New video – KAHO Gallery

         A new video – the KAHO Gallery in Kyoto – is now on the e-learning Platform of JAPANESE GARDEN INSTITUTE !

To watch it, rendez-vous at this adress :
http://www.japanese-garden-institute.com/elearning/

Video of Kaho gallery - Kyoto - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

Looking forward to having you among the community of the “Sublime SUKIYA” Academy (prev. NIWAKI Inspiration ZEN) … !

Niwaki – Master piece !

        “One can not doubt, Japan is a country where the tree is king ! It is commonplace to see gigantic specimens moved with large crane and labor reinforcements because they are simply on the way of a highway or other large construction sites …

Niwaki and japanese gardens - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

About niwaki, it is the same thing, trees are commonly transported in this country, as we transport in the West the arches of a concrete bridge or the wooden frames of the roof of a gymnasium !

So, here is the transport and installation of one of them – of the kind which never leave Japan – in the gardens of an enormous Buddhist temple of the Aichi prefecture …

Niwaki and japanese gardens - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

A huge and beautiful black pine with a “long branch on a side” or a katanagareshitate style …

Niwaki and japanese gardens - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

Niwaki and japanese gardens - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

The precious lading is detached from all the ties that held it firmly to avoid any breakage …

Niwaki and japanese gardens - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

Then it is placed on the edge which must accommodate it with the help of a truck crane…

Niwaki and japanese gardens - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

Niwaki and japanese gardens - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

One can admire here the beautiful architecture of the long branch…

Niwaki and japanese gardens - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

A mound has been laid out at the base with large rocks and loose soil, and a trench filled around with water in order to properly moisten the rootball, and ensure a correct resumption and development of the roots. During this time, the crown takes advantage of a small cleaning …

Niwaki and japanese gardens - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

Niwaki and japanese gardens - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

A splint is also installed to support the long branch and thus hold the entire tree in place during its root installation. This one will be fixed there with the aid of string of rot-proof palm fibers …

Niwaki and japanese gardens - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

Is not this long branch simply amazing ?

Niwaki and japanese gardens - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

A great THANK to Takahiko San.

Re-create the essence…

        “When creating a garden, visualize the famous landscapes of our country and come to understand their most interesting points. Re-create the essence of those scenes in the garden, but do so interpretatively, not strictly.” – Sakutei-ki 作庭記

Japanese garden essence - Niwaki and japanese gardens - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

Hashimoto Gahō (1835-1908)

If you wish to connect the authentic soul of the Japanese garden, I suggest you the video “Basics of the Japanese Garden – Setting stones” of 80 minutes, where you will find all the ancestral teachings that are decrypted. You can buy it after subscribing on this page : E.learning Platform of Japanese Garden Institute

Japanese garden essence - Niwaki and japanese gardens - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

Or if you prefer practicing, I offer you a two-day course that is already scheduled in France for several years and will soon also be in North America, in my training center.

Chabana 茶花

        The art of provoking emotion in front of the simple beauty, natural, even raw. To succeed in generating elegance and refinement through rustic materials, patinated by the wear and tear of time … It is Japan that I love, which enthousiasms me !

All those who are interested at least a little bit in Japan are familiar with the ikebana, a traditional floral arrangement. However, there is another, born of the first, but which evolved into a less formal and much simpler style, the chabana. The first kanji 茶 means “tea” and the second 花 “flower”. It was used by the first tea masters, certainly developed by Sen no Rikyū himself, and over time it became the standard of the floral arrangement for the tea ceremony, deposited with delicacy in the tokonoma to delight the guests.

It is characterized by an arrangement of simple seasonal flowers – very important, the respect of the season for the concept of wabi-sabi – coming from the garden, nearby fields, an undergrowth… in a vase usually made of a natural material such as bamboo, metal or ceramic. This art is of such simplicity that it often happens that a single flower is used.

This pleases me so much and arouses so many emotions in me that I began to practice !

I give you my first stammers……

Chabana - Niwaki and japanese gardens - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

Therapeutic Japanese gardens – Niwatherapy© – Frederique DUMAS

        Japan is the home of forest therapy and shinrin yoku 森林浴, which literally means “forest baths”. We find again in this term, kanji 森 and 林 which mean “forest”, as a crowd of small kanji 木 means “tree”, and the kanji 浴 meaning “bathe”, “stimulate with”.

Therapeutic Japanese gardens - Niwatherapy - Niwaki and Japanese gardens - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com www.jardinsplenitudezen.com

This practice is the result of a lot of scientific studies conducted by Professor Qing Li and his team at Nippon Medical School of Tokyo which show that natural landscapes have an important impact on the evacuation of stress, return to a peaceful state, and that forests vitalize our immune system by boosting the number of killer cells and anti-cancer proteins, thanks to terpenes* of trees and other plants.

In the spirit of this Japanese culture, it is not difficult to imagine why gardens reflect nature so perfectly, since it is so indispensable to our health.

