Bamboo has always played an important role in Japanese daily life, and the versatile plant has been used for numerous purposes ranging from food, garden design, and furniture to cooking utensils. Among its applications in the garden and home is its use as a raw material for fences and partitions. Indeed, in Japan bamboo fence building has become an art form, and endless varieties of bamboo fences exist, from simple picket designs to elaborate fences woven with bamboo branches. This wide range of fence designs has its origin partly in the full development of the tea ceremony during the sixteenth century, when elegant bamboo fences became important elements of tea ceremony gardens. Bamboo partitions were also used in Zen temples, and from there spread to ordinary homes. Many fence styles are named for the temple in which the first of their kind was build.
Bamboo Fences provides a detailed look at the complex art of bamboo fence design in Japan, presenting these unique structures in over 250 photographs and line drawings. From the widely used "four-eyed fence" (yotsume-gaki) and the fine "raincoat fence" (mino-gaki) to the expensive "spicebush fence" (kuromoji-gaki), these exquisite designs impress with their simple beauty, providing plenty of inspiration for your own bamboo fence.
Author Isao Yoshikawa gives a brief overview of the history of bamboo fence building in Japan and classifies the different designs by type. A glossary provides explanation of Japanese fence names and structural terms.