ryuumonbaku 竜門瀑
KEY WORD : architecture / gardens
Lit. dragon's gate cascade. One type of cascade *baku 瀑 found in Japanese gardens. Adopted in Japan in the late Kamakura period, this highly symbolic arrangement of stones and water originated in China. According to legend, in the Yellow River (Jp: Kouga 黄河) a power waterfall that dropped in three steps making upstream passage impossible for all fish except the mighty carp. If a carp should swim to the top of the waterfall, it would turn into a dragon and ascend to heaven. In keeping with this legend ryuumonbaku usually feature three levels and at the base of the broad rest and, lowest cascade is the carp stone *rigyoseki 鯉魚石. In some gardens the carp stone is placed in one of the upper livels to show the carp's upward progress. The earliset examples of the ryuumonbaku are found in the gardens at Tenryuuji 天龍寺 and Rokuonji 鹿苑寺, Kyoto.


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