FIVE DYNASTIES period (907-960)
NORTHERN SONG DYNASTY (960-1127)
* By this time, China had lost control of ancient silk route to Uighur and Tangut states. To compensate for loss of tax revenue, Song embarked on program of maritime trade, building ships and exporting products throughout south-east Asia. (162)
* Also by this time, display stands were not only routinely used to elevate religious objects, but to exhibit antiques and articles of daily life. And it would soon become standard in both religious and secular contexts to place incense burners on stands set on top of tables. (163)
* 965, Tao Gu's Qing-i-lu, collection of expressions from Tang and Five Dynasties, included story about malachite rock which resembled a mountain, was purchased for thousand pieces of gold, and was made into boshanlu, and also about little model of Mount Li (the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang Di, d.207 B.C.E. ) w/landscape, houses, people, animals, forests, bridges, and highways all represented in detail in Borneo camphor wood. (164)
* Because of political instability in China during this time, Japan suspended official
missions to mainland, and divergence in Chinese and Japanese art occurred. This
independence allowed artistic patronage to grow in Japan during next four
centuries or so.
* Ryōgen (912-985), Tendai abbott, authored treatise "Account of How Plants and Trees Desire Enlightenment, Discipline Themselves, and Attain Buddhahood." (166)
* c.970, first lengthy work of fiction in Japanese, Utsubo monogatari (The Tale of the Hollow Tree), includes passage: "A tree that is left growing in its natural state is a crude thing. It is only when it is kept close to human beings who fashion it w/loving care that its shape and style acquire the ability to move one." Idea was already established by this time that natural beauty becomes true beauty only when modified in accordance w/human ideal. (167)
* Shinden residences conceived in Chinese symmetrical style influenced use of space in Japanese garden by delineating space and compressing macro concepts and landscapes into confines of relatively small estates. Just south of shinden, courtyard called nantei was layered w/sand. Although this served as functional space for garden events like archery, cockfights and poetry readings, sand performed aesthetic and spritiual ends. (168)
* 918, Koryo Kingdom succeeded Silla on Korean peninsula.
* 939, Vietnamese forces under Ngo Quyen took advantage of chaotic conditions in China to defeat local occupation troops and set up independent state. History was again recorded and kept. Miniature landscape art -- which may have existed for centuries -- was mentioned in books for first time, including Hòn Non Bô (lit., "island-mountain-panorama"; aka nui non bô) designed to be seen from all sides. People, even the poorest, placed rocks and plants surrounded by water in containers or basins originally carved from stone, then formed from stucco, followed by use of concrete. Individuals' Hòn Non Bô could be a foot or two in height (sometimes aka Tiêu Canh, art of miniscenes where tree is main subject and larger than mountains). Royalty built larger versions up to 20 or 25 feet high (w/mountains always larger than backdrop trees), almost always including one or more in grounds of their palaces and temples to form a part of the sacred enclosure. At some point these were oftentimes accompanied by parallel verses in Chinese, stereotyped quotations that everyone knew -- including the humble village literati -- thanks to popular collections of expressions for use on various occasions, and also incense sticks and some miniature figurines. This was done even after Ngo Quyen's death ushered in period of civil strife. (170)
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* Between tenth and twelfth centuries, Buddhist monks are said to have carried pen zai (trees taken from natural surroundings and replanted, just as they were, in ornamental pots) throughout Far East. (171a)
* During the Song period, these miniature landscapes were called "Tray Stone" (pén shí), "Tray Planting Grass" (pén căo), "Potted Mume" (pén méi), and "Strange Stone." (171b)
* Su Shi, aka Su Dongpo (1037-1101), literatus who mastered virtually all literary and artistic forms, had at least three poems mentioning container landscapes. One of his favorite objects, bronze basin given to him by Korean diplomats, probably in 1072 when he was magistrate in Hangchou, held green rock he acquired in 1092 in Yangchou which was in the shape of inverted hu and had cavity that penetrated through to back of stone. The pebbles surrounding base of rock were collected by him from beaches of Tengchou, on Shantung coast in 1085. For Su Shih, shape of rock recalled Chou-chih, one of sacred mountains of Daoism which was immortalized by Tang poet Du Fu. Poet Su also stated that monks in mountains and commoners, who want to send gifts to Chan masters but cannot afford expensive clothes and food, should pour water into basin w/stones and used as gifts to Chan masters. This appears to be first usage for term "respect stone" or gongshi, using small stones for tribute. (172)
* Treatise Sakuteiki by Tachibana no Toshitsuna (d.1094), codified generations of rules/taboos for garden-design.
