With the development of wabicha, the distinctive living environment of _a mountain dwelling in the city_ came into being and was remarked upon by the missionaries who traveled to Japan.
This _mountain dwelling in the city_ consists of the tea house, the waiting room and the garden path between them. According to Riky_s aesthetic ideal, this garden path should evoke the _loneliness of a remote mountain path carpeted with withered oak leaves._ Rather than a path along which people walk, it is a garden designed to set the scene. The tea ceremony centers around the space formed by the waiting room, garden path and tea house. Natural mountain water is used and the alcove in the tea house is decorated with flowers. In The Book of Tea, the art critic and philosopher Okakura Tenshin (1862_1913) wrote prophetically, _Industrialism is making it increasingly difficult to find true refinement anywhere in the world. In this age, we need the teahouse more than ever._
Tea Culture and Landscaping Gardening in Modern Britain
The concept of a mountain dwelling in the city arising from the tea culture of medieval Japan has a universal appeal that inspires imitation. Indeed, this social and aesthetic ideal integrating tea, gardens and social intercourse was one of the origins of the tea culture that arose in modern Britain in the second half of the eighteenth century. When the English translation of Engelbert Kaempfer_s History of Japan was published in 1727, Britain was at the height of the coffee boom, but after the appearance of Kaempfer_s book this coffee culture fell into decline and was replaced by a tea culture. At around the same time, gardens different in style to the geometric gardens on the European continent started to appear in Britain and, in the second half of the eighteenth century, many Englishmen traveled overseas in search of plants. English gardens were different from the geometrically designed gardens of Europe, a style which came to be known as landscape gardening. One of the influences on the development of landscape gardening was the Japanese ideal of a _mountain dwelling in the city._ The central task of national development in contemporary Japan is to bring back the scenery of the mountain village to the lives of city residents and to extend the refined culture of the city to the mountain village. This is a revival of the underlying concept of Japan_s culture of tea as the strategic objective of fostering a beautiful life culture that the Japanese can be proud of through the development of _natural residential regions_ in the twenty-first century.
(3) A Garden Island in the Pacific Ocean
As we have seen, Japan appeared on the stage of world history as a beautiful garden nation. This pristine form is strongly linked with its national identity.
The Ancient Concept of the Island as a Garden
According to the legend of the origin of Japan in the Kojiki (712, _Records of Ancient Japan_), the male and female deities Izanagi and Izanami created the islands of Japan after performing a marriage rite. They give birth to the gods that comprise Oyashimaguni, the Land of the Eight Great Islands _first Awajishima, followed by Iyo (Shikoku) , Tsukushi (Kyushu), Oyamato-Toyoakitsushima (Honshu) and the other five islands. The consciousness of being an island country is the foundation of Japan_s national identity.
It is interesting to note that in ancient times the word _island_ had the meaning of _garden._ According to the Nihon shoki (720; _Chronicle of Japan), Soga no Umako built a house on the bank of the Asuka river, dug a pond and made a small island in the middle of it. Impressed by the garden island floating in the pond, people called him the _lord of the island._ As can be seen from the following poems from the eighth-century Many_h_ the earliest extant collection of Japanese poetry, islands were often likened to gardens:
_On this island home of mandarin ducks, your lordship may find spring flowers blooming._ (Book 20-4511)