Therapeutic Japanese gardens - Niwatherapy - Niwaki and Japanese gardens - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com www.jardinsplenitudezen.com

Look for example, the traditional Japanese tea garden, the roji … a small path of flat stones that winds through an undergrowth with aerial and diaphanous vegetation, flooding us with scents of humus, sap and damp mosses, leading to a clearing where one discovers a charming little building made from noble and natural materials, earth, wood and thatch, conducive to calm and rest, welcoming all the reassuring ritual, respectful and full of consideration of the tea ceremony.

Therapeutic Japanese gardens - Niwatherapy - Niwaki and Japanese gardens - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com www.jardinsplenitudezen.com

These same studies show that we have totally the reverse result in a concrete “forest”. Hence the major interest of creating in our cities when it is essential to live there, not only areas of greenery, gardens, but above all the most spontaneous and faithful reflections of nature, so conducive to our health and well-being.

Therapeutic Japanese gardens - Niwatherapy - Niwaki and Japanese gardens - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com www.jardinsplenitudezen.com

The forest, thanks to all its population of essences, is the richest place of terpenes that stimulate the good functioning of our organism, as well as its ability to defend itself. You will have understood, a garden reflecting the closest nature is the most favorable to our health.

niwatherapie0-2

*Terpenes are a class of hydrocarbons present in plants. They are often the “fragrance” constituents such as turpentine, camphor, menthol, citronella … which are extracted in the form of essential oils.

Frederique DUMAS
Quantum hortitherapy . NIWATHERAPY©
Creation of therapeutic Japanese gardens
Shinrin yoku 森林浴 and Forest therapy
www.frederique-dumas.com

Japanese gardens – purism, authenticity, perfection …

        These three definitions mainly characterize my vision of the Japanese garden: purism, authenticity and perfection.

purism, authenticity, perfection - Niwaki and Japanese gardens - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com www.jardinsplenitudezen.com

If a dictionary is opened, it will be read that purism corresponds to the desire to respect in the smallest details the principles of an art. However, this does not exclude, for me, evolution and/or borrowing, from the moment they fit into its basic principles.
Authenticity defines the character of what is accurate, original, sincere, a truth that can not be contested.
As for the perfection, it corresponds to the state of something which is perfect in its kind, a quality of mind carried to the highest degree, the achievement of an ideal without falling in its perverse sides.

purism, authenticity, perfection - Niwaki and Japanese gardens - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com www.jardinsplenitudezen.com

So, even if it is displeasing to some people, it’s just like that … simply because it’s my Way, my path of Life, a real choice that pleases me to the highest point. I fell in it when I was a tiny girl aged just four years old …
I do not oblige anyone to join, nor do I try to convert, nor do I want to waste my time “discussing”, each considering what he senses as the only valid point of view. I simply express what impresses me, makes me vibrate, arouses emotion in me … I share what I regularly learn at source from Japanese specialists because it excites me.
Afterwards, everyone does as he wants, sincerely as long as it does not harm anyone, it matters little to me. If a person wants to name his creation as “Japanese garden” because it has only placed a lantern, a cut tree and a few stone steps, that’s his business, not mine. If that’s enough to satisfy her … we simply do not have the same values.

purism, authenticity, perfection - Niwaki and Japanese gardens - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com www.jardinsplenitudezen.com

Now, why does my choice so many insecure some persons, what makes them feel so threatened, sometimes creating rather disproportionate reactions, I do not know … I have not the answers for them, but, I have to say, it’s quite amazing and amusing !

purism, authenticity, perfection - Niwaki and Japanese gardens - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com www.jardinsplenitudezen.com

Thank you to Kanetsuna san for all this beauty…

New video – Nomura Residence

         A new video – the Nomura Residence in Kanazawa – is now on the e-learning Platform of JAPANESE GARDEN INSTITUTE !

To watch it, rendez-vous at this adress :
http://www.japanese-garden-institute.com/elearning/

Video of Nomura residence - Kanazawa - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

Looking forward to having you among the community of the “Sublime SUKIYA” Academy (prev. NIWAKI Inspiration ZEN) … !

Japanese gardens – Stop the cliché !

        The West, in successive waves, regularly felt a pronounced passion for the art of Japanese gardens. This is easily understood when one knows their main base, a willingness to live in harmony with nature, that is to say, to stay connected with the divine, the universe, life, … whatever the name given to it.

Our current “stressed” society is again experiencing this craze, desperately researching that it could bring it some peace and quiet, unconsciously knowing where is its salvation. Unfortunately, this research stays very superficial, focusing mainly on some techniques and ornaments that could get it closer.

When Japanese people come in France, they give a polite smile at the sight of our so-called “Japanese” gardens, but in their heart, they think that the Westerners have strictly understood nothing. As for the Japanese garden professionals, those I know well tell me that they often see things that make them excessively sad !!!

In the West, in Europe, and I am sorry to see it, especially in France, we are the specialists of “cliché” gardens !

