The Nezu Museum & Garden, Tokyo

The entrance, Nezu Museum, Tokyo

I like Kengo Kuma’s story: a man at the helm of his own firm. Steering to his own vision rather than enduring the bureaucracy of a Japanese architectural firm. Westerners gobble up that sort of thing and it piques my curiosity. (Architect Triumphs in Defeat in The Japan Times. October, 3 2010.)

In addition, Mitsumasa Fujitsuka’s photo of the grand entrance to the Nezu Museum which accompanies the article pulls me to the spot. As this design won Kengo Kuma the 2010 Mainichi Art Award, I am determined to see it.

It is exactly the wonder I sensed it would be. Attractions aren’t always. I devote a morning to viewing the celadon exhibit in the galleries and wandering through the garden. This unsung gem was in transition from summer to fall that day, part canopy of green-gray cool and part foliage in flame.

Nezu Museum viewed from the Garden

Nezu Museum Garden Pond

A surge of what can only be called love for the mind, spirit and person who conceptualized and created this space envelopes me. Divinity is present here. My words can’t touch it.

Perhaps Buddha’s can: In this Pure Land there are many fragrant lotus blossoms, and each blossom has many precious petals, and each petal shines with ineffable beauty. The radiance of these lotus blossoms brightens the path of Wisdom, and those who listen to the music of the holy teaching are led into perfect peace.

From The Teachings of Buddha, by Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai. Page 208.
See also: Nezu Museum, Tokyo’s Secret Garden in Tokyo Times.

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