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Amano-One hand clapping

Speaking about Takeshi Amano, his concepts are based on the Japanese view of 
gardens and gardening in general. A japanese garden must emulate nature, it 
should contain all the elemental forces earth, air, water and fire and 
should be viewable from all sides. Each side should present a different yet 
similar face and should emulate the theories espoused by gardeners through 
the ages and also by Amano san

Amano's inspiration are the landscapes he photgraphs and the zen concepts of 
symetry, design and placement. Zen says that nature is perfect in its 
inperfection and this colours his views. Small things such as a branch 
sticking through a fence or moss growing a rock wall are aspects of this.

Like a house or garden exposed to the elements, the aquarium must age 
gracefully, ie: plants must look natural and fill in their alloted space 
without looking unnatural of forced. Groups of 7,5 or 3 are also a Japanese 
concept coming from those ages in a person's life that are important, Shichi 
Go San in Japanese.

Essential to almost any aquarium layout that hopes to emulate nature or 
natural conditions, materials must appear natural and unchanging. Rock and 
woodwork must be viewable from all sides in a Japanese garden and must evoke 
different images to the viewer. Buildings also evoke this aspect as well for 
example a concert hall appears to look like a piano when viewed from above 
and like something else when viewed from the side.

lastly, it comes down to controlling those forces of nature that can be 
controlled, in the natural world nothing is truly stable or unchanging, 
these forces are at work but move very slowly, in Amano's aquatic world this 
becomes an artificial concept of nature.

Of course not everyone agrees with it. But it sure looks pretty.

Edward Venn
SMG Holdings Co., Ltd.,
Deux Chateaux Blanc 2-303,
1356 Kobuchi, Kasukabe,
Saitama, Japan

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