ikegaki 生垣
KEY WORD : architecture / gardens
Lit. living fence. A type of hedge made of trees, bamboo or other living plants planted in a row and trimmed so as to form a fence. Ikegaki (called ikekigaki 生木垣 or living tree fence in Edo period) are different than itagaki 板垣 (board fences), *ishigaki 石垣 (stone fences), *takegaki 竹垣 (bamboo fences) and other types of shinigaki 死垣 (dead fences). When composed of thorn bushes they are called ibaragaki 茨垣, when made of bamboo, sasagaki 笹垣, and when created with several kinds of tree, called *mazegaki 交垣.
A large clipped hedge or ookarikomi 大刈込 may be used to block out unwanted views *dankei 断景. Ikegaki around houses often serve as windbreaks, while their use between different people's land serves as a property marker. Because of the ancient belief that a god kami 神, resided in evergreen plants himorogi 神籬, ikegaki were often used in shrines and temples to divide space. Evergreens such as Japanese cypress hinoki 桧, Chinese black pine maki 槇 and sakaki 榊 are most frequently employed, although deciduous trees may be used. For protective hedges, thorn bushes are effective, while the dense leaves of Japanese azaleas, satsuki さつき and tsutsuji 躑躅 make them effective when used to block unwanted views.

Jishouji 慈照寺 (Kyoto)


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