Refers to Japanese painters of previous two centuries who were also expert in disposition of garden rocks. This
expertise was not simply aesthetic, but was also related to understanding of what was propitious or objectionable.
Includes immensely detailed instructions for treatment of water and how it should flow. In order to deter calamities,
readers were exhorted to heed taboos regarding position of upright stones representing mountains, which have power to
either enhance or impede flow of ki (life energy). Successful stone arrangements seem almost alive, elements
conversing among themselves w/occult vitality. Idea of garden designer initiating dialogue w/elements of garden is
singularly Japanese approach (probably predating Sakuteiki): dominant stone beginning this orchestration and
other rocks complying w/its "requesting" mood.
* 1009, under the astute leadership of several dynamic rulers, Ly dynasty ruled
Vietnam for more than 200 years (to 1225). Although rise of Ly reflected emergence of
lively sense of Vietnamese nationhood, Ly rulers retained many of political and social institutions
that had been introduced during the period of Chinese rule. Confucianism continued to
provide foundation, Chinese civil service examination system was retained as means of selecting
government officials, and eventually right was extended to include most males, not just members of nobility.
Beneath veneer of Chinese fashion and thought, popular mostly among the upper classes, native forms of
expression continued to flourish. Temples were built w/Hòn Non Bô
to commemorate deeds of kings who ruled 968-1005.
* Surapala of India's arbori-horticulture treatise, Vrikshayurveda, mentions 170 species of plants including trees, shrubs, and a few herbs, and also contains description of dwarfing trees in situ ("in place," i.e. in ground not in container) to create what we'd now call "bonsai" effect. (175)
* Zhang Zeduan's painting
Peeping at the Bath
included surprisingly modern-looking small pine in quatrefoil pot. Earliest
depiction of cloud-layer shaped foliage -- essentially Chinese form of topiary.
* Emperor Huizong (r.1100-1126), talented painter and expert cultivator of plants, was one of chief collectors of stones for imperial gardens. At times barges bearing his large stones blocked all other traffic on canals around capital. He also charged an official to confiscate fine stones and old landscape trees from private gardens throughout the land. (177)
* c.1126, Du Wan's Yun Lin Shi Pu (Stone Catalogue of Cloudy Forest), China's earliest and most comprehensive book about scholars' rocks, listed a hundred and fourteen different kinds of rocks found in all parts of country suitable for viewing and admiring. Specimens could be cleaned or even cut flat for stability. Also mentioned that "Dwarf trees are planted on rocks of K'un-shan county, or sweet flags (Acorus) are grown in odd spots on them, or else they are placed in containers." and "'Vertical' varieties of this [Chiang-chou] stone are made into tasteless [sic] miniature gardens, called 'bowl mountains' (pen shan), w/pieces glued in formal array, like offerings on a Buddhist altar. These are sold by the natives." (178)
SOUTHERN SONG DYNASTY (1127-1279)
* Wang Shipeng wrote about small pine growing over a rock. (179)
* Zhao Xigu's Dong Tian Qing Lu said to have introduced techniques for miniature landscape creation. Sung Dynasty specimens were divided into categories of "tree scene" and "mountain and river landscape" styles. Included renowned drawing entitled "Eighteen Scholars" which prominently shows penzai and penjing. (180)
* Lu You (1125-1210) wrote about fist-sized mountain in container. Ceramic basin was important and typical feature of rock displays for next few centuries. (181)
* Problem of garden design was not in material form, composition, or shape, but
was far more question of exercising one's poetic sense.
