When we think of Korakuen Garden, we think of Korakuen Garden in Okayama, one of the three most famous gardens in Japan, but there is also a garden in the middle of Tokyo that bears the name of Korakuen Garden. The Koishikawa Korakuen Garden was built in the early Edo period (1603-1867). The complication is that the garden was created by the Mito Tokugawa family. The Mito Tokugawa family was not satisfied with just building Kairakuen, which is one of the three most famous gardens in Japan along with Korakuen, in their own territory, and created a garden called Korakuen in their Edo territory. As a result, there are two daimyo's gardens with the same name, Korakuen, in Tokyo and Okayama, although they are evaluated differently, which complicates things.
In such cases, one wonders which of the two took the name first. It seems that Okayama Korakuen started to call itself Korakuen after 1871 when it decided to open its garden to the public, so Koishikawa Korakuen, which is said to have been named by Zhu Zhiyu, a Confucian scholar who came to Japan from China in the 1600s, is much earlier. Why, then, did Okayama Korakuen go to the trouble of changing the name of its garden, which was called 'Gokoen' or 'Goen,' to that of another garden that already existed? Or was it because the word from which Korakuen is derived, 'to be anxious before the people of the world are anxious, and to enjoy themselves after the people of the world have enjoyed themselves,' struck a chord with the feudal lords who owned the gardens? Even if he knew that there was a garden with the same name, he may have wanted to express his own thoughts and ideals in terms that implied loyalty to the nation based on the Confucian spirit.
|Jun 2023 ARCHITECTURE TOKYO|
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SONY ALPHA 7R II
ZEISS BATIS 2/40 CF