Okayama Korakuen, Okayama, c. 1910.

1910sOutside TokyoParks & Gardens
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Korakuen Park, Okayama, c. 1910.

Korakuen Park, Okayama, c. 1910.

From the wiki: “Kōraku-en is a Japanese garden located in Okayama, Okayama Prefecture. It is one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan, along with Kenroku-en (at Kanazawa) and Kairaku-en (at Mito). Korakuen was built in 1700 by Ikeda Tsunamasa, daimyo of Okayama.

“In 1687, the daimyo Ikeda Tsunamasa ordered Tsuda Nagatada to begin construction of the garden. It was completed in 1700, retaining much of its original appearance today. The garden was originally called Koen (‘later garden’) because it was built after Okayama Castle. However, because the garden was built in the spirit of sen-yu-koraku [‘grieve earlier than others, enjoy later than others’], the name was changed to Korakuen in 1871.

“In 1884, ownership was transferred to Okayama Prefecture and the garden was opened to the public. The garden suffered severe damage during the floods of 1934 and by bombing damage in 1945 during World War II. It has been restored based on Edo period paintings and diagrams. The garden covers a total area of approximately 133,000 square meters, with the grassed area covering approximately 18,500 square meters. The length of the stream which runs through the garden is 640 meters. It features a central pond called Sawa-no-ike (Marsh Pond), which contains three islands purported to replicate the scenery around Lake Biwa near Kyoto.”

Korakuen Garden, Okayama, c. 1920. In the distance can be seen Okayama Castle.

Korakuen Garden, Okayama, c. 1920. In the distance can be seen Okayama Castle.

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