Thursday, March 31, 2005

Author Christian Tschumi to discuss Mirei Shigemori at The Japan Society

The Japan Society of Northern California hosts a ‘Meet the Author’ event with Christian Tschumi on May 16 at 6:00 p.m. at the Mechanics’ Institute (57 Post Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco). Registration begins at 5:30 p.m. and a RSVP is required. Register online at or call 415.986.4383. Admission is $5 for Japan Society members and co-sponsors; $7 for non-members.


Discover the controversial scholar who radically altered the way we look at Zen gardens


By Christian Tschumi, Photographs by Markuz Wernli Saito

March 2005 (Berkeley, CA) ­ Stone Bridge Press, publisher of books about Japan, presents the first book in English about the master who revitalized a Japanese classic tradition.

Mirei Shigemori (1896­ - 1975), a garden maker and scholar, who was trained in painting, flower arranging and the tea ceremony, is increasingly admired for his contemporary designs, the result of his life’s objective to restore the evolution of the Japanese garden.

Believing that the Japanese dry landscape garden (or Zen garden) had fallen into cliché, Shigemori applied modernist shapes, colors, and materials to create stunning avant-garde works that also celebrated the ancient gods and rituals at the heart of Japanese culture.

This book explores ten major Shigemori works­from the checker-board garden of Tofukuji (1939) and the "Hidden Christian" dry landscape at Zuiho-in (1961) to the masterful stone settings at Matsuo Taisha (1975)­using design/cultural analysis, garden plans, and photographs.

Christian Tschumi is a practicing landscape architect with degrees from Switzerland, the United States, and Japan. He wrote his dissertation on Mirei Shigemori and the renewal of the Japanese garden.
Markuz Wernli Saito is a visual artist and photographer based in Kyoto and San Francisco.

Mirei Shigemori: Modernizing the Japanese Garden
By Christian Tschumi, Photographs by Markuz Wernli Saito
April 2005, $18.95, 128 pp., paper, 75+ color photos & illustrations
ISBN 1-880656-94-9, 9781880656945
Gardening & Horticulture / Design

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