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A History of the Japanese People by F. Brinkley

The only notable addition made was the kago



The fashions of the Heian epoch in the manner of travelling underwent little change during the military age. The principal conveyance continued to be an ox-carriage or a palanquin. The only notable addition made was the kago, a kind of palanquin slung on a single pole instead of on two shafts. The kago accommodated one person and was carried by two. Great pomp and elaborate organization attended the outgoing of a nobleman, and to interrupt a procession was counted a deadly crime, while all persons of lowly degree were required to kneel with their hands on the ground and their heads resting on them as a nobleman and his retinue passed.


Great progress was made in the art of landscape gardening during the Muromachi epoch, but this is a subject requiring a volume to itself. Here it will suffice to note that, although still trammelled by its Chinese origin, the art received signal extension, and was converted into something like an exact science, the pervading aim being to produce landscapes and water-scapes within the limits of a comparatively small park without conveying any sense of undue restriction. Buddhist monks developed signal skill in this branch of esthetics, and nothing could exceed the delightful harmony which they achieved between nature and art. It may be mentioned that the first treatise on the art of landscape gardening appeared

from the pen of Gokyogoku Yoshitsune in the beginning of the thirteenth century. It has been well said that the chief difference between the parks of Japan and the parks of Europe is that, whereas the latter are planned solely with reference to a geometrical scale of comeliness or in pure and faithful obedience to nature's indications, the former are intended to appeal to some particular mood or to evoke special emotion, while, at the same time, preserving a likeness to the landscapes and water-scapes of the world about us.


By observing the principles and practical rules of landscape gardening while reducing the scale of construction so that a landscape or a water-scape, complete in all details and perfectly balanced as to its parts, is produced within an area of two or three square feet, the Japanese obtained a charming development of the gardener's art. Admirable, however, as are these miniature reproductions of natural scenery and consummate as is the skill displayed in bringing all their parts into exact proportion with the scale of the design, they are usually marred by a suggestion of triviality. In this respect, greater beauty is achieved on an even smaller scale by dwarfing trees and shrubs so that, in every respect except in dimensions, they shall be an accurate facsimile of what they would have been had they grown for cycles unrestrained in the forest. The Japanese gardener "dwarfs trees so that they remain measurable only by inches after their age has reached scores, even hundreds, of years, and the proportions of leaf, branch and stem are preserved with fidelity. The pots in which these wonders of patient skill are grown have to be themselves fine specimens of the keramist's craft, and as much as L200 is sometimes paid for a notably well-trained tree."*

*Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, article "Japan," Brinkley.


The tea ceremonial (cha-no-yu) is essentially Japanese in its developments though its origin came from China. It has been well described as "a mirror in which the extraordinary elaborations of Japanese social etiquette may be seen vividly reflected." In fact, the use of tea as a beverage had very little to do with the refined amusement to which it was ultimately elevated. The term "tasting" would apply more accurately to the pastime than "drinking." But even the two combined convey no idea of the labyrinth of observances which constituted the ceremonial. The development of the cha-no-yu is mainly due to Shuko, a priest of the Zen sect of Buddhism, who seems to have conceived that tea drinking might be utilized to promote the moral conditions which he associated with its practice. Prof. H. B. Chamberlain notes that "It is still considered proper for tea enthusiasts to join the Zen sect of Buddhism, and it is from the abbot of Daitokuji at Kyoto that diplomas of proficiency are obtained." The bases of Shuko's system were the four virtues--urbanity, purity, courtesy, and imperturbability--and little as such a cult seemed adapted to the practices of military men, it nevertheless received its full elaboration under the feudal system. But although this general description is easy enough to formulate, the etiquette and the canons of the cha-no-yu would require a whole volume for an exhaustive description.

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