Shinshinan was first built as Juentei for Someya Seiichi, president of the Kanegafuchi Spinning Company shortly after Yamagata's villa was completed. Though it covers barely an acre, the garden seems much larger. Ogawa probably designed it, but the construction was overseen by his colleagues Tomokichi and Genbei. The site is topographically much more varied than at Murinan but similar techniques are employed. Water from the canal is brought in as a stream to supply the pond around which a path is arranged such that, as one walks, a sequence of views is revealed and hidden. Again woods are used to capture the view, in this case the triple gate at Nanzenji and the background of the Nanzenji Hills, Ayato Forest and the Nanzenji Bell Tower. The pine trees that form the frame and trimming line have since grown somewhat high for proper effect, but for several decades after construction, the Gate appeared to float in the air above its own shadow. More rocks were originally placed along the edge of the water but have since been removed, allowing the slope to be more clearly articulated. Matsushita Konosuke the present owner, renamed the garden Shinshinan and also added two small karesansui gardens with cryptomeria (sugi) trees rising up out of the raked white sand.
Itoh Teiji. Space and Illusion. Tokyo: Weatherhill, 1973, p. 40-43.
Heineken, Ty. "Gardens: Shinshin-An in Kyoto". Architectural Digest. v. 41, no. 1, Jan. 1984, p. 114-119.
Japan a great stone garden in the sea.
Echoes of hoes and weeding,
Centuries of leading hill-creeks down
To ditch and pool in fragile knee deep fields.
Leafy sunshine rustling on a man
Chipping a foot-square rough hinoki beam;
I thought I heard an axe chop in the woods
It broke the dream; and woke up dreaming on a train.
It must have been a thousand years ago
In some old mountain sawmill of Japan.
A horde of excess poets and unwed girls
And I that night prowled Tokyo like a bear
Tracking the human future
Of intelligence and despair.