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List Of Books Recommended By Forum Members

9 years ago
last modified: 7 years ago

Below is a list of some of the books members of this forum have recommended. While this list certainly does not represent the complete list of books on this subject it is a good place to start. Some books were recommended without the member adding commentary. If you have read any of these books and would like to add to the books comments, please let me know (see link at bottom of page). Corrections and additions will be made expeditiously as they are requested.

A Japanese Garden Journey: Through Ancient Stones and Dragon Bones

  • Author(s): Judith Klingsick

  • Comments: I know it is a small hardcover book: 44 pages.

A Japanese Touch For Your Garden

  • Author(s): Kiyoshi Seike Masanobu Kudo and David H. Engel
  • Comments: Has a wealth of practical information

Art of Japanese Gardens: Designing & Making Your own Peaceful Space

  • Author(s): Herb Gufstafson
  • Comments: It is a wonderful book

Colors in Kyoto

  • Author(s): Kenji Hashimoto and Michiko Takagi
  • Comments: It has wonderful photos of the details that make Japanese style Japanese.

Creating Japanese Gardens

  • Author(s): Philip Cave
  • Comments: I almost didn't get Cave's book but it is truly beautiful.

Enhance Your Garden with Japanese Plants - a practical sourcebook

  • Author(s): Judy Glattstein
  • Comments: An introduction to and history of Japanese plants in America is followed by sections describing and providing cultivation information

Garden Art Of Japan, The

  • Author(s): Masao Hayakawa
  • Comments: It has some striking pictures. There are a few colour plates, but the rest of the pictures are in black and white. To me, one of the most powerful pictures is one of the stone arrangement in the upper garden, Saiho-ji, Kyoto. The author writes of it as '...a crystallization of the spirit of the great priest Muso Soseki - a spirit that truly revolutionized Japanese garden design in the medieval age.' A little further on, he refers to the upper garden as representing 'the deeply ascetic outlook of Zen.....' Chapter 4 is entitled 'The World Of The Dry-Landscape Garden and the sub-heading 'Gardens for Zen Discipline'. It begins - 'Muso Soseki attempted to give physical form to his Zen Philosophy in the dry-landscape garden of Saiho-ji and the dry waterfall stone group in the garden of Tenryu-ji. Such gardens are in themselves a means towards Zen self-examination, spiritual refinement and ultimate enlightenment. They therefore belong to a dimension of creativity entirely different (my underlining) from that of gardens designed for pleasure or for the gratification of aesthetic tastes......' I found it difficult to put the book down.

Garden Views I - Modern Japanese Gardens

  • Author(s): Tatsui Teien Kenkyujo

Garden Views II - Stone & Sand Gardens

  • Author(s): Tatsui Teien Kenkyujo

Garden Views III - Water & Stream Gardens

  • Author(s): Tatsui Teien Kenkyujo

Garden Views IV - Tree & Moss Gardens

  • Author(s): Tatsui Teien Kenkyujo

Gardening The Japanese Way

  • Author(s): Sima Eliovson
  • Comments: A big book with lots of color pictures and lots of advice on all aspects of Japanese style gardening.

Infinite Spaces: The Art and Wisdom of the Japanese Garden

  • Author(s): Joe Earle
  • Comments: Pairs quotations from an ancient writing the Sakuteiki on garden design with exquisite photos that illuminate the words.

Japanese Courtyard Gardens

  • Author(s): Haruzo Ohashi
  • Comments: A beautiful picture book that gives a nice sampling of small gardens -- including those in private residences hotels and inns and temples/shrines.

Japanese Detail: Architecture

  • Author(s): Sadao Hibi
  • Comments: Some excellent pictures of fences paths basins and lanterns.

Japanese Garden Construction

  • Author(s): Samuel Newscom

Japanese Garden Design

  • Author(s): Marc P. Keane
  • Comments: Reading such a smooth introduction to Japanese gardens was a pleasurable experience.

Japanese Gardening in Small Spaces

  • Author(s): Isao Yoshikawa
  • Comments: It has very specific instructions for stone placement construction of gates and fences with bamboo tying knots.

Japanese Gardens

  • Author(s): Gunter Nitschke Taschen
  • Comments: Has wonderful photos of classic garden concepts

Japanese Gardens Revisited

  • Author(s): Gisei Takakuwa
  • Comments: Is largely of photographs by Kiichi Asana with commentary by Gisei Takakuwa. The photographs are in colour and I can spend a lot of time admiring them, but most of them are on a grander scale than most back yards, so, (for me) it's of limited use.

Japanese Gardens Today how the Japanese use rocks water plants

  • Author(s): Tatsuo Ishimoto


Japanese Stone Gardens: how to make and enjoy them

  • Author(s): Kazuhiko Fukuda
  • Comments: I think it's very good.

Japanese Style

  • Author(s): SlesinCliff and Rozensztroch
  • Comments: The highlight of the book is the wonderful photos by Chabaneix. It's full of the details of Japanese life that are so distinctive: the patterns of shoji bamboo fences and roof beams; the way vegetables and tea sweets are arranged; the crowded simplicity of shop interiors; the blue white and wood of home interiors.

Journal of Japanese Gardening

  • Author(s): bi-monthly magazine
  • Comments: Excellent 'how to' guides, articles and comentary

Landscape as Spirit

  • Author(s): Mosko and Noden
  • Comments: Beautiful book! May help out those of you working on rock setting projects.

Landscape Gardening in Japan

  • Author(s): Josiah Conder
  • Comments: has numerous reproductions of the black-and-white woodblock prints from these Edo period gardening manuals, as well as fascinating photos of famous (plus some just plain weird) gardens taken during the Meiji era. (For instance, see Kinkakuji with the pond choked with aquatic weeds on page 171). A really fun book for reference (would not recommend using it to design a garden.....)

