Securing the generous support of the politicians and industrialists who propelled Japan’s modernization, Ogawa Jihei VII created many outstanding gardens at the end of the nineteenth and the first few decades of the twentieth century. Expressing a Japanese aesthetic even while incorporating modern techniques, his methodology reveals the nature of modernization as Japan experienced it. With a keen eye for architecture, author Suzuki Hiroyuki takes a long-awaited look at modernization and the modern garden. Awarded the Architectural Institute of Japan’s Annual Prize for Publication in 2014.
“The people who sustained Japanese-style culture from the Meiji through early Showa periods overlap neatly with those who drove Japan’s modernization during that same period. Since those who sustain culture in any given period of time are inevitably those who sustain the state, this may seem utterly unsurprising. The point I wish to make, though, is that the Japanese-style culture they sustained was a modern Japanese culture that functioned as a greatest common denominator, and that Ogawa Jihei was the landscape gardener who stood at its center.”
(From Chapter 2)