Tomb of the Toriumi Family, Blessed Garden
- Takeshi Nagasaki / N-tree
An unusual request for the creation of a tomb for the Toriumi family in Chiba, next to Tokyo, resulted in this extraordinary masterpiece. This project had four objectives, in accordance with the clients’ wishes and the late Mr. Toriumi’s will. Firstly, to build the tomb facing their ancestors in the Konzo-ji temple’s cemetery; secondly, to build tombs for his sons on both sides of the late Mr. Toriumi and his wife’s tomb, as if for the sons protect their parents; thirdly, to carve the late Mr. Toriumi’s favourite words of ‘shiseitsuten’ (which means that the pure mind and deed reaches to heaven); and fourthly, to use the persimmon tree by which the late Mr. Toriumi discussed his dreams with his best friend.
In order to achieve the first and second objectives, Nagasaki installed three rock-shaped bronze tombs pointing in the same direction on to a black granite pedestal. Three bronze rocks were cast from one natural rock, which symbolized the solidarity and the sharing amongst the family. Although all bronze rocks have been placed facing the same direction, a different part of each bronze rock has been cut off, so that the hall of each bronze rock points to a different direction. The hall of the late Mr. Toriumi and Mrs. Toriumi’ tomb faces towards their ancestors’ tombs; the halls of each of the two sons’ tomb face towards their parents’ tomb in the middle. The third objective was completed when the words ‘shiseitsuten’ were carved into boshi (the stone narrating the achievements of the deceased person). The words were also separated into three parts and formed the name of the each stone. For the realisation of the fourth objective, a branch of the persimmon tree was cast and became the relief of the lid of the urn.
The reflection of the blue sky and golden bronze rock tomb on the black granite pedestal where the deceased person lies underneath made Nagasaki realise that there must be a heaven under the ground. This work became the turning point for Nagasaki to create the gardens as the heaven underground instead of the heaven above the sky.
Translated and Summarised: Message from a Son to his Father
I suppose my fathers’ many difficult requests brought me up. I remember those nostalgically and thankfully but he left me another difficult request yet again when he has gone. I met Mr Nagasaki through consultations with my friends about the tombs. After seeing his gardens and garden/art objects named ‘Direction’ in his pictures as well as listening his philosophy, I realised his and my father’s philosophy overlapped. My mind was made to order the construction of this tomb by him. Despite the adding lists of my requests, Mr Nagasaki took them all in and embodied in them more than I expected. In the end, I believe that I succeeded to embody my father’s thoughts towards his parents and ancestors, his love towards his wife, his proud towards his hometown Ijiri, his appreciation towards his best friend as well as the solidarity of our family and his belief of the ‘shiseitsuten’.
Dad, what do you think?