Japan's Master Gardens (Hardcover)

Lessons in Space and Environment

By Stephen Mansfield

Tuttle Publishing, 9784805311288, 144pp.

Publication Date: April 10, 2012

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (4/10/2018)

List Price: 24.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Featuring stunning photographs and thoughtful commentary this Japanese gardening book is a must-have for any gardening enthusiast.

No two Japanese gardens are ever the same. Each is inimitable, yet embodies commonalities of design and aesthetic taste. Each finds the space for innovation within a tradition that benefits from a thousand years of applied knowledge in gardening and landscape architecture. Japan's Master Gardens explores the ingenuity and range of Japanese landscaping, from the self-imposed confines of courtyard designs to the open expanses of the stroll garden.

In this beautifully illustrated book, Stephen Mansfield takes readers on an exploration of the outward forms, underlying principles, complex use of metaphor and allusion, and beauty and depth that set the Japanese garden apart.

Topics include:
  • A Sense of Nature
  • The Modular Garden
  • Landscape Gardens
  • Requisitioning Space
  • Healing Gardens

About the Author

Stephen Mansfield, an author and freelance photojournalist based in Japan, has contributed to over 60 magazines, newspapers and journals worldwide. His books include Japanese Stone Gardens: Origins, Meaning, Form and Tokyo: A Cultural and Literary History. A specialist in the field, he has visited over two hundred gardens in Japan, written extensively on the topic and designed a Japanese garden of his own.

Praise For Japan's Master Gardens: Lessons in Space and Environment

"Mansfield accompanies his striking photographs with a spare text that combines history, poetry, and thoughtful meditations on each space. It's a wonderful balance of insight and visual delight."—Publishers Weekly

"Mansfield's elegant photographs artfully capture each garden's essence, from the tightly controlled symmetry of dry landscape gardens of the temple at Sekizo-ji to the serene majesty of early-seventeenth-century stroll gardens at Kumamoto. Teeming with historical, cultural, and design insights, Mansfield's treatise succinctly defines the extraordinary variety and beauty of gardens throughout Japan."—Booklist

"While very attractive visually, this is no mere coffee table book. A wealth of knowledge and information is put across in an instructive yet highly readable fashion. The attention to detail is thoughtful, from the map inside the front cover to the font used in the titles. This book offers both intellectual and visual appeal to any reader, whether familiar with Japanese gardens or new to their aesthetic and traditions."—Garden Design