Bodhisattva— an enlightened being who postpones his salvation because has made a commitment to help others attain enlightenment.

Hojo— living quarters of the head priest  in a temple.

Jodo— Jodo of “The Pure Land”, or Jodo of “The western paradise” is a sect of Amida Buddha or Amitabha represented in Japan by priest Honen in 12th century. Monk Honen simplified the teaching of Zen Buddhism so that everyone would be able to practice it. Honen taught that anyone who calls upon Amida Buddha, or chants his name in good faith will be born into the “Western Paradise”, which is the realm of Amitabha. The garden of the Jodo sect temple is an illustration of the idea of the “Western Paradise”.

Karesansui— dry garden consisting of rocks, sand or gravel, moss, shrubs and trees. Gravel and sand usually represent water.

Miegakure— “hide and reveal” is a system of obstacles opposed to a visitor that makes him gradually discover different stroll garden elements in a new context and under a new perspective. It prevents a visitor from discovering a garden at once.

Mount Horai— according to Taoist mythology Mount Horai is a mountain on the shell of a giant turtle in East China Sea. Inaccessible to mortals, Taoist sages fly there on the back of cranes. It is a realm of the immortals where rice bowls and wine glasses are never empty, fruits that heal any ailment. Mount Horai is associated with immortality, eternal youth and happiness.

Niwa— garden. Also means a ceremonial space in front of a palace covered with the send (in the Heian period).

Sanzonseki— grouping of three stones usually symbolizing Buddha accompanied on each side by a bodhisattva.
It can also represent Mount Horai and Mount Sumeru (Shumisen).

Satori— enlightenment, awakening. Discovering one’s true nature, that is Buddha nature.  Desire, passions have been extinguished and the cycle of death and rebirth is stopped.

Shakkei— “borrowed scenery” a real landscape element incorporated into a garden design.

Shogun— military ruler of the country. Shogunate lasted almost 700 years (1200-1868).

Shumisen— (or Sumeru) a sacred mountain at the center of the Hindu Universe.

Taoism— the Chinese philosophical and religious beliefs represented by Lao’zi and Zhuang’zi have shaped life in China for more than 2000 years. It emphasizes living in harmony with the “Tao” (way) which is the source and substance of every being. The first ethical principle is “Wu-way” – “acting without intention”. When acting in harmony with the natural order “Tao”, the action leaves no traces and goes unnoticed. The Taoism advocates life in frugality, humility and compassion. From the encounter of the Mahayana Buddhism which came from India and of the Chinese Taoism originated the Chan Buddhism, which was introduced to Japan in 12th century under the name “Zen Buddhism”.

Torii— a gate in front of the shrine delimiting sacred space.

Tsuboniwa— a small courtyard garden, usually surrounded by two or more buildings of a temple.

Tsukiyama— artificial man made hillock.

Wabi-sabi— esthetics of simple, rustic, time worn objects.

Historical Periods

Heian           785——1184

Kamakura  1185——1392

Muromachi 1393—— 1568

Momoyama 1569——1603

Edo                1603——1867

Meiji              1868——1911

Taisho           1912——1925

Showa           1926——1989

Heisei            1989——