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In Japanese Gardens the focus is on the natural. Garden design shows man in harmony with nature creating a balance between Heaven, Earth and Man. Japanese buildings are erected with gardens, as their philosophy projects that both home and garden exist as one entity. Houses are separated from the garden with a shoji screen. This may be kept open during the day to bring the outside in.

click here to enlargeDesign also reflects symbolism. The Japanese philosophy, "endowed mountains, streams, rocks, and plants with symbolic meaning. Man lived more fully by being open to the universal rhythms of nature, being at one with trees and stones". According to Carl Jung, a psychologist, symbols when found in nature link people with a "vast collective unconscious". One of the primary aims of Japanese Gardens is to trigger an emotional response through the use of symbols. As Buddhism had more and more of a profound influence in garden creation, symbols that conveyed qualities or ideas that are important in Buddhism are found consistently in historical Japanese gardens.