KAMAKURA period (1185-1333)
* 1195, Saigyo Monogatari Emaki was earliest known scroll to depict dwarfed potted trees.
(Some sources say this dates from 1250.) (183)
* Whipped tea was introduced from China at end of century and was initially drunk in Zen Buddhist temples. (184)
* During the Koguryo era (Koryo Period, 918-1392) of Korea, dwarf trees
potted in native-made containers were depicted in old drawings. (Celadon
pottery was perfected here during this time.)
* Abu Zakariya Yahya Ibn Muhammad Ibn Al-Awwan (fl.end of 12th cent.) in Seville (Spain) authored most important Islamic treatise on agriculture during mediaeval times, Kitab al Filahah. Book treats more than 585 plants and deals w/cultivation of more than 50 fruit trees. It also discusses numerous diseases of plants and suggests their remedies. The book presents new observations on properties of soil and different types of manures. Said to also include information on container plant culture. (186)
* High point for art influenced by Chan school, which believed that Buddha-nature
was present in every aspect of universe, from smallest plant to greatest tree, from
lowliest worm to humankind. This enormously enlarged subject matter of painting.
* Chao Meng-chien's Old Lao-zi was illustration of one of "Twenty-Four Stories of Filial Piety" which would be memorized by generations of Chinese children. Two possible penjing were shown. (188)
* 1275, Wu Zimu's Meng Liang lu mentions that dwarf trees and dwarf evergreens were used as décor in Hangzhou tea-houses, supplied by members of dwarf tree guild. (189)
YUAN (MONGOL) DYNASTY (1279-1368)
* Though they brutally massacred some 35 million people -- they believed that city-dwellers were somehow inferior to nomadic people of the steppes -- as the Mongols moved further south, they became increasingly isolated from their tribal brethren to west and were soon consciously building gardens in Chinese style patterned after precepts of Song landscape painting. Scholar-painters became so alienated from capital of Cambulac and its culture that gulf opened between court painting and that of literati, so-called scholar-amateur artists. (This gulf would survive until end of Qing dynasty.) (190)
* 1290, 27 Sept earthquake struck Hebei province and killed approx. 100,000 persons. (191)
* When Mongols gradually took over China, many artists and intellectuals
found comfortable life and recognition in Japan where Song dynasty
culture was actively studied and
underwent innovation to Zen. Song landscape paintings had not yet been imported
on large scale, though priests were welcomed by culture that went w/Japan's.
Active trade and cultural exchanges w/China hastened transmission of Zen
Buddhism, which won quick and wide acceptance by emerging samurai class. Chinese Chan
monks came over to teach at monasteries. Rinzai Zen first transmitted to Japan in 1191,
and initially spread through upper ranks of military classes of Kamakura and Kyoto, then
to imperial household and court aristocrats. Sōtō Zen came in 1228 to Fukui prefecture
and developed its power base among landed gentry and upper classes of regional Japan. One
of monks' activities was to introduce political leaders of day to art of collecting interesting
naturally-shaped rocks (recently arrived pastime from China) as being ideal accomplishment for man of
taste and learning. (Cause of dwarfed potted trees probably similarly promoted.) Under influence of Zen,
artistic appreciation of stones started to change to subtle, profoundly quiet, serene, austere,
and unpretentious. Arts of kare-sansui (stark landscapes of bare-branched trees, mountains, and
waterfall scenes) and suiboku (black and white ink paintings) were brought from China to Japan as
part of Zen influences. These arts then were hybridized and new form was born: bonseki, which excluded
soil and plants from scene leaving only stones and white sand.
* 1293, 20 May earthquake struck Kamakura and killed approx. 30,000 persons. (193)
* 1225, Trân dynasty ruled Vietnam (to 1400) and repelled invading Mongol forces of Yuan Dynasty in 1258, 1285, and 1288.
