via: wikipedia & various sources (cf. Borrowed_scenery). see also garginz and

Shakkei (借景 C:jie jing, J:shakkei) was originally codified in the oldest extant Japanese garden manual, the Sakuteiki (作庭記, Sakuteiki “Records of Garden Making”). This text, which is attributed to Tachibana Toshitsuna (橘俊綱, 1028-1094 CE), a son of the Byodoin's designer Fujiwara no Yorimichi (藤原頼通, 990-1074 CE), records the Heian period’s attention to a concept called “mono no aware” (物の哀れ) “the pathos of things”.

  • shotoku no sansui (生得の山水, shotoku no sansui “natural mountain river”) intending to create in the likeness of nature
  • kōhan no shitagau (湖畔に従う, kōhan no shitagau “follow the lakeshore”) planning in accordance with the site topography
  • suchigaete (数値違えて, suchigaete “irregular numerical value”) designing with asymmetrical elements 
  • fuzei (風情, fuzei “feeling of wind”) capturing and presenting the ambience

The Chinese counterpart of shakkei (借景) is jiejing (借景) “borrow/lend scenery”. According to the 1635 CE Chinese garden manual Yuanye (園冶), there are four categories of “borrowing”,

  • 遠借 “distant borrowing”, enshaku (jp) yuanjie (zh). e.g., mountains, lakes.
  • 隣借 “adjacent borrowing”, rinshaku (jp) linjie (zh). neighboring buildings and features.
  • 仰借 “upward borrowing”, gyōshaku (jp) yangjie (zh). clouds, stars.
  • 俯借 “downward borrowing”, fushaku (jp) fujie (zh). rocks, ponds.

Penjing (Chinese: 盆景; pinyin: pén jǐng; literally “tray scenery”> Penjing

Four guiding concepts:

  • gugao – aloofness
  • jianjie – sparseness
  • ya – elegance
  • pingdan - plainness

for related thoughts in European context: see the reading notes for Archaeology of Natural Places


  • borrowed_scenery.txt
  • Last modified: 2021-09-01 09:55
  • by nik