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Gardens, Bonsai and Poetry in Edo and Tokyo: Evolving Traditions Keeping the Ideal of Living in Harmony with Nature Alive

journal contribution
posted on 2024-03-27, 04:06 authored by Glenn Moore, Cassandra AthertonCassandra Atherton
Tokyo is a fast-paced, crowded city, where it is easy to feel disconnected from nature. The disconnect began when Edo emerged as the world’s biggest city, and residents compensated with gardens, by growing bonsai, and through nature-themed poetry. This article analyses the way these three activities have enabled people to feel closer to nature, and argues that although each has its own traditions, they have also evolved, enabling them to stay relevant through the years. In the Edo Period this involved the democratisation of poetry and bonsai, and in the Meiji and Showa periods public parks were created. In the 21st century, manga and anime are keeping a new generation in touch with traditional nature-themed poetry, and innovative poets and bonsai masters are reaching modern audiences and helping keep the ideal of living in harmony with nature alive.

History

Journal

Electronic Journal of Contemporary Japanese Studies

Volume

23

ISSN

1476-9158

eISSN

1476-9158

Issue

2

Publisher

University Sheffield

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