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  • The concept behind the stone garden
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    Japanese garden

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    The concept behind the stone garden

    Garden of blue ocean waves

    The Japanese stone garden Seigaiha Teien (Japanese for ‘garden of blue ocean waves’) is laid in the Karesansui style and is the calling card of the Department of East Asian Studies. It includes many references to human existence and to Japan, the calm ship at sea. The arrangement of the stones mirrors the flow of water. The waterfall rocks in the background represent the mountains where spring water originates before rising in the rivers and flowing into the ocean. The characters on the orbs on the water stand for the three states of being in Zen Buddhism: raku (pleasure), (emptiness) and yume (dreaming). The stone water basin in the foreground serves as a symbol of the mental and bodily cleansing of the observer.

    All materials were imported from Japan (white gravel for the surf from the Shirakawa river bed in Kyoto, flat wave stones from Shikoku island, three Mikage stone orbs from Kobe and waterfall rocks from Mount Ikoma).

    Photo: Japanese Garden, sketched design, 1999, Department of East Asian Studies (Japanese Studies), © Vienna University