Tsukiyama or the older term kasan
refers to a (artificial or man-made) hill garden. The
hills can be viewed from various vantage points as
you stroll along the garden paths, and can sometimes
even be climbed to enjoy a view of the garden.
In Tsubo-en the scale of the hills and mountains is much smaller and often created with shrubs. Perhaps best viewed from within the house, framed by the doorway and window frames or from low vantage points, e.g. sitting on the veranda, not on a chair but gross-legged or kneels
We will call those "higher" garden "grounds" (above 0 on the map below): tsukiyama.
That is why in the Overview chapter we stated ... "we make moderate use of tsukiyama landscape elements".
In the Overview chapter we stated:
The Tsjubo-en garden can be typified as a "Kyõto (karesansui) style" garden. These then are divided into two groups, one of which classifies as the more abstract type. Here abstraction is used to compose a scenic,  flat (hiro niwa) garden that incorporates the principle of "yohaku no bi " 7: the beauty of empty space [2, 5] and moderate use of tsukiyama, landscape elements (artificial hills).
And: ... where stone and shaped shrubs (karikomi) are used interchangeable.
At the right site, 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 on the ground plan below, the main O-karikomi (D) combined with Hako-zukuri.
See: The main O-karikomi for a description.
On the above plan we have indicated the tsukiyama ground-heights of the whole garden. The Ginshanada gravel is our reference, level "0". The actual "visual heights" very much depend on the ground cover and planting. Even in area´s where the same ground covering plants are used there can be a difference in growing height of as much as 5 centimeter (2 inch). This is the case with the Leptinella potentillina (prev. Cotula) that is used in section A, C and G. The Chamaemelum nobile "Treneaguei" (Anthemis nobilis) (Dutch: Loopkamille) used in section E can get as high as 15 cm (6").
The next slide show gives an impression how this looks from a low viewpoint. It shows 14 photo´s, 4 seconds each.
Elements suggestive of hillocks, hills or mountains can be composed and constructed of any of four objects:
In order to comprehend the beauty of a Japanese garden, it is necessary to understand, or at least to learn to understand, the beauty of stone.Lafcadio Hearn
This section shows a selection of fine authentic examples that all
originate from Japan. These examples show how design principles and
rules are applied and interpreted and how and what materials
are used in genuine Japanese gardens.
These examples should be of help and inspiration during realization
of your own Japanese garden.
Part of these photos is from our own trips others have been collected from different sources, including but not limited to the Internet. New examples will be frequently added.
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.
Make sure that all the stones, right down to the front of the arrangement, are placed with their best sides showing. If a stone has an ugly-looking top you should place it so as to give prominence to its side. Even if this means it has to lean at a considerable angle, no one will notice. There should always be more horizontal than vertical stones. If there are "running away" stones there must be "chasing" stones. If there are "leaning" stones, there must be "supporting" stones.And note again that in many cases stone and shaped shrubs (karikomi) can be used interchangeably.
The stone is a type of marble from
South-Africa, named "Namaqua", pseudonime
The stone itself is pure black and white, weights about 1000 kilogram (1 ton metric, 2204 lb) and rises 120 cm (4 feet) above the ground.
The skin colors are the result of moss and lichen.
The coloration is strongly influenced by rain.
For a season impression animation where Shumisen is encircled and covered by "layers of clouds" see: Deciduous trees, Wisteria sinensis.
At the time of garden construction, early 1999
this stone was put on its flat side by a tower
wagon. To not set it upright had two reasons,
not being any of the taboos, imi or kinki,
as written down in the Sakuteiki.
Marijke found it far to prominent. I could live with this compromise to at least have this magnificent stone in the garden, and to better fit with the proportions of the planting at the time.
As you see in the above comment this more and more continued to rankle.
Namaqua marble sample
Today, ink monochrome painting still is the art form most closely associated with Zen Buddhism. A primary design principle was the creation of a landscape based on, or at least greatly influenced by, the three-dimensional monochrome ink (sumi) landscape painting, sumi-e or suibokuga. In Japan the garden has the same status as a work of art.
Interestingly after erecting this stone we discovered that it shows great resemblance to a Japanese monochrome ink landscape depicted in the book "Zen culture" 
|We found this stone at a local stonecutter. At the time (1999) there where two of them. This was the larger one with the best shape and proportions for our purpose. They had been ordered by an artist who decided not to buy them after all.||...... this must be an omen.......|
A Japanese monochrome ink landscape depicted in
the book "Zen culture" 
This shows the second and third tier of the three dimensional painting technique.
Our Sumeru shows near resemblance with the mountain at the center-right. Not only the shape but also the coloration of black and white.
In the garden the clouds are formed by the blooming Wisteria sinensis(Fuji).
