Centenary of Tatton's Japanese Garden | Knutsford Times

Centenary of Tatton’s Japanese Garden

By on April 22, 2011

2011 marks the centenary of the introduction of the celebrated Japanese garden at Tatton Park.

This beautiful haven, a serene central point in Tatton’s landscaped pleasure grounds, was introduced to Tatton by Alan de Tatton Egerton (1845-1920), 3rd Baron Egerton of Tatton. It was almost certainly inspired by his visit to the Anglo-Japanese Exhibition at White City in London in 1910 and is now considered ‘the finest example of a Japanese garden in Europe’.

The centenary is being marked by a series of events.  On Monday, May 2, a Japan Children’s Day Celebration takes place in the gardens.   Visitors are invited to experience the colour and atmosphere of Japan’s national Children’s Day celebrations at our Japanese garden.

Japan Children’s Day (Kodomo No Hi) is an annual event where children are celebrated and people wish for their health, growth and happiness. It takes place in Japan each year on May, 5: the fifth day of the fifth month

At Tatton’s event, children will be able to take part in a number of activities, such as trying their hand at writing Kanji, the elegant Japanese script; trying on kimonos; sushi-sampling and taking part in a fun, interactive quiz.  A group of Taiko drummers will also wowed with their dramatic, rhythmic sounds.  Our older visitors may also wish to take part in a tour of the Japanese garden or enjoy a talk about the historic garden.

The garden was carefully restored 10 years ago, under the guidance and expertise of Professor Fukuhara of Osaka University of Arts in Japan.  We are delighted that Professor Fukuhara will be joining us for Japan Children’s Day and for a series of practical workshops and talks from Tuesday, May 3 to Saturday, May 7, of which there are further details below.  There are

Until Sunday, July 3 visitors can also experience a Mansion exhibition, Visions of Paradise. The multi-faceted exhibition features striking and informative interpretive panels, kindly loaned by the Japanese Garden Society and; a number of beautiful items from Tatton’s own collection, including 19th century porcelain; a 19th century Japanese woodblock print album; earthenware known as Banko ware and 19th and 20th century books about Japanese architecture and gardens.

In addition, and on public display for the very first time at Tatton, are a series of extraordinary items of Japanese armour and weaponry loaned from Manchester Art Gallery, including an arresting Japanese helmet bowl or Hoshi bachi kabuto (from about 1600); a lacquered steel face mask or Mempo with an expression called Ressei Men or ‘fierce face’; a sword stick; an armour-piercing dagger or yoroi-toshi and a pair of 18th century stirrups.

These pieces were among a substantial collection of armour amassed by Wilbraham Egerton (1832-1909), 2nd Baron Egerton and 1st Earl Egerton of Tatton. The collection of more than 200 items was presented to Manchester Art Gallery after his death by his daughter Gertrude, Countess of Albemarle.  A keen collector, Wilbraham produced an academic catalogue of ‘Indian and Oriental Arms and Armour’ in 1896.

Brendan Flanagan, Tatton Park and Visitor Economy Manager said: “Japanese gardens are like beautiful works of art. This celebration is a great way to mark the centenary of Tatton’s wonderful garden and engage all the family in something creative but fun.”

Many thanks to our supporters for their assistance with the Japanese Garden centenary celebrations: Cheshire East Council; The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation; The Embassy of Japan in the UK; The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation; The Japanese Garden Society; Manchester Art Gallery; The National Trust and Tatton Park Trust.

Events to mark the centenary year:

Japan Children’s Day Celebration: Monday, May 2, 2011

Activities take place 11am to 5pm. Garden entry Adult £5, Child £3, Family £13. NT members free entry. Car entry £5

Japanese Garden Lecture: Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Join Professor Fukuhara for an informal and interactive lecture. Learn about the origins, history and symbolism of the style and design of Japanese gardens including stone arrangements, plants and shrubs and the use of Japanese lanterns and other artefacts.
Full day. £40

Japanese Garden Design: Wednesday, May 4, 2011
A practical workshop with Professor Fukuhara on how to portray and design your own Japanese garden.  Full day. £40.  £70 for May 4th & 5th

Building a Japanese Garden: Thursday, May 5, 2011
A practical workshop with Professor Fukuhara on how to build a small Japanese garden.
Full day. £40. £70 for May 4th & 5th.

Bamboo Fencing: Friday, May 6, 2011
Visit the Japanese garden with Professor Fukuhara and learn how to tie the special knots to make ‘four eye’ fencing in a Japanese garden. Full day. £40.

Talk and tour.  The Japanese Garden at Tatton Park: Saturday, May 7, 2011
Find out how the Japanese garden was originally built and the surprises during Professor Fukuhara’s research to restore the garden to its original form. Then take a tour with him to see and hear about the special features that make this garden such a unique historical treasure. £45

Special package price for all lectures/workshops above: £185

Japanese Print Workshop: Sunday, May 15, 2011
Capture the shapes, colours and patterns of the Japanese garden with some preliminary sketch work and then return to the workshop with an artist practitioner to make various Japanese prints using mono printing, press printing or collograph. Suitable for complete beginners to intermediate. Full day. £22

Japanese Print Workshop: Sunday, June 5, 2011
Capture the shapes, colours and patterns of the Japanese Garden with some preliminary sketch work and then return to the workshop with an artist practitioner to make various Japanese prints using mono printing, press printing or collograph. Suitable for complete beginners to intermediate. Full day. £22

Tatton Park show garden, RHS Flower Show: Wednesday, July 20 to Sunday, July 24 2011
Tatton Park’s show garden exhibit at the 2011 flower show will be inspired by and celebrate its famous Japanese garden. See this garden along with many other gardens and horticultural highlights during a great day out at the north’s must see event of the year. For more information visit the rhs website.

Courses must be booked in advance, please call 01625 384428 or email tattoneducation@cheshireeast.gov.uk

Visit our website www.tattonpark.org.uk for times and prices.

About Vicky Wilby

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