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"Japanese-style gardens"

The Japanese-style garden varies from the Western garden in a number of important aspects. First of all, whereas Western gardens emphasize tight geometry and the restraint of nature, Japanese gardens involve more flexible boundaries, and are often designed to look like miniature natural landscapes. Secondly, the Western garden is created with the view from outside the house in mind. The Japanese garden is more concerned with what the garden will look like from inside the house it beautifies. 

Japanese-style gardens have a history of more than 1,000 years, and a number of distinct styles have emerged. In the ninth century, tsukiyama gardens were popular. These gardens contained a central pond with live fish, raised earthen banks, and stone. Tsukiyama gardens were supposed to represent natural landscapes in miniature form. 

In the twelfth century the Japanese garden was influenced by the aesthetics of Zen Buddhism. The karekansui garden of this time was a dry garden that featured highly controlled elements laid out on a carpet of white sand.    

Modern Japanese gardens often contain a mixture of the elements introduced in previous eras. For example, some mix the karekansui and tsukiyama styles. All Japanese gardens—regardless of the particular style on which they are based—are attempts to strike a perfect balance between natural and artificial elements.