Examining botanical transculturation of Japanese style gardens to the use of native species
Selecting Pinus radiata and Pinus mugo rather than Pinus densiflora represents a new mode of botanical transculturation from landscape architect Ken Nakajima, a renowned traditional Japanese Landscape Architect from Tokyo, for the Japanese Stroll Garden (Kaiyu-shiki-teien) at Cowra, New South Wales (NSW) (1975-1986). Nakajima consulted with nurseries, following a process mediated from a botanical transculturation that enabled exotics from Asia, America and Europe precedence over native species due to taste over suitability. This paper outlines the commercial movement of plants from Japan to Europe and the Western World via the 19th century Japonism fashion, populated by the nursery industry to an intermediate utilitarian period where professionals/ enthusiasts approached Japanese Gardens from a scholarly modality to authentic landscape garden practices. Cultural assimilation from botanical transculturation ideology works both ways as referenced in Ken Nakajima's work at Cowra, Europe and America, enabling an exchange of botanical plant knowledge and practices, with knowledge of the 'Sakuteiki' manuscript defining an approach to native vegetation, incorporating an ecological point of view.
Blacha, O. (2017). Examining botanical transculturation of Japanese style gardens to the use of native species. Acta Hortic. 1189, 317-322
botanical transculturation, Cowra, Australia, Japonism, Ken Nakajima, Sakuteiki