Looking for the Lost: Journeys Through a Vanishing Japan

  • Author(s): Alan Booth
  • Comments: Booth was a particularly insightful traveler who knew the Japanese culture well. His memoir/travel accounts are full of details about people and their lives in the out-of-the-way places few travelers see.

Magic Of Trees And Stones: Secrets of Japanese Gardening

  • Author(s): SAITO, K. et al.
  • Comments: just quite simply the best book(english language) on the subject.

Masterpieces of Japanese Garden Art: Central Kyoto

  • Author(s): Mizuno Katsuhiko
  • Comments: All large photo format published by Books Nippan.

Masterpieces of Japanese Garden Art: Eastern and Northern Kyoto

  • Author(s): Mizuno Katsuhiko
  • Comments: All large photo format published by Books Nippan.

Masterpieces of Japanese Garden Art: Nunnerys

  • Author(s): Mizuno Katsuhiko
  • Comments: All large photo format published by Books Nippan.

Masterpieces of Japanese Garden Art: Western Kyoto

  • Author(s): Mizuno Katsuhiko
  • Comments: All large photo format published by Books Nippan.

Natural Stonescapes The Art and Craft of Stone Placement

  • Author(s): Richard Dube and Frederick C. Campbell
  • Comments: It is a good book has detailed instruction on stone placement good info on where to get stones how to handle them and so on. Lots of drawings and photos.

Nature on View: Homes and Gardens Inspired by Japan

  • Author(s): Peggy Landers Rao & Jean Mahoney
  • Comments: It has wonderful ideas for merging the indoors with the garden. Plus it features Japanese-influenced homes in the US. It has been a real source of inspiration for me. Gardener.

Oriental Gardening

  • Author(s): Japanese Garden Society of Oregon
  • Comments: It is a very good intro for general Oriental garden style planning and had some good basic horticultural instructions too. The photos are quite inspiring.

Reflections of the Spirit: Japanese Gardens in America

  • Author(s): Maggie Oster
  • Comments: One more book with wonderful photos.

Secret Teachings in the Art of Japanese Gardens

  • Author(s): David Slawson
  • Comments: What sets this work apart is its depth and focus on unraveling the underlying design principles and its intent on providing a deeper understanding into the art of Japanese gardening.

Serene Gardens

  • Author(s): Yoko Kawaguchi
  • Comments: Serene Gardens is illustrated with a wide variety of photos and comprehensively covers Japanese gardening. It has an exhaustive plant list and plenty of practival advice.

Space & Illusion In The Japanese Garden

  • Author(s): Teiji Itoh
  • Comments: A passage in it that got my attention reads - '....Zen priests advocated the use of materials near at hand rather than the expenditure of large sums of money to procure and transport fantastically shaped rocks and rare trees. Indeed Buddhism itself is symbolized in this frugal advice, and it was of such a philosophy that the rock garden and the dry-landscape (kare sansui) garden were born.' (my italics). 'Frugal' certainly appeals to me.

Spirit of Kyoto

  • Author(s): Mizuno Katsuhiko
  • Comments: Gorgeous photography on every page of gardens landscapesplants and flowers. Extraordinary.

Stonescaping: A Guide to using Stone in your Garden

  • Author(s): J. Kowalscewski Whitner
  • Comments: If you're drawn towards the rewarding art and science of working with stone this book is a must

The Art of Bonsai

  • Author(s): Peter D. Adams
  • Comments: Heavily illustrated with color and b&w photos and drawings

The Art of the Japanese Garden

  • Author(s): David en Michiko Young
  • Comments: 2005, ISBN 0804835985, Turtle Pusblishing. A very good book with excellent photography and drawings. A kind that we can recommend if one looks for one book on Japanese gardens.

The Art of the Japanese Garden

  • Author(s): Tatsuo Ishimoto
  • Comments: Scaled drawings of the Gardens are included with arrows indicating the orientation and direction that the pictures were taken. It goes a long way toward helping the concepts leap off the page.

The Art of Zen Gardens

  • Author(s): A.K.Davidson
  • Comments: An excellent garden designer and builder's companion

The Imperial Gardens of Japan

  • Author(s): Takeji Iwamiya and Teiji Itoh
  • Comments: An exquisite book

The Modern Japanese Garden

  • Author(s): Michiko Rico Nose et al
  • Comments: Great photography intriguing ideas for incorporating Japanese-inspired design elements in homes and gardens.

The Ocean in the Sand: Japan From Landscape to Garden

  • Author(s): Mark Holborn
  • Comments: I thought it was dry at first but after about 20 pages I was taking copious notes! Fascinating if you're trying to understand the 'why'.

The World of the Japanese Garden

  • Author(s): Loraine Kuck
  • Comments: A cornerstone to my collection.

Themes in the History of Japanese Garden Art

  • Author(s): Wybe Kuitert
  • Comments: (ISBN 0-8248-2312-5) The best English-language treatment of Japanese garden history available. It's a bit hard to work through, but that's partly due to the meatiness of the material. I found it worked perfectly well to read its chapters out of order, following any thread I was particularly interested in. The index and bibliography (both J & E) are excellent and Wybe gives a very extensive glossary including kanji/kana.

Today's Japanese garden

  • Author(s): Daivid Ingel
  • Comments: Mr Ingel asociated top Japanese schoolar in 50's. Book is kind old, but book has very accurate articles and good photos.

Tsuboniwa - The Japanese Courtyard Garden

  • Author(s): Mizuno Katsuhiko
  • Comments: Nice photo book lots of nice intimate gardens great for ideas.