Murin-an: Literary Descriptions and the Interpretation of Experiences in a Japanese Dwelling
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The villa of Murin-an was commissioned by the statesman Yamagata Aritomo in 1894. The garden is considered a collaborative product of Yamagata's vision and the skill of the garden's designer, Ogawa Jihei VII. Although the garden is described as modern and different, an essay written by Yamagata about the villa reveals a dwelling that draws extensively upon literary and historical precedents. This thesis returns to Murin-an, focusing on dwelling as place-making that involves both material construction and transient behavior. A close reading of Yamagata's essay challenges essentialist expectations of natural harmony or meditative experience, bringing to light a garden entangled with the history of the site and the incomplete fabrics of culture. Dwelling is made available as the presence of a culturally defined place, and the literary and material references that give rise to the villa emerge in the full thickness of descriptive depth.
- Architecture