Behind the Scenes at Ritsurin Garden: Online Talk and Visit
Take the opportunity to get special behind-the-scenes insights at Kikugetsutei, an historic teahouse located in the late 16th-century Ritsurin Garden in Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture as part of the programme of events in conjunction with Japan House London’s current exhibition Windowology: New Architectural Views from Japan.
Kikugetsutei was designed in such a way that all four sides have the same structure as the front façade (shihō shōmen zukuri) and it was commonly used as a tea or banquet hall. Ritsurin Garden, which was originally created as a feudal garden to entertain the guests and the daimyō (feudal lord) himself, consists of 6 ponds and 13 artificial hills on the site of one of the largest gardens in Japan, covering an area of 75 hectares. In 1953, the garden was officially designated as a Special Place of Scenic Beauty by Japan's Agency for Cultural Affairs.
In this live, online event, Japan House London focuses on the professionals who work hands-on in Ritsurin Garden to maintain its aesthetics and functions. Following an introduction to the history of Ritsurin Garden from the origin to its current state, guests can hear directly from professional figures who take care of specific aspects of the garden, such as the over 300 year-old pine trees and the amado shutters at Kikugetsutei. During the event there is also an opportunity for guests to ask questions to the speakers.
A short film highlighting the architectural features of Kikugetsutei appears in the series screenings Hashirama Sōchi: Equipment in Between by Nakatani Norihito currently shown in The Hall and The Gallery at Japan House London until 24 April 2022.
About the Speakers
Born in Shōdoshima Island, Kagawa Prefecture, Morikawa Shigehito has been a gardener for 23 years. He is the gardening team leader and a tree surgeon, working for the maintenance of the trees in Ritsurin Garden.
Kondō Nanami has been working at Kikugetsutei for three years. In addition to serving matcha and giving visitors guided tours of Kikugetsutei, she opens and closes the amado shutters as part of her daily routine.
Kokudo Tomio is the director of the Ritsurin Garden Tourism Office in Kagawa Prefecture. He plans the events held in Ritsurin Garden, and manages the facilities and trees in the garden, including Kikugetsutei.