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    Posted July 6, 2014 by

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    Reiun-in Zen Garden near Tōfuku-ji in Kyoto!


    The Zen garden of Reiun-in (霊雲院庭園) is a  karesansui (枯山水), or dry landscape garden. Reiun-in was founded by the zen monk Kiyo Hoshu (岐陽方秀-1361-1424) in 1390. Outside of the shoin (study) there are two gardens, the “Nine Mountains and Eight Seas" (九山八海の庭) and the “Garden of the Bowing Clouds" (臥雲の庭). In the middle of the “Nine Mountains and Eight Seas" garden stands the famous “Iai seki" (遺愛石). It was given to monk Shosetsu by the son of Lord Tadatoshi Hosokawa (細川 忠利), Lord Mitsuhisa. It was a gift for services given during the  Shimabara Rebellion (島原の乱-1637-1638).

    According to the brochure “Iai seki" symbolises Mt.Shumisen, the holy mountain where Buddha lives. In the garden, the “Iai seki" stands in the centre and around it you can see the white sand describing circles, the combined stones showing a waterfall and a green miniature hill. The garden expresses the true aspect of the universe.

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