1.2 Sakuteiki and Komatsu Castle

   Japan’s Garden-making Classic entitled “Sakuteiki” is considered to be written by Tachibana no Toshituna 橘俊綱(1028-1094) in Heian period (Tamura, 1964,p159). The reasons to introduce this book in relation to Komatsu Castle are twofold. One is in the fact that currently available version of Sakuteiki originated from Maeda Tunatoshi 前田綱利 (1643-1724), the eldest grandson of Maeda Toshitune 前田利常, by whom the oldest manuscript of Sakuteiki was held in 1666 (ibid, p164). Since the year of 1666 was just after 8 years of Toshitune’s passing away, it is highly possible that the manuscript was originally held by Toshitune, the builder and designer of Komatsu Castle.

   The other reason is that the Sakuteiki discusses the extensive use of water in the garden and stresses, in the beginning part, the proper direction for water flow as follows:

      “At the place where the garden will be built, first study the land and devise a general plan. Based on that, dig out the shape of the pond, make some islands, and determine from what direction the water will enter the pond as well as from where it will exit.” (Takei and Keane, 2001, p154)

Takei and Keane(2001)well explains how the gardening practices explained in the Sakuteiki are related to the principles of geomancy. Knowledge of geomancy was formally brought to Japan in 602 by a priest from Paekche named Kanroku (観勒) (ibid, p67). The Taiho Code of 701 instituted the Bureau of Geomancy (Onmyou-ryou, 陰陽寮 in Japanese) within the Interior Ministry, one of eight ministers. A representative example of the use of geomancy in early Japan was the construction of a new capital called Heian-kyo (平安京)as the land of the Four Guardian Gods in Balance (Shishin souou, 四神相応), where the four gods of the Genbu(玄武)to north, the Seiryu(青龍)to east, the Suzaku(朱雀) to south, and the Byakko(白虎)to west were supposed to guard the capital as a whole.

   Though the main focus of the Sakuteiki was the Heian-period Shinden (寝殿) residences, Takei and Keane(2001) first notes that the theories of Yin Yang, I Ching, and Five Phases are applied to garden design “at least with regard to the movement of water through the gardens and to the placement of stones and plants within them” (ibid,p61), and then explains the related parts in the Sakuteiki. As to the harmony of Yin Yang, the following sentences in the section 16 titled Garden Streams are referred;

      “Sending Water to Fire

      There is also a theory of sending water from north to south because north is the Water direction while south is that of Fire. In other words one should send Yin in the direction of Yang, and thus must by facing the two forces against each other, create a state of harmony. Considered in this way, the notion of sending water directly from north to south is not without merit indeed.” (ibid.,p72)

where the referred section numbers such as 16 are those used in Iwanami Shoten (2001). Now we understand that the first and the fifth subsections of watercourses in Komatsu Castle (Figure 1) clearly fit to this guidance.

   As to the examples of the I Ching in the Sakuteiki, Takei and Keane (2001) notes the following sentences in the subsection 16;

      “The Position of the Water Source

       When one is trying to select a site with correct geomantic conditions, remember that the place on the left side where water runs from is called the Land of the Blue Dragon. Similarly, water should run from the east of the Main Hall or outer buildings, then turn south and finally flow out to the west. In the case of water that flows from the north, the stream should first be brought around to the east and then caused to flow to the southwest.” (ibid.,p77)

Water in the first and the second subsections of watercourses in Komatsu Castle (Figure 1) follow through in a clockwise direction and flows out in the southwest direction, as in the direction indicated by in Figure 1, measured from the main building, Tenshudai, of the castle.

The Sakuteiki also notes the following sentences in the subsection 16;

   “Westward Flow of Water in the Garden

     According to the scriptures the proper route for water to flow is from east to south and then toward the west. Flowing from west to east is considered a reverse flow, thus a flow from east to west is standard practice…..The waters from the Blue Dragon will wash all manner of evil off to the Great path of the White Tiger”(ibid.,p78, p86)
This guidance is applied to the second subsection of watercourses in Komatsu Castle, in which water from east flows around Sannomaru(三の丸)district situated in the SE direction o f the Tenshudai and then toward the west, where Sannomaru was the residential area of the castle lord’s warrior servants. Water from east also flows in front of the main gate of the castle called Sannomaru-bashi 三之丸橋, the gate separating the castle area from the townspeople’s districts with a police station and a prison house. Water purified by the Blue Dragon enters Hakuchou-zan, the outer canal of the castle.

