President of Kitayama Zoen. Born in 1948 in Kyoto. A contemporary master gardener who has received international repute. After graduating from the university, he studied gardening under the late Hiroyasu Komiyama of Komiyama Teien Sosakusho in Kyoto. Thereafter he established his own practice at the age of 26. Since then he has taken charge of many garden projects and restorations including Kodaiji Temple and its Tacchu (sub-temple) of Entokuin, Japan’s oldest Zen-Buddhism temple of Kenninji Temple, Kubota Icchiku Art Museum (Yamanashi Pref.), Entsuji Temple (Saga Pref.), and the rock arrangement design of the Japanese Garden in Forest Experience Zone at the 2005 World Exposition, Aichi, Japan. He has also taken charge of many garden designs in foreign countries such as Italy and some African countries. His design of gardens and rock arrangements is characterized by simplicity that is only attained by trimming off superfluity. Based on his philosophy of “Killing oneself to make oneself alive”, he controls self-assertion and makes a garden that is receptive to every human feeling. This self-control seems to be an embodiment of aesthetics that has traditionally sustained Japanese beauty.
- Yasuo Kitayama