Most of magnificent palaces destroyed in process, so were rebuilt, complete w/Hòn Non Bô, using labor of
* c.1280, area called "Pomerium" where some tree and herbaceous plant species grew was set aside for beginning of Vatican Gardens in Rome. (195)
* By 14th cent., rocks would be shown on individually carved and fitted wooden stands -- shizuo or "stone seat" -- and two distinct styles
evolved that persist to present time. Southern style stands, which include carving of natural
root, can be heavy and grandiose in design, and Northern style, which exhibit lower profile
w/more subtle contours. (Northern style of Chinese wooden stands
would be embraced by Japanese who'd refine them to simpler and smoother design called daiza.) (Stands would be integral part
of display of three-dimensional art works of all types in Ming and Qing dynasties and forward.)
* During the Yuan period, these miniature landscapes were called "Miniature Tray Landscapes." (196b)
* In early 1330s outbreak of deadly bubonic plague occurred in China as rodent fleas which could not find warm live rats transmitted disease to people who rapidly infected other people. Moved w/Mongols westward to Tartars. Mongol conquest disrupted farming and trading, and led to widespread famine. Population dropped from approximately 120 to 60 million w/plague estimated to have killed one-third of Chinese population. (From 1333 to 1337 terrible famine killed 6 million.) (197)
* 1366, Tao Zong-i's Zhuo-geng-lu included famous painter Mi Fu's (1051-1107) drawing of inkwell in form of mountain made from precious rock dating from Southern Tang (923-934). (198)
MING DYNASTY (1368-1644)
* Destitute farmers employed to repair watercourses and reservoirs; large areas of land were repopulated w/people from other areas; millions of trees were planted including larger varieties for construction purposes; it was made compulsory for farming families to plant smaller trees such as mulberry, persimmon, and jujube for fruit or leaves for silkworms. (199)
* New theory of landscape painting evolved which called for vivid presentation of emotional expression in artist's work. This new spirit, coupled w/overpopulation across the country, greatly influenced garden design in urban setting. Method called "small as large" was adopted, giving the perception of vast space through modest garden design on limited urban site. (200)
* 1309, wooden tray and dish-like pots w/dwarf landscapes on modern-looking wooden shelf/benches
scroll. These show off owner's wealth and were probably exotics imported from China.
* c.1331, criticism of interest in curiously twisted specimens of potted plants in one chapter of 243 chapter compilation, Tsurezuregusa. (This would be sacred teaching handed down from master to student through limited chain of poets (some famous) until it was widely published in early 17th cent. It had modest influence before then.)
MUROMACHI period (1333-1573)
* Tengan Eko (1273-1335) composed poem on miniature pine. (202)
* "Bonseki no Fu" ("Tribute to Bonseki") written by celebrated priest and master of Chinese poetry, Kokan Shiren (1278-1346). (203)
* 1351, dwarf trees displayed on poles portrayed in Boki Ekotoba scroll. (204)
* Potted landscape arrangements were by this time including figurines after Chinese fashion to add scale and theme. (205)
* Ryushu Shutaku (1309-1388) declared in poem that simple dwarf potted pine can contain within itself highest peak of Heng Shan (which was celebrated for its aged pine trees). (206)
* Confined, almost escapist designs of stone gardens were response to turbulence of times: often closer to fabulist lansdcapes of China's Tang poets than to embattled and ravaged countryside of feudal Japan. Backdrop of social instability and tendency toward denial and seclusion seen in gardens was matched by period of economic growth and flowering of arts. Zen temples became unofficial sponsors of arts, providing safe haven for those still able to comtemplate finer things in life, including creation of Noh dramas, linked verse and gardens. Gardens were devices to aid meditation w/their nourishing emptiness, as well as works of art created w/in set frames like paintings or hanging scrolls. Overstimulation experienced in Japanese paradise and stroll gardens, where visual and narrative details are bountiful, is exchanged for severe reduction in nature and cosmos to small planar unit, distraction-free. Essential symbolism of garden elements -- stones standing for eternal structure of universe, sand and gravel for temporary nature of phenominal world -- thus reveals itself. By setting dark stones (and, sometimes, subdued emerald-colored plants) in large blank spaces of expanses of white or gray sand, garden designers also replicated angularity and tension seen in semi-monochromatic ink paintings. Stone-worked objects introduced into garden by this time in form of stepping stones, water basins, and stone lanterns and stupas. (207)
* European towns now saw proliferation of private gardens. Largest gardens were still those in monasteries.
