Sometimes the titles of paintings really do not tell us very much, but other times the titles can tell a lot. In this instance, this jigsaw puzzle entitled “Fuji Flora – Japanese Panda Floral Garden Mountain Scene” tells us three things. First, it is a scene from Mt. Fuji in Japan. Secondly, it is type of Japanese Garden (there are three types) and thirdly it is about Pandas, which are from China.
Mt Fuji is one of the three most sacred mountains in all of Japan. It’s also the highest peak in Japan and is a World Heritage Site. The choice of Mt Fuji for this painting shows that this landscape is very special to the artist and the intended audience. At the foot of the mountain, there is a floral garden. Japanese Gardens are different from western gardens. According to Wikipedia, while western gardens are created for visual appeal, Japanese gardens are created out of spiritual and philosophical ideals. Essential elements in these gardens are: water, rocks, sand, bridges, fences, gates, water basins, trees, fish and then flowers. I remember visiting a Japanese Tea Garden when I was touring San Antonio, Texas one summer. It was so very peaceful, serene and green.
Normally, I would not expect Pandas to be in this scene since they are native to China. But back in the 1970s, China gifted the United States and Japan with some Pandas. I remember trying to see them once when I was at the National Zoo in Washington DC but they were napping so we couldn’t see them. But now, thanks to two webcams, anyone with an internet connection can see them. Currently, the Chinese government will allow international zoos to have their national treasures “on loan” for a fee.
Assembling this Sunsout jigsaw puzzle with your loved ones can give you an interesting opportunity into Japan’s geography, culture and sense of style. This would be a great time to discuss where to find the nearest Japanese Garden and plan your visit.