Although almost all instances of karikomi are
composed of multiple shrubs we refer to them as
(visible) objects. Reason for this is the fact that,
although they are integrated into the landscape, they
all present themselves as a single solitary object
with unique characteristics.
The use of plants as topiary art like karikomi, to replace stone was very much introduced by Kobori Enshu 4.b (1579-1647), responsible for many gardens with O-karikomi. The "O" prefix means "large" and it refers to the use of groups of plants clipped in a variety of shapes, often organic, to suggest landscape elements on an abstract level. Kokarikomi refers to the use of one plant, clipped and shaped as desired. "Ko" means "small". In Tsubo-en we have many of these.
The two major themes that are part of the building architecture, inside and out, are straight lines combined with curved lines, mostly circular. This has been propagated into the design and applied throughout the garden. Not only can this be seen in the ground-patterns formed by the Ginshanada and tsukiyama "coastline", and in the stepping-stones, that all have a straight side, but even in the topiary shrubs, expressed by the karikomi and hako-zukuri style.
At the right side, the back and in front of the house
we have the Ginshanada (silver sand open sea)
with in the back right corner (North), as shown
below, the main garden main karikomi refered to as
O-karikomi, (topiary technique of
clipping shrubs and trees into large curved shapes or
sculptures) combined with Hako-zukuri (shrubs
clipped into boxes and straight lines). As indicated
above the "o" prefix in O-karikomi means "large" and
it refers to the use of groups of plants. As this
structure is composed of some sixty plants it does
qualify and hence we name it the O-karikomi.
It will take a number of years to reach the sculpture like shape we have in mind. The sculpture represents a treasure ship carrying the Shichifukujin, "seven lucky Gods of Japan" ("Shichi" means seven, "fuku" means luck, and "jin" means god) or actually the "seven gods of good luck" of Chinese mythology. Sometimes these are referred to as the Shichigosan or Shichi Go San, which seams to have a different meaning but still relates to the number seven.
One purpose of the O-karikomi is the integration into the surrounding. The whole structure will eventually be kept relatively low to take maximum advantage of our location and views. By means of shakkei, a method to incorporate "borrowed scenery" into the garden view, we extend the garden boundary to the greenbelt on the golf course , that is in summer. Most of the trees are deciduous resulting in an extended view, of hundreds of meters, during the winter period.
This most prominent "shrub-sculpture" composed of an
organic O-Karikomi and Hako-zukuri combination (see
the Virtual tour for more photo´s) is a complex
object that not only deserves but also requires a
detailed design of its own. The waves (to be) in the
back are known as "namikarikomi".
The first attempt came out too close to the house because it was too circular. We had to elongate it, make it kidney-shaped to fit the designated area and still get the envisioned visual and aesthetic effect. The shrubs for such a creation would normally be evergreen Azalea`s, Rhododendron indicum (Satsuki) and obtusum Tsutsuji and Camellia (Tsubaki).
Looking at our environment and climate however, this was no option for us. Our location is too windy, our soil contains too much fat sea-clay and above all our expected life-time is just too short to ever see this mature.
For these reasons we selected the evergreen shrub Buxus sempervirens as a replacement, and we accept the fact that we will not enjoy the abundance of flowers in April/May.
Below more or less the same panorama-view by night, eliminated by the floodlight.
Here a winter view from inside the living room.
An autumn view with the Roji-path on the left and borrowed
scenery in the back.
The main O-karikomi and Hako-zukuri (shrubs clipped into boxes and straight lines). It will take a number of years to reach the sculpture like shape we have in mind.
|The sculpture represents a treasure ship carrying the Shichifukujin, "seven lucky Gods of Japan" (Shichi means seven, fuku means luck, and jin means god) or actually the "seven gods of good luck" of Chinese mythology. Sometimes these are referred to as the Shichigosan or Shichi Go San, which seems to have a different meaning but still relates to the number seven.|
Here yet an other close-up of the hako-zukuri
Also see: Buxus Sempervirens clipping.
|An autumn view of the hako zukuri full of spider webs.|
|A virgin winter view taken from a Mount Sumeru viewpoint.|
|Here a close-up of a snowy hako-zukuri in 2008.|
Actually every shrub in the garden gets karikomi or
hako-zukuri clipped and pruned. Rather then tackle
them one by one we will group them according to
similar visual characteristics.
Of the kokarikomi some have organic shapes but most of them are clipped in the even more abstract hako-zukuri style.
The second larges karikomi is large enough to
qualify as O-karikomi.
This karikomi mountain-range as part of the tsukiyama landscape, is getting shape.
The original Rhododendrons had to make place for this Prunus lusitanica, that grows great.
View from "Turtle island".
There are a number of low buxus composites. These are clipped to become a single "disc" representing a low mountain and thus forming the transition from the the Ginshanada and tsukiyama "empty space", to the bordering mountain-scape in the background.
This "drop of water" shaped
Euonymus Japonicus Compactus" is a
large-leaved shrub in the foreground
The small-leaved Buxus sempervirens in the back reinforce the gardens depth impression.
These are hako-zukuri (box pruning) shaped and hence more abstract then the organic Kokarikomi.
Kokarikomi refers to the use of one plant, clipped and shaped as desired. "Ko" means "small".
The highest shrubs, left of the top-center and one just behind the deep-red Acer Palmatum"Blood good" that stands just behind the chouzubachi as part of the second tsukubai facility, are Juniperus media "blue" conifer that further enhance the depth impression due to absence of leaves or at least leaves being indistinguishable.
Note: The examples will only display correctly after the page has fully loaded !
It is not an exact-science to draw the line between garden-elements
to distinguish between elements such as tsukiyama, ginshanada,
(O-) karikomi, hako-zukuri, stone-settings, islands, borrowed-scenery and so on.
Under each subject, or better subject-area,
we try to show examples with focus on the main subject.
Often an example will be in a context with other elements.