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The meaning of Ryoanji Zen Rock Garden: 龍安寺石庭の意味英語版

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An introduction of Ryoanji Zen Rock Garden

The rock garden of Ryoanji is one of the most famous garden in the world. No one knows what it means. In this article, we’ll make a small inspection on it with many hypotheses.

Usually, a garden like that of Ryoanji is called Karesansi Teien in Japan. We can understand name and meaning of it easily because many gardens are designed on Buddhist teaching and we can know who the designer is. In many cases, we can find them on document Buddhist temple has.

On the other hand, we have scarce knowldge of Karesansui Teien of Ryoanji’s because the temple was caught by fire many times and documents are burnt out.

These things make The Rock Garden remain mysterious.

Before discussing the garden, let us see it.

Ichikisima hime
Ichikisima hime

Here we go!

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Crossing the river with tiger cubs 虎の子渡し

This hypothesis depends on an old Chinese anecdote and the most popular one. When a tiger gives birth to three cubs, one of them is a leopard. The tiger family wants to cross a river. The mother tiger can cross the river with only one cub. The leopard eats tiger cubs without her presence. So, the mother tiger crosses the river in this fashion;

虎の子渡し1

A tiger family. A cub that has a fork is a leopard.

虎の子渡し

The mom crosses the river with the leopard.

The mom comes back.

虎の子渡し

The mom brings a cub to the other side.

虎の子渡し

The mom comes back with the leopard.

虎の子渡し

The mom brings another cub to the other side.

虎の子渡し

The mom comes back to the leopard.

虎の子渡し

The mom crosses the river with a leopard.

a miniature of the rock gardena guidande of the rpckl garden

At Ryoanji temple, there is a miniature of the rock garden and a guidance beside it. The guidance explains that the garden indicates this hypothesis.

たけちよ
たけちよ

This is the most popular meaning. Ryoanji accepts it.



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