For centuries, in Japan the garden has been an important part of the house, on the one hand it has a strong meaning of status symbol: the great temples and the houses of the nobles once could not overlook a balanced garden; on the other hand, the Japanese garden, in addition to decorative functions, also has evocative and symbolic functions: man tries to approach nature and its harmony through the preparation and contemplation of the garden.
The garden is designed trying to obtain some particular results; first of all the space is designed making sure to widen the observer's horizon, so that even a small garden gives the impression of being a wood or a large clearing.
So each element must recreate the harmony and balance of nature, water, trees and rocks are positioned harmoniously, avoiding to give the impression of an artifact place.
To design the garden, some simple principles are followed:
- Asymmetry: everything that is symmetrical is artificial, created by man; therefore the forms of a Japanese garden are sinuous and pleasant.
- Disparity: to avoid symmetry, the elements inserted in the garden are placed in odd numbers; in general the figure to which we tend is the triangle.
- Contrast: the encounter between contrasting elements is fundamental in the Japanese garden; tall trees near low shrubs, rocks near the water, a small reed bed near the path.
- Nature: nature must be the fundamental principle and source of inspiration for anyone who is preparing to design a Japanese garden; in a small space we try to bring back the sensations evoked by the wide natural horizons.