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In Japan, the garden is considered a barometer of the national prosperity and character, and different periods in history have produced different kinds of gardens. The author gives brief summaries of them all, including the Edo period (1603-1867), when professional gardeners first took over the design of gardens from priests. The gardens of the Meiji Restoratation period (1868-1912), on which the book concentrates, revived the earlier simpler cha-no-yu style of garden heavily influenced by Zen. A special feature of the book is rare period photographs of famous parks and the now vanished gardens of Japanese aristocrats.