I was fortunate enough to watch (and tape) this program on PBS (WNET, New York) in Aug. 1995. I had found it unusually calming, the first time I watched it. The choice of music is very much to my taste (other viewers may or may not care for it). The selected gardens and the photography also make this an exceptionally tasty program. Despite the beauty of the scenery, etc., I do think that some of the 'art' is basically pretense and unquestioned tradition (the tea ceremony, especially). Even for a cynical outsider who does not buy into Zen Buddhism or the Japanese culture, however, the program offers much that can be instructive and illuminating. As someone who has over 1,000 documentaries, I find it hard to name a handful of programs that can make me feel more reverent for natural beauty. Possibly, there are far better and far more detailed programs like this in original Japanese (or in other languages). If so, there is much that English-speaking audiences are missing. In the program, a few minutes are given to two sculpture gardens by Isamu Noguchi (November 17, 1904 - December 30, 1988). If I were to have a large garden to design, I would put far more emphasis on edible plants and plants that may invite birds and bees. Meditative potential would not be paramount to me. That said, I recognize that there is much to learn from masters in the Japanese and Zen traditions.
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