* 1315, unusually rainy weather in spring resulted in universal crop failures in Europe lasting through 1322. Some 10%-25% of population of many cities and towns died. Europe did not fully recover until 1322. Period marked by extreme levels of crime, disease and mass death and infanticide, w/consequences for Church, State, European society and future calamities to follow. Ended unprecedented period of population growth that had started around 1050. (209)
* In Tuscany, a villa had "a thousand different kinds of gaily coloured flowers, and surrounded by a line of flourishing bright green orange and lemon trees" by mid-century. Though since rebuilt, it also has a lemon house where the trees were taken in winter. (210)
* In northern Europe major famine persisted from 1314 to 1317. Lack of sun, incessant rainfall, higher humidity and cooler temperatures meant water evaporated at slower rate, which caused salt production to drop. Less salt made it more difficult to preserve meats and that, combined w/losses in agriculture, led to famine. Peasants were forced to eat their moldy seed grain. W/little hope of recovery even if weather improved, despair spread across continent. Frantic to survive, people ate cats, dogs, rats, some of their own children, and even executed criminals. (Famine also would strike 1346 to 1347.) Since China was one of world's busiest trading nations, outbreak of "Great Pestilence" ("Black Death," term first used by Danish and Swedish chroniclers of 16th cent. and then slowly spread to German and English usage) plague soon spread to western Asia and Europe, possibly through Black Sea to Italy by 1347. Around the mid-1340's, Asian trappers who hunted marmots for their hides found many dead ones lying around. Ignorant of danger facing them, trappers skinned animals, packed up their hides and sold them off to dealers, who sent marmot hides in closed containers down famous Silk Road. When containers w/marmot hides were opened in Kaffa, rat fleas trapped w/in were released into essentially defenseless population. Starting, no doubt, w/decimation of the local rats soon followed infection and death of many other types of mammals -- including humans -- none w/significant resistance to this pathogen. After only five years (but slowing down during winters) 25 million people were dead -- at least one-third of Europe's people (20% in north to close to 80% around Mediterranean). Even when worst was over, smaller outbreaks continued, not just for years, but for centuries -- this incurable disease did not disappear until 1600s. Medieval society never recovered from results of plague, Europe's greatest ecoogical disaster. So many people had died that there were serious labor shortages all over Europe. This led workers to demand higher wages, but landlords refused those demands. By end of 1300s peasant revolts broke out in England, France, Belgium and Italy. High mortalities cut short careers of craftsmen and other professionals -- guilds maintained stability by more widely recruiting beyond traditional hereditary limits. Some underused farmland made into pasture and forest; some mills enlisted for fulling of cloth, operation of bellows, sawing of wood, diversifying formerly agricultural economy. Smaller families shared accumulated wealth and eventually allowed higher standard of living; many pious bequests were made to existing and many new colleges and universities -- many of which were freed from the weight of having to teach only traditional curriculum. Traditional Galenic medicine was slowly re-evaluated to better account for symptoms and spread of this plague. Disease took its toll on the church as well. Priests were not always available to perform comforting "Last Rites" on plague victims who were sometimes buried in mass graves. People throughout Christendom prayed devoutly for deliverance from plague. Cults of protector and healing saints developed (including greater use of saints' names among population). Unanswered prayers birthed new period of less respect for authority, political turmoil and philosophical questioning. Democratic nature of death, which steals away both rich and poor, nobleman and peasant, pagan and priest, opened door wide to general questioning of culture on which Medieval synthesis had rested, such as divine right of kings and class constructs which tied serfs to land. Jews and other strangers were sometimes held as scapegoats. Development of moveable-type printing, firearms, new technologies affecting both ship construction and navigational arts, partly because of diminished population, would be springboard for economy after plague's initial shock. (Large, almost-century-stabilized population before plague would not begin to grow again until c.1460.) (Alternate cause for Black Death.) (211)
