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nana’s green tea IIAS TSUKUBA
Ibaragi, Japan / 2014

“The four seasons”

Nanaha Corporation is a company that introduces “a new form of Japan” to the world through “matcha” (powdered green tea). They arrange high grade matchas in modern style and provide them as a menu such as matcha latte. And their intention is to make the space into a “contemporary style tea room”, not a “Japanese style tea room”.

Kairaku-en, which was made by the 9th clan leader of the Mito domain, Nariaki Tokugawa, is one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan along with Kanazawa’s Kenroku-en and Oyakama’s Koraku-en. Since Kairaku-en was originally a landscape garden, they made a bank to bring the water of Lake Senba to the garden pond and lined it with trees. They had also decorated the garden with groves of plum trees, bamboos and maple trees. Moreover, they had made a new river by bringing in Mino river and planted willows, maples, bright yellows and etc. in order to enjoy the natural landscape.

Kairaku-en is a garden which name means “enjoy with the people”. Nariaki Tokugawa had opened the garden to the public and brought forth the pioneering philosophy of a park.

In Kairaku-en, groves of bamboos and pines express the “world of yin” while grove of plum express the “world of yang”. This means that we can enjoy the world of both yin and yang within the garden. At Kobun-tei, a resting place inside Kairaku-en that was built by Nariaki Tokugawa, there is a stone monument called a “monument of Kairaku-en”, which the explanation of the harmony of yin and yang in the nature is written. With the groves of bamboos and pines expressing the “world of yin” and the grove of plums expressing the “world of yang”, the garden itself embodies the world of yin and yang.

This time, I had made up a world of both yin and yang in one space by forming plum blossoms with a bamboo. The whole space expresses the world of yin and yang of Kairaku-en. I have directed a space where you can enjoy the original attractiveness of Kairaku-en.

Photos by Keisuke Miyamoto