This summer our editor, Michael Lambe, sat down in a Kyoto cafe with Kaz Shigemitsu the founder of ZenVita. They talked about his background, about his company's mission to promote Japanese architects and designers overseas, and about his future plans for ZenVita.
The Temple of the Heavenly Dragon, Tenryu-ji, is a Rinzai Zen Buddhist temple nestled in the western mountains of the Arashiyama district in Kyoto. Constructed before the thirteenth century, the temple’s pond garden is one of the first in recorded Japanese history to use “borrowed scenery” (shakkei). “Borrowed scenery” incorporates distant landscape elements into the design in a way that visually enlarges the space. At Tenryu-ji this primarily takes the form of two mountains: Kameyama (Turtle Mountain) and Arashiyama (Storm Mountain), appropriated and integrated into the mix of vegetation, rocks and water.
In his latest article for ZenVita, Edward J. Taylor examines the innovative work of Kobe-based architect, Tomohiro Hata. Tomohiro Hata's designs have won numerous awards both in Japan and overseas and are renowned for their playful use of the natural environment to create homes full of light that are both highly functional and enjoyable to live in.
In his first article for the ZenVita blog, the Kyoto-based garden expert, Mark Hovane, introduces Kyoto's Shinnyo-do temple and explores two separate garden designs there by ZenVita associates Chisao Shigemori and Sone Zoen.