* Trees in Thai gardens sometimes clipped to form strange, gnarled shapes, probably originally influenced first by Chinese pen zai in Sukhothai era (c.12 cent.-1357) and later, in Ayutthaya period (1357-1767) by Japanese dwarf potted trees. Nine popular mai dat (literally, "wood that is bent") designs evolved. In pot or as part of landscape, angular and abstract, and like traditional Thai floral arrangements, mai dat amounts to re-creation rather than imitation of nature. Khao mor, probably also of Chinese inspiration, were artificial mountains made of pebbles or stones cemented together to form whole, often w/waterfalls and pools and adorned w/mai dat or ordinary plants. These may be miniature versions in shallow pots or sizeable creations incorporated into garden designs. (212)
* 1392, Chosun (Yi) dynasty overthrew Koguryo on Korean peninsula. (213)
* Building of huge fleet of fully self-sufficient treasure ships and support vessels consumed vast
amounts of timber. Epitome of five centuries of ocean-going expeditions caused parts of China, Annam, and
southern Vietnam to be denuded of hardwoods. Dredging and reconstruction of Grand Canal linking
the north and south of China and building of Forbidden City in Beijing similarly required large
amounts of wood for grain barges which brought food to laborers and guards who watched over them. Fuel also needed to
fire many kilns producing enormous quantities of bricks and tiles (and large quantities of porcelain exported).
Grain shortages and famine occurred in other parts of China. Trade with and tribute from other states was at all time
high; botanical knowledge and number of plant species recorded far surpassed anything in European circles --
as well as printing of many works for sale in Beijing. Insurrection began in far south. Domestic troubles
besides impossibly high deficit spending were highlighted when lightning ignited and burnt parts of grandiose
Forbidden City. When Emperor soon died afterward and his son also after only year on throne in 1425, grand
expansion plans were curtailed, further maritime expeditions cancelled, and embargo on overseas trade
and travel was put into effect for next hundred years. Large sea-going ships, maps, and documents were destroyed by
* Terra cotta containers were first crafted. Many of these dark pots were mostly made from iron sand or rough sand and used to cultivate flowers. Plain in appearance, these pots were artistically succinct and tasteful, and are noted for their bold lines. Seals or inscriptions on the container bottom are rare. Wood stands were mostly used for indoor display. Red sandlewood was prime material of choice, followed by mahogany and then redwood. Teak, camphor, ginkgo, boxwood, and Chinese jujube were also used. As w/all furniture of this dynasty, emphasized were "lines": smooth and easy, w/color imparting a sense of dignity and shape was simple, often straight lines enhanced by shaped and beaded borders. There is usually minimal carved decoration which incorporates flowers, flowering vines, leafy tendrils, dragons, beaded edges and shaped mouldings. Bold simplicity of economy of lines becomes vehicle for displaying the decorative elements. (215)
* Rocks routinely appeared directly on wooden stands by this time, ranging from most prevalent low platforms (w/slightly rounded convex sides, sometimes w/indented waists, many w/short teardrop, cloud-shaped, or square-section legs) to tall pedestals w/slender cabriole legs. (216a)
* During the Ming period, these miniature landscapes were called "Tray Island" (pén dăo), "Potted Tree" (pén shù), "Plaything for Tray Landscape" (pén wán), "Potted Flower" (pén huā), and "Miniature Potted Tree" (pén jĭng). (216b)
* 1402, first tourist party arrived from China to view gardens of Kyoto (world's
earliest organized international garden-visiting tour).
* HachiNoKi ("The Potted Trees"), Noh play by Zeami Motokiyo (1363-1444), based on story from c.1383 about impoverished samurai who sacrificed his three last dwarf potted trees to provide warmth for travelling monk on winter night.
