Lafcadio Hearn "In A Japanese Garden"

from "Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan" 1894


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photos: 7/15-16/98

Japanese version is here

    I was sorry to lose the beautiful lake view, but I found it necessary to remove to the northern quarter of the city, into a very quiet street behind the mouldering castle. My new home is a katchiu-yashiki, the ancient residence of some samurai of high rank.

*This photo is the one taken last winter. That's the best angle.

Inside the gate the approach to the dwelling is also walled in on both side, so that the visitor, unless privileged, could see before him only the house entrance, always closed with white shoji.

    *You can now see the white shoji.
    And do you recognize the Tegashiwa plant ?

There is, alas, no lake view nor any charming prospect.

*Lake Shinji, in the twilight (Matsue-city Homepage)

It is shut off from the street, or rather roadway, skirting the castle moat by a long, high wall coped with tiles.

Part of the O-shiroyama, with the castle on its summit, half concealed by a park of pines, may be seen above the coping of the front wall, but only a part;

And scarcely a hundred yards behind the house rise densely wooded heights, cutting off not only the horizon, but a large slice of the sky as well.

For this immurement, however, there exists fair compensation in the shape of a very pretty garden, or rather a series of garden spaces, which surround the dwelling on three sides. Broad verandas overlook these, and from a certain veranda angle I can enjoy the sight of two gardens at once.

to the first garden on the south side