Katsura: A Princely Retreat
The German architect Bruno Taut compared the Katsura in cultural importance with the Parthenon. In this book, we are given a stunning tour of the seventeenth-century imperial villa and its garden through lush photographs, architectural drawings, a foldout site plan, and an instructive commentary on the history and aesthetic scheme behind this rural mansion.
In What Is Japanese Architecture?, the authors write: "The Katsura Detached Palace is a nobleman's private Xanadu and was built in the countryside to allow unimpeded relaxation in the midst of nature. Toshihito, Toshitada, and their guests would admire the cherry blossoms in spring and the crimson leaves in autumn at their spacious garden pond. The grounds form an integrated whole with the buildings within it. The tastefully situated rocks and artfully maintained trees and bushes are not meant to be the occasional object of an admiring glance or quarter-hour's stroll, but to be the constant, active companions of the residents...." – Amazon
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