see soon.
    http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/41439/Rikyu/overview?scp=3&sq=Sen%20No%20Rikyu&st=cse

    More on Daitokuji:
    http://www.sacred-destinations.com/japan/kyoto-daitokuji.htm

    By far the most impactful garden, to me personally, was Daisen-in. The rocks and earth forms are meant to evoke imagery of the Japanese coast lines, while the rocks are raked into swirling patterns depicting choppy seas...

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The Takenaka Internship is granted yearly to one student each from the architecture schools of Yale, M.I.T. and the University of Pennsylvania. The Takenaka Corporation traces its history back more than four hundred years and this internship provides American students of architecture with a summer of valuable training at Japan's oldest architecture, engineering and construction firm. Based out of the Osaka design office, interns participate in various aspects of design and also accompany archite

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