Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies

Shôyôan Teien (Japanese Garden)

The Freeman family garden Shôyôan Teien was designed and built in summer 1995 by Stephen Morrell, a landscape architect specializing in Japanese-style gardens. His earlier public projects have included meditation gardens for Zen Mountain Monastery in Mount Tremper, New York, and Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York, as well as a tea garden exhibition for the New York Japan Society. Since 1981, he has been Curator of the John P. Humes Japanese Stroll Garden in Mill Neck, New York.






Shôyôan Teien falls within the tradition of the viewing garden, one intended primarily for contemplative viewing from within an adjoining room or from a veranda or bench just outside. Unlike the more expansive strolling garden, which presupposes a moving viewer and sequential experience of shifting views, an intimately scaled courtyard garden like Shôyôan Teien is designed to disclose its full panorama to a stationary visitor seated at its edge. The tradition of the viewing garden has a long history in Japan, attaining its classic formulation in the fifteenth- and sixteenth-century gardens of such Zen monasteries as Ryoanji and Daitokuji in Kyoto.

A map of the plantings in the garden is also available.