Thursday, May 19, 2011

Osaka Japanese Garden

Osaka Japanese Garden..
Location: Wooded Island [Paul H. Douglas Nature Sanctuary] in Jackson Park.
South of Museum of Science and Industry..

1893 Ho-O Den
Originally created during the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, with a garden and a Japanese Ho-O Den [Phoenix Temple] for the government of Japan, as a pavilion for the exposition. The "phoenix" emblem, apparently, was a reference Chicago rising like the mythical firebird from the ashes of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. It was designed by Landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. After the Fair, even as most of the Fair was burned or torn down, the garden and the Ho-O Den Pavilion remained intact.

1933 Century of Progress..
The government of Japan, constructed a traditional Nippon Tea House at the Century of Progress World's Fair and also created a garden on Wooded Island's northeast side and refurbished the Ho-O Den.

World War II..
Shortly after the break of WW-II, the buildings were destroyed by fire and the garden was virtually abandoned.

1973, City of Osaka became Chicago's Sister City..
One of the goals of the Sister Cities program became to revive the Japanese Garden in Jackson Park.

The Entrance..
Plaque at the entrance reads..
The original Japanese Garden and Ho-O Den Palace were built on this site for the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893. After the Exposition the garden was expanded, a tea-house added, many other improvements made and the garden well-maintained and cared for. Shortly after the break of World War II, however the buildings were destroyed by fiire and the garden was virtually abandoned. In 1981, a new garden with a pavilion, waterfall and an arched moon bridge was built.

In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Chicago and Osaka [Japan] Sister City Relationship, Mayor Richard M. Daley of Chicago renamed the Japanese Garden in 1993 as the "Osaka Garden".

Mayor Nishio of Osaka City was impressed with the act and responded by donating improvements to the garden in 1994. This included a formal wood garden entry gate and fence and other essential landscape restoration to the Garden.

The present improvements were made possible through the cooperation of the city of Osaka through the Flower and Greenery Promotion Headquarters and the city of Chicago through the Chicago park District Landscaping Design Division..

The plaque reads..
October 18, 2008..
To commemorate our 35th Anniversary, the Osaka/Chicago Sister City Partnership plant this tree to replace an ancient bur oak destroyed by a storm in the spring of 2008.

Now coming to the main features of the garden..

Zigzag Stepping Stones..
Legend has it that they are laid in a zigzag because evil spirits can only move in a straight line. So if you cross the stones, any evil spirits will just fall into the water.

Zigzag Stepping Stones..

Moon Bridge..
A symbolic link between this world and paradise..

Moon Bridge..

The Pavilion..

The Kasuga Lantern.
One of the lamps that survived from 1893. It takes its name from the Kasuga Shrine in Nara, Japan. The deer panel is one of the four traditional symbols, the others were a stag, the sun, and the moon, most of which are damaged.

The Yukimi Lantern..

The Rankei Lantern..

The marker reads..
Japanese Garden..
A Japanese Garden is a symbolic representation of natural scenery at small scale. Mountains, lakes and islands are all represented here. The major elements in the garden [in order of importance] are rocks, water, hills, plant materials and man made objects as cut-stone lanterns and basins, bridges and shelters. These elements are asymmetrically composed and balanced to achieve harmony. In this Finished Hill Style Stroll Garden the meandering path guides the viewer to main vistas at changes in the path's direction, and at fixed viewing stones. The garden is intended to provide tranquility for meditation.

The First Japanese Garden and the Ho-O-Den Palace were built on this site for the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893. In 1934, the Palace was rehabilitated, the garden expanded and the tea-house from the Century of Progress Exposition placed were the new pavilion now stands.

Three styles of traditional granite lanters were imported and displayed. Kasuga [upright], Rankei [overhanging] and Yukimi [four-legged snow lanterns]. In addition, a water basin in the form of an opening flower is provided near the pavilion. The Kasuga lantern near the entrance is from the original garden lacated at this site.

The moon bridge is a traditional design and is best viewed when reflected upon itself in the water.

The garden pavilion with an Irimoya style roof and raised platform will be used for demonstrations of Japanese culture and martial arts.

The present reconstruction was made possible, through the cooperation of Chicago park District, the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the City of Chicago.


Al Kuhn said...

Another great blog! And I never fail to be educated and delighted by your work. Thanks, once again. Al

Jyoti said...

Thanks Al!

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