   As to the waters of the Blue Dragon having the power to wash off the evil toward the White Tiger, Takei and Keane (ibid., pp86-87) refer to Huainanzi (准南子), stating that there are eight winds, one for each forty-five degrees of the compass and that the two winds called quinmingfeng (清明風), that blows from east to southeast, and mingsbufeng (明庶風), that blows from southeast to south, blow generally westerly, both of which are said to have the power to cleanse all manner of things.

   As to the third subsection of watercourses in Komatsu Castle that transports purified water once again to the position of the water source, from which water flows into the inner canal of the castle, the subsection 21 of the Sakuteiki (Hayashiya,2001, p26) is relevant, where the layout of buildings in the Shinden(寝殿)residences is referred to Takei and Keane (2001, pp12-13):

      “According to one explanation, it does not matter whether the source of a Garden to Stream is from the east, north, or west; if there is an Annex Hall(対屋, Taioku) , then the stream should flow beneath it before continuing out to the Southern Court(南庭, Nantei). Similarly, water that runs out from below the Twin Hall, under the Breezeway (透渡殿, Suiwatadono), and then into the garden pond is typically made to flow in front of the Middle Gate(中門,Chumon)”(ibid.,p182),

where the “Twin Hall” correspond to the Main Hall (寝殿, Shinden) and the East Annex Hall or the West Annex Hall of the Main Hall (Hayashiya,2001, p25).

   In terms of watercourses in Komatsu Castle, the Annex Hall of the Main Hall may correspond to the outer canal of the castle and the Middle Gate to the bridge called Nagabashi (長橋) situated on the beginning of the fourth subsection of watercourses.

As to the fourth subsection of watercourses in Komatsu Castle, the subsection 16 is cited again with several additional sentences, as follows:

      The Position of the Water Source

      “When one is trying to select a site with correct geomantic conditions, remember that the place on the left side where water runs from is called the Land of the Blue Dragon. Similarly, water should run from the east of the Main Hall or outer buildings, then turn south and finally flow out to the west. …. According to the scriptures, the inner curve of the Garden Stream is considered to be belly of the dragon, and it is considered felicitous to build one’s home there. Conversely, the outside of the curve ? dragon’s back ? is considered to be unlucky “(ibid., p176).

The most important rooms in “Honmaru Goten” (本丸御殿) are Ohiroma 御広間, where the castle lord himself would personally meet with his vassals and retainers, and “Goshoin”(御書院), which is the castle lord’s private quarters. Though the main entrance hall faces east, both Ohiroma and Goshoin face sourh (see figure 339-3 on page 389, Inumaru (1999)). Similarly, through the entrance hall of “Rou” (a kind of watchtower) on Tenshudai faces north, “Tokonoma” (床の間) on the uppermost floor of Rou faces southward (see figure 339-4 on page 390, Inumaru (1999). Thus the water running from the east of Honmaru Goten and Tenshudai is considered to stand for the emblem of a dragon and that from the west for the emblem of a tiger. This geomantic interpretation of watercourses surrounding the main compound (“Honmaru”) of the castle was well remembered by people after the demolition of the castle in the end of the 19th century.

  The following is the opening sentences taken from the commentary attached to a map called Komatsu-jyo-no-Zu(小松城之図), which was drawn after the demolition of the castle:

      “Komatsu Castle was called in the old days Ukishiro(浮城)or Rojyou(芦城).Its appearance looked like a dragon’s crouching down and a tiger’s sitting down(龍蟠リ虎踞マルノの概アリキ). Now the remains are only Tenshu-dai (天守台).(Sentence titled Komatsu-jyou Boubi 小松城防備 in Usami (1999), p327 in KS)

These sentences and two bold lines around Honmaru in Figure 1 conform with a traditional Chinese landscape artistry, which may be summarized by a representive contemporary book on Feng-Shui:

      “The landscape betrays the presence of ch’i in its positive (Yang) form as a dragon, and in its negative (Yin) form as a tiger. …These are allegorically called, respectively, the azure dragon and the white tiger. The azure dragon must always be to the left (east), and the white tiger to the right (west) of any site.” (Skinner, 1989, p41)

      “The stream flowing from the east or the west is auspicious if it flows directly towards the hsueh, deflects around it, and then meanders, for the ch’i brought by the stream enters the hsueh directly (by a straight stretch of water) but is taken away from the hsueh indirectly (by a curved path which is slower): it therefore accumulates.” (ibid., p55) Two bold lines in Figure 1 clearly show that the white tiger from the west and the azure dragon from the east travel around the Honmaru, the main compound of the castle, meet in front of the Tenshudai, where the castle’s inner and outer canal channels with the narrow water outlet makes the mating of the dragon water and the tiger water in the south to be calm and smooth. These considerations may imply that the hsueh site in the castle was intended to be the Tenshudai.