Filmed on location in, and around, Kyoto, the cultural capital of Japan.
To anyone interested or curious about Japan, and Asian arts, the film offers a comprehensive and visually stunning insight into one of the world's oldest continuing garden traditions.
The film recognises that a garden is 'known' through all the senses; a garden is experienced by the immersion of the viewer in the world of the garden. Therefore the film is composed is of several 'threads'; the images of the gardens themselves (some of which have not been seen on film before), the voices and stories of the various contributors, music and poetry.
Written and directed by, Robert Ketchell; presently Chairman of the Japanese Garden Society of Great Britain and landscape designer. Robert studied for four years in Kyoto, Japan. This video originates from over twenty years of continuing absorbtion in the profound beauty and beguiling content of the Japanese garden.
Marc Keane, adjunct professor at Kyoto University of Art and Design and landscape architect, resident in Kyoto, Japan; gives a consise and clear account of the history and development of the Japanese garden tradition, from the formation of the Japanese islands through to the modern day. The garden is seen in thecontext of the society that created the tradition. Also, by looking at the gardens, we can 'read' into the cultural development of a society which has nutured and developed such a tradition.
Contempory master gardener, Yasuo Kitayama, offers a rare and exciting insight into the way the garden tradition is percieved and understood by the people who maintain and nuture the tradition today. Kitayama's passion and love for his work comes over with extraordinary clarity as he speaks about his perception of the garden. For him, the garden and its components are alive in every sense. Kitayama's vision of the garden is profound, for him the garden is an expression of love and respect of Nature. The garden approached as both philosophy and fine art.
The narration seeks to inspire common ground between the Western and Eastern perceptions of the garden and garden culture. The garden, like music, is a universal language. It can be appreciated and enjoyed simply for being what it is.
The original soundtrack composed and performed by Real World musician Joji Hirota, carries a flavour of the rhythms of East and West. The haunting melodies evoke colours and images which are rooted in the landscape. Joji has recorded a number of CD's and performed at WOMAD festivals worldwide. He also writes and composes music for film, theatre and television.
Principal cameraman, Bill Tingey, has captured exquisite sequences of images from the gardens, which allow the viewer to visually experience the gardens in detail. The images are as beguiling as the gardens themselves.
The film is a journey which can be enjoyed over and again, each time drawing new inspiration and insights.
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