Sukiya Living Magazine (JOJG)
issue of Sukiya Living Magazine includes a stimulating essay by the
publisher, Douglas M. Roth (right). Here are some of the topics
that have been published in past issues:
TRAIN IN JAPAN
This essay explains how Westerners can train as gardeners (or carpenters)
in the famous Japanese gardens in Japan. JOJG has established several
intern positions for gardener and carpenter candidates. The article
explains application procedures and selection requirements. It also
briefly explains what it is like to work and live in Japan.
THE THICK WALL "By splitting residential design into two
realms, architecture and landscape design, we have made the wall of our
homes thick indeed, and it’s no surprise that the inside and outside are
poorly integrated. They should be designed by one single person who
cares equally about both sides of the wall."
NOISY FESTIVALS This article offers criticisms of the large
noisy festivals that some public gardens put on. Mr. Roth offers
several suggestions to improve the quality of such festivals, including the
idea of doing away with them altogether.
INTERNET MINEFIELD This article points out that, of the huge
amounts of information on the internet, some is useful and some is just
garbage. Overall the article states, “Don’t rely on the internet for your
Japanese garden information. Read JOJG instead.”
LIVING This essay explains problems that arise from the term,
"Japanese Garden." Mr. Roth introduce another term that he thinks is
WHY IS PORTLAND SO GOOD? There is a lot of talk in Portland,
Oregon, about how great their garden builder, Takuma Tono, was. Their
team of 8 imported garden directors (who really deserve most of the credit)
are rarely mentioned. This essay hopes to partially change that.
People like Masa Mizuno deserve much more credit, and Takuma Tono much less.
THE SHIOSAI PROJECT This essay introduces the ground-breaking
research that JOJG is doing to rank gardens in Japan according to quality.
The essay talks a bit about the current #1 garden at the Adachi Art Museum.
CREATIVITY IS NOT THE GOAL The goal is to create a high-quality
environment that works and is special. That has little to do with whether
something is “creative” or not. Mr. Roth criticizes the prevailing 20th
Century take on architecture, art, and other fields which is, essentially,
“to be a great artist or designer, you must put your own stamp on everything
and ‘create’ new things that were never done before.” He calls this approach
the “Designer as God” mentality. It has resulted in uglyness all over the
world, and it has accelerated the decline of the craftsman.
GARBAGE IN, GARBAGE OUT This essay was a rant against
know-nothing authors and internet jockeys who, despite their ignorance, are
cavalier about recycling bad information for public consumption. The essay
encourages readers to vigorously challenge websites, footnotes, publishers,
and other devices that are normally respected in the regular world.
IN CHARGE OF THE SHOE FACTORY The guy in charge of the shoe
factory ought to know something about shoes. Mr. Roth's rather
straightforward idea is that directors of public gardens ought to know
something about Japanese gardening. Interestingly, many public gardens hire
“non-profit” types instead of people with expertise in the “core product”
that they’re offering.
LIFELONG STUDY This essay was a description of Mr. Roth's study
program. His main point is that it never ends - you never get to the end of
PRESERVATION = THE END In the sukiya living world, historical
preservation is a bad idea. This essay explains why.
MORE SAMPLE ARTICLES
SUKIYA LIVING MAGAZINE (JOJG)