The Japanese Garden Intensive Seminar Plus in Kyoto 2016

International Symposium II - Understanding Japanese Gardens: Spirituality or Science

  • EVENT / SYMPOSIUM
Date / Period Monday, October 10, 2016
Time 09:30 〜 16:00
Venue NINGEN-KAN B1F Audio-visual Hall, Kyoto University of Art and Design
Venue Details 2-116 Uryuyama Kitashirakawa, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto

MAP

<Introduction to the Symposium>
The Japanese garden has become an object of conscious reflection since the end of the
nineteenth century. It made Japanese gardens a distinct art expression that could develop with
its own focus in the overwhelming spiritual wealth of modern society. It benefited landscape
business and research enormously. Huge sums were invested in developing landscapes that
were embedded in a context of culture and the humanities.
The meaning of such landscapes and gardens was expanded too, supporting in turn
modernizing processes enormously. Recent highbrow projects like Roppongi Hills or Namba
Parks, in Tokyo and Osaka, respectively, show the ultimate expression of landscape in
post-fordist place making, fully supporting wider cultural notions.
But fame makes victims when it seeks to perpetuate its own image, losing sight of the object of
fame - the Japanese garden is no exception. Most obvious were the obligatory “Japanese
gardens” presented at world exhibitions that without much authenticity tried to suggest some
kind of standard aesthetic. And books on “How to create your own Japanese garden in half a
day” are still offered in multitudes and by a wide array of seeming specialists: Amazon dot com
offered 13.633 titles last August wh en requesting ‘Japanese Garden’ . In Japan, in the mean
time, first-year college students of horticulture or landscape architecture in Japan struggle with
whether they should become a professional in the Western or the Japanese style. Against this
reductive view of the Japanese garden, trying to make the case that there is no such recipe for
Japanese gardens, is like shouting in the desert against the wind. The history of Japan’ s garden
art has in the past century not been able to escape such a loss of intrinsic focus, and it was
fueled —not in the least— by landscape businesses and the cultural policies of the Japanese
government.
In this flurry of strategic culture politics, kitsch and superficialities the pressing question comes
up: How can we understand Japanese Gardens ? Is it a spiritual haven, a tool to personal
enlightenment ? Or is it rather an object of research - and if so – what is the point of departure,
theparadigms with which it can be tackled? Or is it not more than what it just is: technical
perfection in horticulture with a centuries-old tradition of mutual understanding by gardeners
that don’t talk or write but just do their work?
This symposium hopes to shed light on such themes for consideration by eminent speakers on
the subject

* Lectures in English (or with simultaneous translation)

Morning (9:30 - 12:30)

Speakers:
■ Shōji YAMADA ( Research Center for Japanese Studies )
■ Emmanuel MARES ( Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties )
■ Takayasu SEKINISHI ( Minami Kyusyu University )
■ Other speaker


Afternoon (13:30-16:00)

1 : Keynote speech and Hot Topics
■ Wybe KUITERT ( Seoul National University, RCJGAHH ) Keynote Speech
■ Hiromasa AMASAKI ( Kyoto University of Art and Design, RCJGAHH ) Hot Topic 1
■ Ken KAWAI ( Kyoto University of Art and Design, RCJGAHH ) Hot Topic 2
■ Other Hot Topics

2 : Panel Discussion
Moderators :
■ Wybe KUITERT ( Seoul National University, RCJGAHH )
■ Takahiro NAKA ( Kyoto University of Art and Design, RCJGAHH )

Panelist :
■ Hiromasa AMASAKI ( Kyoto University of Art and Design, RCJGAHH )
■ Takayasu SEKINISHI ( Minami Kyusyu University )
■ Emmanuel MARES ( Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties )
■ Ken KAWAI ( Kyoto University of Art and Design, RCJGAHH )

Fee Free Admission
How to Apply No reservation in advance is necessary
Organizer Research Center for Japanese Garden Art and Historical Heritage ( RCJGAHH ), Kyoto University of Art and Design
Contact TEL 075-791-9018 FAX 075-791-9342 E-mail jgar-sem@kuad.kyoto-art.ac.jp
PDF International Symposium II.pdf