Chisao Shigemori is one of the most famous Japanese landscape architects today, known internationally as a highly renowned landscape history scholar.
Shigemori is also the author of a number of books on Japanese Zen gardens and Japanese gardening history.
Imagine, for a moment, a Japanese style home. What materials spring to mind? What are the essential elements? Typically we would expect soft, muted tones; wood, bamboo, and paper finishings; with green tatami matting, sliding screens, and paper lamps casting a gentle meditative light. There in the corner of the main room is a focal point, an alcove, called a tokonoma, where our gaze is attracted by a piece of art. Perhaps a kakejiku, a hanging scroll, is hanging from the wall, and beneath it there is placed something that represents an idealized vision of the natural world. It might be an ancient bonsai tree, or perhaps within a beautiful ceramic vase there is a skillfull arrangement of flowers, leaves and branches. In his latest piece for the ZenVita blog, garden expert Mark Hovane takes a closer look at Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement, and celebrates its role bringing nature, art, and harmony into the home.Read More
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.Read More
The beauty of the Japanese aesthetic is increasingly inciting curiosity in the West. One of its most remarkable characteristics and clear to see in Japanese architecture, is its simplicity. Yet despite this simplicity, designs are both profound and retain a sense of mystery. Two aesthetic concepts that help us to better understand these characteristics are the ideals of yugen and shibui.Read More