Toyama Memorial Museum

Toyama Memorial Museum
On the way back from Tenjinyama Garden, we stopped by Toyama Memorial Museum of Art that Mr. Awano recommended. Even though it has a bus stop from Kawagoe Station in Seibu Line or Okegawa Station in JR Takasaki Line, the museum is a quite inconvenient location at Shirainuma in Kawashima Town, Saitama.

The residents in the museum was the house where Toyama Genichi (1890-1972, founder of Nikko Securities CO., Ltd.) was born. It was ruined once but he rebuilt it by himself for mother experienced ordeals. Traditional Japanese architecture designed by Morooka Soshichi contained thatched-roofed entrance to a corridor connecting the east residence, the west residence and the main residence through Nagayamon (a gate and long house of vassals), was completed in 1936.

This attractive architecture consists of full of points of view that is unfamiliar to ordinal architecture design was mainly supervised by Toshio Toyama, younger brother of Genichi, to be fully rebuilt. The garden was unintentionally organized with a lot of flowers and trees thriving at a first glance. However, if looking more carefully, there were two different ways on the execution of the design, one with designed by professional gardeners and another with Yoshio taking a role on the design, which came out oddly unmatched and disturbed each other. That, in fact, turned out to be interesting outcome. However, as I have seen varied Japanese gardens for a long time, there are some critical points to be mentioned:

No unicursal winding path that is the principal design element in Japanese garden.

Neither focal point in the garden nor perspective to extend toward the backside of the flow provided.

Unstable and topsy-turvy among high-rised lawn area at the backside of the flow on the south compared with lowered lawn by the residence.

No sequential changes by poor tasteless straight motion of the thin and long path.

No correspondence of each garden element such as stone lanterns or stonewash basins, resulting no sense of place.

No rational point for the existence of the sculpture by Masayuki Nagare added and placed in unconsidered location.

There is a tendency to misjudge what is main focus on the design for the garden if trees thriving wildly, flowers fully bloomed, and water flowing, are all for relaxation. The reason I criticize such a glorious Japanese garden in Toyama memorial museum of art is because of the honesty to my own profession. Facing the garden straightly is nothing but respect to the designer of the garden. Unintentionally looking after and managing would make a result disappearing of the true nature of the garden.

Though the fascination of the garden is in the expansiveness of tall trees overgrown in front caused less three-dimensional appearance but rather looked flattened. It is obligatory to prune down to downsize the thriving trees. Overgrown shrubs hide masonry sectioning the garden, and apparently, wipe out the main essence of the garden. As based on the fundamental concept at the time the garden was built, it is necessary to reevaluate a way to manage the garden once more.

In any case, to maintain large-sized garden like this definitely calls for tremendous amount of money, time and intention. I do obeisance to the effort of all people involved to keep up maintenance of the garden.