* Bonsan tray landscapes, suggestive of awe-inspiring landscape scene, became kind of craze, and were appreciated by Ashikaga Yoshimasa (1436-1490), as well as clergy and military elite, including 1463 visit by that shogun to Kyoto-based Five Monasteries group's display of tray landscapes. Stones in pots shown in Kundaikan Sayuchoki (Comments on Ashikaga Yoshimasa's Art Collection, which also contains names of Chinese painters) and Nōami's Muromachi-Dono Gyoakō Okazariki (Record of Objects Displayed in Ashikaga Yoshinori's Residence for Visit of Emperor Go-Hanazono in 1437). Illustrations of favored bonseki in other works as well. Eight different styles and schools of bonseki prevailed at this time. Bonseki scapes used as patterns for constructing full-size rock and sand landscape gardens. Would also become associated w/growing popular tea ceremony. (218)
* Zen monks developed preference for stones stripped of all distracting elements and unnecessary detail, more suggestive than explicit. Reduced to bare essentials, stones became means of spiritual refinement, inner awareness, and enlightenment. (219)
* Figurines in potted landscape arrangements now seen as garnishes decidedly to be excluded by Japanese artists who were simplifying their creations in spirit of Zen. (220)
* An alcove ( tokonoma ) was generally found in temples in abbot's chamber by late 15th cent. in which to hang scroll paintings or display pottery or other objects like oddly-shaped rocks, incense burners, or flower arrangements. (In next two centuries, this would become feature of residential architecture as well. Prototypes can be seen in Kasuga and then Boki scrolls. With its introduction, paintings would be transformed from horizontal to vertical so they could be hung there.) (221)
* Shinden architecture evolved into shoin style. Originally shoin was small study, part of hojo or abbott's quarters overlooking garden. Gradually, shoin developed into audience chamber for honored guests, garden turning from place to stroll into kansha niwa or contemplation garden to be observed from interior of built structure. Garden would contain sanded courtyard adjacent to main hall and, space permitting, dry landscape arrangement. (222)
* Earliest example of pure kare-sansui or dry-stone-work garden. (But said to have been defined in 11th cent. Sakuteiki.) Extraordinary conceptual leap took place as sand and gravel acquired abstract role of representing water and its innermost essence, even more profoundly than would be possible w/real water. (223)
* 1406, Chinese Ming king ordered army to invade Vietnam and confiscate all things related to
that culture, such as books and art objects, and bring back to China. Following year, interim Vietnamese
ruler was caught by invaders, carnage followed, and all works of art and architecture were destroyed,
including Hòn Non Bô. Later Lê Dynasty
(1428-1788) rebuilt many devestated palaces; Hòn Non Bô were very popular.
Miniscenes and miniature landscapes made during this period used Cycas revoluta (sago palms)
on birthdays of kings, lords, and elderly high-class people. (1470, invasion launched
into Champa, south of Vietnam. Centuries of earlier
attacks were not successful, but this one was. Champa would retain slight independence until its annexation by Vietnam in 1832.)
* Montezuma I (r. 1440-1468) created country garden in Huaxtepec, Mexico that included successfully transplanted trees and shrubs from coastal regions, and even thriving tropical species from south. (225)
* During the Yi dynasty (1392-1910), art of dwarfed potted trees became very popular in Korea and was mentioned in Chinese poetry. (226)
* Topiary revival took place by early Renaissance in Italy. Mazes, labyrinths and bowers were created in secular and chivalrous settings using box, cypress, laurel, myrtle, ilex, and yew. (227)
* 1492, hortus herbarum of Vatican was transferred onto Belvedere Hill, on NW slopes of the Vatican. Garden was subdivided into geometrical flowerbeds where medicinal plants were, probably, placed. (228)
* An Italian grew orange trees for kings of France at end of 15th and early in 16th cent. (229)
* 1499, earliest printed book w/topiary showed intimate garden spaces having both classical sculpture and topiary. Spectacular catalogue of visionary gardens contained vast range of box peacocks, hyssop spheres, pleached screens, shaped junipers in pots, and parterres of trimmed herbs. This book influenced contemporary garden design. (230)
* By this time, deforestation in Europe since about 1250 was so severe that the continent was on edge of fuel and nutritional disaster. Massive amounts of trees had been used for large-scale building of wooden sailing ships for trade and war and also massive use of charcoal on industrial scale. Now-disappearing forests due to expanding human populations no longer inhabited by generous supply of wild game. (16th cent. would see turn around because of introduction of burning of soft coal and cultivation of potato and maize.) (231)