For example, placing a torii at the entrance or inside his garden !!! Torii are exclusively reserved for Shinto shrines. It is a religious ornament. Imagine an Asian person creating a French garden and there “sticking” an enormous crucifix at the entrance. It is exactly the same situation, but the reverse.

jardins japonais stop clichés

And then, there are also the red bridges … Ah, the red bridges !!! The red bridge (although there are still some that exist in Japan in a few rare gardens) is only the trace of the Chinese influence that marked Japan at a certain period of its history, shoin style, very tinny. This is absolutely not characteristic of Japan ! The Japanese taste is simple, natural, elegant, refinement in sobriety and a certain form of rusticity …

There is also a surge of so-called “Japanese gardens” practically devoid of shade, or even in totality, exposed all day to the fiery rays of the sun, thus in excess of yang energy. Yes, it’s true, it’s tiring to pick up the dead leaves in the fall ! An authentic Japanese garden consists of a third of a sunny area for two thirds of shaded area, bringing freshness and darkness, so appeasement and comfort, particularly appreciated by the Japanese people. To understand it, you just have to read a monument of Japanese literature, the famous “In Praise of Shadows”

jardins japonais stop clichés

And then there’s the clouds pruning ! Yes, it is just as tiring to place and replace rope guys for several years, in order to obtain a tree, an authentic niwaki, which truly resembles what it becomes with time in nature. This requires patience … difficult in our society accustomed to getting everything, and right away. Most prefer the ease in creating the approximate, approaching, and affirm that it is Japanese garden !

So … who is able to name me a real and authentic Japanese garden, here in the West … ?

The torii … female sex symbol

        You may already know that shintō sanctuaries are places dedicated to one or more deities, the kami. In Japanese, one calls them jinja or jingū, or . They are easily distinguishable from Buddhist temples, as there are often many objects painted in red vermilion and the entrance is adorned with a torii, a kind of portico that tells you that once you cross it, you enter a sacred land.

Japanese gardens - Stop the cliché ! - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

And it is not the first time I explain to you that a torii hasn’t its place in a Japanese garden. I let you consult one of my other articles on this subject…

But what I learned recently (yes, we all learn things every day), is that symbolically, this torii represents the lower half of a woman’s body, standing on her two legs, and the upper part representing her sexual organs …! Wow, wow, wow … I see from here the face of some good-big “sexists” that one can meet in the field of the “landscape”. But may be the opportunity to finishing once time for all with the torii in the so-called western “Japanese gardens” !!!

Once the torii has been crossed, the path leading to the sanctuary is called sandō, the homonym of the same word which literally means “the path of childbirth”. The ideogram 宮 which be reading and that one finds in the word jingū 神宮 is the same kanji used in the word shikyū 子宮 which signifies “uterus”.

Japanese gardens - Stop the cliché ! - Frederique Dumas www.japanese-garden-institute.com www.frederique-dumas.com

So when you go into a sanctuary, you enter a pure and sacred place, where life is conceived, and once purified, when you come out, it is like a birth and the beginning of a new life. Somehow a rebirth…

A great thank you to CCFJT of Toulouse for all these interesting details.

Teaching … such a beautiful trade !

        I want to react today about the profession of teacher, such a beautiful trade …

Each trade requires specific gifts and talents. And that of a teacher requires certain indispensable qualities such as patience, aptitude for self-questioning, management of a group, but also benevolence, respect, and above all humility or acceptance that the learner can excel !
However, it also requires an indispensable quality which is the ability to discern instantly what is in imbalance, which requires a correction.

voyage etudes japon spiritual japan niwaki tour initiatique conscience jardins japonais niwaki evolution personnelle

Being patient, for example, means being able to repeat, and to repeat, even reformulate, to facilitate and enable the student’s understanding. Being benevolent means being understanding and indulgent, but it does not mean being a kind of “yes man”. I have participated in many internships in my life until today, and I would have never agreed to pay several hundred of € for a few days to a trainer who would not have had the courage to show me my mistakes, to be acceptable, by simple “cronyism”, for fear of hurting my susceptibility or having to confront.

voyage etudes japon spiritual japan niwaki tour initiatique conscience jardins japonais niwaki evolution personnelle

Because a trainer is there to move his students forward, and as error is an integral part of the learning process, he is obliged at a certain moment, to express himself on this ground. Keeping silent, or telling someone who comes to learn that he is doing things right when it is not the case, is to mock him, it is to deceive him !

voyage etudes japon spiritual japan niwaki tour initiatique conscience jardins japonais niwaki evolution personnelle

Nowadays, unfortunately, I too often see people who turn into a “trainer”, in ALL professional circles, because they think that their experience in a trade or a practice is sufficient, or because they see a way to round off their month ends, because they are trying to copy another person, because they have experienced a setback in their professional life … and so on. It is not a simple “training number” issued by an administration serving only to list, which makes the quality of a teacher !

voyage etudes japon spiritual japan niwaki tour initiatique conscience jardins japonais niwaki evolution personnelle

Our students deserve the best, and certainly a teacher who has the courage to show them where they have done wrong and how to do better next time to progress, with the aim, if they wish, to achieve excellence.