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Modern and Traditional Japanese Culture: The Psychology of Buddhism, Power Rangers, Masked Rider, Manga, Anime and Shinto. 在日イギリス人男性による日本文化論.

Monday, November 12, 2012


Japanese Zen Buddhist Karesansui Gravel Garden

This video shows a beautiful Zen Buddhism influenced gravel or karesansui garden. I made a mistake in the video. This garden was not created by the famous artist adopted by this household but an earlier occupant some 300 years ago. Thus the design is as traditional as it gets and not in any way "arty" as I suggested. I have never seen a garden like this that has a rock resembling the crescent moon before, but I can appreciate how the feature could be very attractive especially when the cresent moon rises above the garden.

I argue -- and I don't think that I am being controversial or original -- that the heavily Sen influenced gravel gardens, by resembling landscapes (or even celestial bodies) far large than themselves, cause in the mind of the viewer a sort of optical illusion that encourages the viewer to see the scene neither as a garden, nor as the moon or inland see dotted with islands, but as it is in and of itself, as the visual field (Nishida), or the mirror of the sungoddess, the purity of experience (Nishida), completely bracketed (epoche', Husserl) from all interpretation. These gravel gardens therefore encourage a form of enlightenment.

Or perhaps watching a Japanese Gravel Garden is a bit like attending a Diwali festival. The following is from the wikipedia article on Diwali. "While Diwali is popularly known as the "festival of lights", the most significant spiritual meaning is "the awareness of the inner light". Central to Hindu philosophy is the assertion that there is something beyond the physical body and mind which is pure, infinite, and eternal, called the Atman.

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This blog represents the opinions of the author, Timothy Takemoto, and not the opinions of his employer.