yakuboku 役木
KEY WORD : architecture / gardens
Also read yakugi. The allocation of shrubbery in a garden, particularly applied to trees which set the mood of a garden. In the Edo period, a prescribed form was adhered to, and the term usually referred to a specimen tree planted in an advantageous position creating a focal point in the garden. Special names were given to trees selected to fulfill a particular function. These included: *shoushinboku 正真木, the main tree in the center of the garden; jakunenboku 寂然木, a tree planted first among the shrubs and intended to impart a feeling of serenity; sekiyouboku 夕陽木, a flowering tree or one noted for its brilliant autumn foliage, or which, according to the season, produced a scene independent of the main garden. Hisensawari-no-ki 飛泉障りの木 referred to a tree planted in a secondary area of the garden where its limbs extended gracefully over a small waterfall to create the illusion that the waterfall was considerably to the rear of the tree. Other varieties of trees include: trees in containers, potted trees for making an enclosure, trees at the base of a bridge, trees added to a hermitage, trees at the end of a fence, trees beside a stone lantern or behind it, and trees near a wall. For all of these, pine matsu 松, plum ume 梅, willow yanagi 柳 and bamboo take 竹 were recommended.


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