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Recap: Non-intentional

Tokyo landscape is linearly segmented (JA, 2006:69) – pointillist, layered into a chaotic, organic, synchrotic[1] agricultural and geographical constellation (Kira, 2000b:11) in which the parts endow the whole with a detailed beauty (Ashihara, 1989:143) (1) The aggregate of Tokyo informal DIY gardens (scattered uchi) – an accretion of the close-at-hand[2] – forms the landscape of Tokyo city, but this is neither the coordinated process of millions of Tokyo gardeners nor an intended outcome for the individual gardener. (2) The constructions themselves are ad-hoc agglomerations of ordinary and extra-ordinary constructions temporary in form and materials but not in presence[3], often bearing closer resemblance to a kind of frugal green archeology (Braiterman, 2009: urb arch Brandenburg, 2005: 14) than to any (Japanese or Western) idea of an ideal ‘landscaped’ garden or environment[4] but (3) with an experienced pleasantness that derives from the fringe of the city dissolving into the country (Doppo, 1898[5]) in the deep interiors of the metropolis – (3i) – these shallow rivulets run crisp and cool in the city streets, compared with the deep water of expansive formal parks, contrived (and beautiful) city gardens and commercio-public green[6].

The language of Tokyo gardening transcends the individual and becomes property of society at large, serving as a means of communication[7] and forming the sum total of the linguistic systems which individual members of the community carry in their memories – a complex inventory of all their ideas, interests and occupations. Polyseminal, nothing is final (Ullman, 1962:121, 195). Here, space is able to support relationships flexible enough to cope with the infinite variety of our experiences  – the individual regains sole control over her speech (use) and is able to mold it to match the personal and fine-grained nuances of her life (Ullman, 1962:119).

NOTE: BORROWED LANSCAPES, LENT LANDSCAPES (Kurokawa, 1991:espChpt10) – The non-intentional landscape is the continuation of the idea of “borrowed landscapes” (shakkei) that include surrounding scenery and nearby mountains into ones life into the understanding that the true practice of borrowing keeps in mind that we all are part of the landscape and that someone is looking at us. We must be as concerned with the landscape we lend as the one we borrow.

Expanded, diffuse, semi-seclusion of the megapolis.

[1] Ashihara (1989:43)

[2] Kurokawa (1991:chpt10) discussing Japanese houses.

[3] An eternal here-and-now whose content is transient but whose transience is permanent (Smith, 1978:48).

[4] Not made by ‘experts’, but then, virtuosity has never been a substitute for truth (Ellul, 1978:197).

[5] His essay Musashino discussed in terms of the idea of city as mediation, a basic theme here (in Smith, 1978:58).

[6] See Yoshida Kenkō quoted in Ashihara (1989:31) discussing heating and cooling in Japanese houses. See Sansom (1955:238) for original English translation.

[7] A citizen-oriented society is essentially a society of independent individuals united by communication. If the landscape can be perceived as an image produced by society then the landscape is created through the medium of communication. As the elderly population of Japan starts to shrink we might be optimistic and expect the landscape, which is something that the government has sought to control through systems and regulations, to be turned over to the citizens (Naoki Takeda in Kira and Terada, 2000:224).