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Katsura Rikyu - kukan to katachi (Katsura Imperial Villa - its Space and Form)

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • Katsura Rikyu - kukan to katachi (Katsura Imperial Villa - its Space and Form)
  • Description

    Photobook. One volume. First edition.

  • Producer name

  • Date

    • 1983
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Curator's comments

    Katsura is possibly the single most important piece of landscape gardening in combination with architecture in Japan. Designed and built in the early 17th century it is chiefly formed by a main palace area (Shoin) surrounded by groups of four tea-houses (Geppa-ro, Shokin-tei, Shoka-tei, and Shoi-ken), and a Buddhist chapel (Onrin-do) set in a spectacular landscape garden. The quality of Katsura lies in the fact that although every aspect of the enclosure has been minutely thought out, the whole appears to be entirely organic - to the point where it denies human influence. In the twentieth century Katsura became a major source of inspiration for modern architects like Bruno Taut and Walter Gropius who praised its clarity and functional aspects. After it had undergone extensive renovation Ishimoto revisited Katsura in the early '80s and came up with a substantially new product. The black-and-white photography of the previous publication had been well-suited for bringing out the sparse artificiality of the design within the garden, the present colour-plate book shows the paradisiacal nature of the garden in combination with the architecture. The modernist aspects of the place - which were an illusion in the first place - retreat. Surfaces of stones, texture of moss, shades of green, the spirit of Kobori Enshu's tea-ceremony, of refinement, and ultimately of striving towards enlightenment are brought out. Book design by Tanaka Ikko. (Titus Boeder, 4/07)


  • Associated places

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department


  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • PB.75 (Photobook number)

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Object reference number: JCF16196

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