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Ryoan-ji rock garden ring

  • In stock 
  • Materials:  sterling silver
  • Size: 19 mm, UK: S, US: 9 1/8
Matted sterling silver ring depicting the Ryoan-ji rock garden of famous japanese zen-buddhism monastery.

The temple's name is synonymous with the temple's famous 'Zen garden', the karesansui (dry landscape) rock garden, thought to have been built in the late 15th century.

The garden is a rectangle of 248 square meters. Young and Young put the size at twenty-five meters by ten meters. Placed within it are fifteen stones of different sizes, carefully composed in five groups; one group of five stones, two groups of three, and two groups of two stones. The stones are surrounded by white gravel, which is carefully raked each day by the monks. The only vegetation in the garden is some moss around the stones.

The garden is meant to be viewed from a seated position on the veranda of the hojo, the residence of the abbot of the monastery.

The stones are placed so that the entire composition cannot be seen at once from the veranda. They are also arranged so that when looking at the garden from any angle (other than from above) only fourteen of the boulders are visible at one time. It is traditionally said that only through attaining enlightenment would one be able to view the fifteenth boulder.

The wall behind the garden is an important element of the garden. It is made of clay, which has been stained by age with subtle brown and orange tones. In 1977, the tile roof of the wall was restored with tree bark to its original appearance.

When the garden was rebuilt in 1799, it came up higher than before and a view over the wall to the mountain scenery behind came about. At present this view is blocked by trees.

The garden had particular significance for the composer John Cage, who composed a series of works and made visual art works based on it.
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