The highlights of Seisonkaku, a gentle and refined space
Nariyasu Maeda, the 13th daimyo (feudal lord) of the Kaga Clan, built this villa within Kenroku-en Garden in 1863 for his mother. It’s characteristic for the construction of a gentle and refined space filled with modest consideration and a colorful structure integrating Western materials (Diamant glassware and expensive pigments). Built as a meeting space, the “Ekken-no-Ma” (Audience Room) has a custom-made carpet with the family crest, and a cypress openwork screen above the sliding doors which is embossed on both sides with plum, camellia and birds of paradise splendidly painted in natural pigments. In the “Matsu-no-Ma” (Pine Room) used as a relaxation space, European birds and plants are illustrated on Holland-imported Diamant glass on the sliding doors. On the ceilings of the “Gunjo-no-Ma” (Ultramarine Room) and the “Shoken-no-Ma” (Reading Room), artificial pigments which were expensive at the time were used, and the brilliant ultramarine which the Maedas only were allowed to use created spaces that evoked the integration of Japan and the West. It is a wonderful and extremely novel structure due to things such as the carving of alcove pillars out of cedar logs, its colors, material properties and the bold design and harmony of its shape. In the “Tsukushi-no-Teien” Garden facing the “Chou-no-Ma” (Butterfly Room) on the 1st floor, the 20-meter veranda is constructed so that there is not even one pillar, and when taking in the view from the room, the garden is built so that the sound of water is eliminated to admire the small birds.
In the “Exhibition Room of Possessions”, the Maedas’ splendid clothing and furnishings are displayed
The Maeda family’s splendid collection of clothing and furnishings are exhibited in the “Exhibition Room of Possessions”, and depending on the time, the nationally designated Place of Scenic Beauty “Hizuru-En”, and the tea rooms “Seikouken” and “Seikoushoin” can be opened to the public. In the Green Cars of the Hokuriku Shinkansen bullet trains, there is a design incorporating an image of the Gunjo-no-Ma. Because of the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen, the ability to reach Kanazawa from Tokyo in about 2 hours and 30 minutes is an attractive point.