Professional in Landscape Planning Design.
Shunmyo Masuno, born in 1953 in Tsurumi-ku Yokohama city, is one of the world’s preeminent Japanese garden designers, a landscape architect, a professor at Tama Art University and an eighteenth-generation Zen priest at the Kenko-ji Temple in Yokohama. In 2001 he was appointed Head priest of Kenko-ji Temple. Renowned for his ability to blend modern design with traditional Japanese design, Shunmyo Masuno has established gardens around the world -traditional and contemporary, urban and rural, public and private - in a wide variety of settings that include temple, office, hotel, and campus venues. Masunos overriding philosophy is that “the garden is a special spiritual place in which the mind dwells.” As a designer, his spiritual code guides all his works. For Masuno there is a difference between western ideals of beauty and the Japanese concept of beauty. Western beauty, for the most part, is focused on symmetry and perfection. This “completion” prevents the viewer from imagining anything else but what they see. The Japanese concept of beauty focuses on asymmetry, and imperfection/ incompletion. The imperfection is where the soul of the artist is expressed and identifiable. His zen garden is intended to be viewed from specific viewpoints, to calm the mind and soul. As Masuno says, “You gaze upon the garden as though it is a picture.” It is a tool of concentration. The another intention of the zen garden is to create “natural scenery,” a miniaturized version of the world, where one contemplates your place in the earth. The contrasts in the garden is designed to contain “emptiness” and its that emptiness that gives the garden its meaning, and allows the mind to dwell in the space. With that emptiness, an element of tension is introduced, and that tension focuses the mind.