The backdrop boundary hedgerows and the "borrowed scenery" (by means of Shakkei ) are also part of the third tier.
|This is the first tier on the painting, the human scale. In Tsubo-en this is the Ginshanada and what lies in front of it as seen by the onlooker.|
The above Japanese monochrome ink landscape is
probably a simplified version of this painting
if the Fanghu isle.
The Fanghu Isle of the Immortals
Fanghu (literally, "square jar") is one of five mythical island homes of immortals traditionally thought to lie in the sea off the east coast of China. Fanghu was a common theme in Chinese painting, and this hanging scroll depicting it is one of the finest. Belief in this island dates to at least the third century B.C., when the first emperor of China sent an expedition into the eastern sea in the hopes of making contact with beings who could teach him the secrets of immortality. This expedition remains one of the more tragic events in Chinese history: since immortals were believed to have eternal youth, the emperor sent an embassy of young boys and girls to communicate with them. None returned. Largely because of this event, Taoists came to believe that Fanghu and the other islands either lay beyond violent seas that prevented mortals from finding them or rested on the backs of great tortoises who were constantly in motion, so that the mountains had no permanent location.
Wang Yun depicted the mythical Fanghu rising from such an ocean. In this scroll, a precariously perched, oddly-shaped rock formation rises forcefully from surging waves. The other islands can be seen in the background through mist. The island is inhabited by immortals, whose red-and-green palaces with gold roofs resemble Taoist temples nestled in the folds of the rock. The rest of the mountain is an ideal landscape adorned with magical plants and trees, misty vapors, and mysterious caverns from which waterfalls descend. The inscription in the upper left by the artist indicates that this hanging scroll was painted for a Taoist named Helao and based on an older Song-dynasty composition.
Wang Yun (1652—1735 or later)
Qing dynasty, Kangxi reign, dated 1699
Hanging scroll; ink and colors on silk, 142 x 60.3 cm
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City (also in [e] Fig 4, page 84).
The above "The Fanghu Isle of the Immortals" by
Wang Yun may very well be inspired by this
monochrome hanging scroll ink on paper
painting, named Spring Dawn at Cinnabar
Terrace (under the figure it states:
Spring Dawn Over the Elixir
Terrace), by Lu Guang, Yuan Dynasty, ca.
1369 (also in [e]
Fig 11, page 91).
This however is said to be a sacred spot identified as Mount Mao Shan near Nanjing.
Mount Mao was an ancient Daoist center and is here symbolically represented by the artist as a manifestation of his own practice of "inner alchemy". An outdoor Daoist altar is depicted on a cliff at the top of the mountain.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art,
Ex coll.: C. C. Wang Family, Edward Elliott Family Collection, Purchase, the Dillon Fund Gift, 1982 (1982.2.2).
Image copyright the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
This slide show shows a collection of ink paintings and
the type of paintings on which Japanese gardens where based,
or at least highly influenced.
Very close resemblence can be seen in the few left-over meticulously maintained samurai-gardens, buké-yashiki teien, in Chiran. The gardens of these samurai houses, in the town of Chiran in Satsuma province, were built during Edo times according to classical principles. A half-dozen or so of these gardens are on view in the town of Chiran; their associated houses are still inhabited.
|Click the miniature painting to play the slide-show.||
Though each garden is different in its composition, they mostly use rock
groupings and shrubs to represent a classic scene of mountains,
valleys and waterfalls taken from Chinese landscape painting.
In the best of them the view also incorporates the hills behind
as "borrowed scenery".
Some photo's of samurai-gardens can also be found in the above "Tsukiyama examples", in the "Stone sttings examples" below and in the Karikomi and hako-zukuri topiary examples. All of the gardens can be found in Samurai-gardens, buké-yashiki teien, in Chiran.
A stone that is 1.2 to 1.5 meters tall should not be placed in the northeasterly direction (of the house). This will become a Phantom Stone (reiseki), and be cursed. And since it would become a landmark to aid the entry of evil spirits, people will not be able to live there for longSo we did the latter and the problem was solved. And it even looks great!
However, if a Buddhist Trinity is placed in the south-west, there will be no curse, neither will devils be able to enter.
These photo´s taken from a low position
give a good impression of the height level
differences and effect.
The Triad is surrounded by an area of about 15 cm (6") in height. The ground cover here (Cotula) is mostly less than 1 cm (0.4") in front and up to 5 cm (2") under the shrubs in the back.
In the back we see a karikomi mountain-scape.
|This shows the Turtle island with a height of up to 30 cm (12"). The Thyme here is only 2 cm (0.8") at the top and perhaps double of that at the bottom.|
This shows a glimpse back from the path towards
the Tsukubai at the entrance. The ground-height
(further to the left) gets as high as 35 cm
Here the Cotula ground cover grows abundantly and reaches a height of almost 10 cm (4").
The following subjects are directly related to the tsukiyama and will be addressed in separate chapters: