Mitsue Nagase

Jun 20 | 6:00PM
Mitsue Nagase
Event Presenter/Author
Mitsue Nagase

PLEASE NOTE: While this is a free event, RSVPs are encouraged. Seating is limited and will be first come, first served.

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About the book

Renowned artist Kaz Tanahashi reveals the deep, inner spiritual connections that Zen gardens can foster, with over 75 stunning full-color photos of the masterpiece gardens of Kyōto, Japan.

Imagine yourself in Kyōto, Japan, gazing at an ancient temple garden. How would you contextualize what you are seeing? What is the history of the contemplative art form of Zen gardening, which has flourished for centuries? What aesthetic principles inform it?

Richly illustrated with full-color photographs, Gardens of Awakening guides you through a series of Zen temple gardens created from the fourteenth through seventeenth centuries. Some are teeming with plants and flowing water, while others have only rocks and sand. All share in the Zen aesthetics of awakening.

Through essays and commentary on Mitsue Nagase’s striking photographs, beloved Zen artist and translator Kaz Tanahashi presents the gardens in terms of seven qualities that arise from Zen practice: direct, ordinary, vigorous, gleaming, pivotal, nondual, and inexhaustible. Relating these qualities to the development of Zen culture and its influence on Japanese art, Gardens of Awakening invites you deep into the heart of Zen.

About the photographer

MITSUE NAGASE is a photographer who divides her time between her native Japan, Germany, and the U.S. Her photography is influenced by her studies in Miksang, a contemplative approach to photography as a spiritual practice, which she also teaches. For further information about her work and activities, visit:

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