HTML 5 version © 2023 Mercury Software Japan Inc.

Photography:  Paul Scrivner

Research:  Preston Houser

Engineering: Les Smart

Support: Imari

Contact: [email protected]

iPad iBook version available in the iBook Store

About the Authors

• Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904), as an early western ethnographer, Hearn witnessed the transformation of Japan into a modern state at the turn of the last century. Born and raised in Ireland, Hearn arrived in Japan after spending ten years in the United States working as a journalist. Through an introduction from Basil Hall Chamberlin,  Hearn was first hired to teach in the remote village of Matsue on the north west coast of the main island of Honshu where he penned this essay on his own garden.

• Marc Keane, American landscape architect and graduate of Cornell University, has lived in Kyoto for the past eighteen years.  Mr. Keane is a lecturer in environmental design at the Kyoto University of Arts and Design. He is author of Japanese Garden Design published by Charles E.Tuttle as well as a translation of the Sakuteiki, an 11th century gardening text. His latest book describes the history, design, and aesthetics of the Japanese Tea Garden. Mark Keane’s writing and design work can be found at

• Urs App is a long time resident of Kyoto. He holds a Ph.D from Temple University and is author of Master Yunmen (1994, Kodansha International). A Buddhist scholar from Switzerland, Dr App was associate director of the International Research Institute for Zen Buddhism for ten years in Kyoto and Professor at Hanazono University. He now works for the Swiss National Research Fund. Dr App’s latest work documents the European discovery of Asian religions from the 16th century onward (2010, The Birth of Orientalism, University of Pennsylvania Press).

• Tom Wright has lived in Japan for over thirty-five years.  He was ordained a Soto Zen priest in 1974.  Mr. Wright has written on Zen, Zen gardens, and has co-translated Opening the Hand of Thought: Approach to Zen and Refining Your Life.  Besides working for the Kyoto Soto Zen Center, he is an associate professor at Ryukoku University.

• Preston Keido Houser, professor, essayist and shakuhachi artist, is author of Invitation to Tea Gardens: Kyoto’s Culture Enclosed and the companion volume The Courtyard Gardens of Kyoto. His newest collection of poems entitled, Twenty Villanelles, has recently been released on Amazon.

3 Responses to “About”

  1. Nina Williams Says:

    Magnificent site. Thank you.

  2. Missing Japan... Says:

    Fantastic website. Thank you very much for bringing the beauty and majesty of the gardens of Kyoto to the global audience.

  3. Toni Fisher Says:

    Thank you so much for creating and sharing the visual experience of these remarkable Gardens.
    Wishing you and all yours all good Blessings,
    Cap’n Toni with my Coco pup girl, the Birds and Fishes, in Spirit Miss Tess-ie pup, and soon to join our Pack, Miss Maya, of the lil Haus
    Pennsylvania, USA

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