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    Glossary Term
    Niwa - Japanese Gardens

    (Also "teien", "koen")

    English Definition:
    Japanese Gardens

    Japanese gardens obtain their unique beauty by combining elements of natural plantings, sand, water and rock, which are often expressions of Shinto and Buddhist beliefs. Natural clusters of rocks and dense groves of trees are thought to harbor gods, according to the Shinto religion. It is for this reason that Japanese gardens maintain such natural features.

    The first gardens appeared in Japan in the 7th century in the mountains of what is now known as Nara Prefecture. Japanese garden styles have since gone through a number of changes as a result of Korean, Chinese and Buddhist influences.

    Perhaps the most famous characteristic of Japanese gardens today is the way in which rocks are grouped in order to convey a perfect blend of nature and artificiality.

    Note: "Japanese Gardens" relates to the crafts, Turu, wisteria vine garden basket weaving and Toro, Japanese stone garden lanterns.

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