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Jigsaw puzzles from Japan

Temples and gardens of Kyoto

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Kyoto is Japan's number one tourist magnet, and not without good reason. All around the city are temples and gardens, a reminder of the power and riches that once belonged to the old capital, now captured by the camera of Mizuno Katsuhiko.

On this page: puzzles - the photographer - about temples and names

1000 pieces

Hônen-in
© Mizuno Katsuhiko

Hônen-in

This temple was built in the Edo period (roughly 1600-1850) to honour Hônen, who was a much earlier Buddhist teacher. This is the central court, the "yard" of the temple head (not quite literally a yard, but hôjô, a square of side ten Japanese feet); the bridge over the pond symbolises the interval between "this world" and "the other world". The rooms we see feature some spectacular screen paintings, and are sometimes used as a venue for concerts.

What does the name mean?
hô
law
nen
thus
in
temple

Sorry: the gloss is rather mysterious, but after all, it is a personal name.

In stock
An Appleone puzzle: 1000 pieces; 75 x 50 cm (30" x 20")
Code: A10315 (1000-315 on box)
Retail price ¥2500 (approx. US$23.15 €21.19 £17.86)
Shipping from ¥1200 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$11.11 €10.17 £8.57)
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Myôman-ji
© Mizuno Katsuhiko

Kôdai-ji

An unimaginable amount of effort goes into making the rocks in this garden look as though they got where they are naturally!

What does the name mean?
kô
high
dai
stand
ji
temple
In stock
An Appleone puzzle: 1000 pieces; 75 x 50 cm (30" x 20")
Code: A10318 (1000-318 on box)
Retail price ¥2500 (approx. US$23.15 €21.19 £17.86)
Shipping from ¥1200 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$11.11 €10.17 £8.57)
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Ginkaku-ji
© Mizuno Katsuhiko

Ginkaku-ji

Built in 1482 by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa, this was intended to be the silver counterpart to the even more famous Kinkaku-ji ("Gold pavilion"), but somehow they never got round to putting the silver foil on, so it's just wood. The "Silver pavilion" is really a nickname, and officially the temple is called Tôzan-jishô-ji.

What does the name mean?
gin
silver
kaku
pavilion
ji
temple

This temple is very famous: just do a Google search for 'ginkakuji' to find out lots more about it.

In stock
An Appleone puzzle: 1000 pieces; 75 x 50 cm (30" x 20")
Code: A10334 (1000-334 on box)
Retail price ¥2500 (approx. US$23.15 €21.19 £17.86)
Shipping from ¥1200 (N. America, Europe, Australasia: approx. US$11.11 €10.17 £8.57)
Buy this puzzle Add to basket
All about ordering (please read first)

Photographs by Mizuno Katsuhiko

It is a pleasant surprise to find puzzles with a credit to the photographer. Born in Kyoto in 1941, Mizuno earned a degree in literature from Doshisha University in 1964. Since 1969 he has worked as a freelance photographer, in a lifelong quest to capture the essence of Japanese tradition in his native city, and resulting in publication of some one hundred books of his photographs.

Although he has some books published in English, none seems to be in print. (Search ABE for used books)

Temples and names

Most of these names are basically Chinese, so they come out as a string of hard-to-remember syllables. I've added little glosses to the characters (kanji), which should at least be a little more memorable. Take them with a pinch of salt, though. In text I've used characters with circumflex accents (e.g. 'ô') to indicate long vowels; more conventionally these would be macrons as in the blue pronunciation keys.

As usual, I'm writing Japanese names in the original order, so Mizuno is the photographer's family name. (Same as Chinese names, actually, and surely no-one thinks Mao Tse-Tung was "Mr Tung"?) This has always seemed more sensible to me, and recently Japanese practice has swung back this way; at least one of his photo books in English has him as "Mizuno Katsuhiko." Predictably, if you look at the list at ABE half the booksellers have got him backwards.

Other puzzles
Deleted puzzles

For reference: you can view all the puzzles of Mizuno's photographs that are out of print in the Attic.

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