Again, I'd suggest anyone interested in learning more visit Kerouac's thread The Albert Kahn Gardens, not only for the history lesson, but also to see the map of the grounds showing the location of each of the different zones.
Yes, I really liked the twisting tree myself. I have affection and respect for the Japanese approach to beauty and gardens (and the old classic houses). And the red bridge...such a delight. Color can have a powerful symbolism; in this case, red for the Japanese is considered life-giving color. For the Chinese it symbolizes luck, happiness and joy and is an auspicious color for warding off evil. The unpainted bridge has its own expression which demonstrates the linking of one part of nature to another in harmony. Neither side is the greater so walking over such a bridge can be an exercise in the Buddhist 'Middle Way'. An eighth grade school trip to San Francisco included a visit to Golden Gate Park and later Chinatown. We had lunch near the Japanese Garden and having grown up in a small (1500 pop) town, it was a wonderland. It had a profound effect on me. Later, we went to Chinatown and that,too, charmed me. If anyone has any interest there is a wonderful book, Japanese Homes and Their Surrounding (Morse). It was originally published in 1878 but has been reprinted again and again. The Arts and Crafts movement in the US (and elsewhere) had strong Japanese influences and the Craftsman houses (built especially in California) showed not just the esthetics but the practical nature of the Japanese approach. The construction methods (even applied to western standards) proved superior when such homes rode out earthquakes when other structures collapsed. (I rent a flat in a 106 year old house and it's ridden out all the LA earthquakes. When I see how this garden uses natural elements to protect and conserve the land it gives me intellectual as well as visual pleasure. But the red bridge. A real joy. Thank you for sharing your visit. Now I can visit over and over...
Ahhhh ~ as I was rummaging through google trying to corroborate my guess, you & Bjd were posting. I had been hoping that Bjd would weigh in on the tree, as she really knows her stuff. I feel truly corroborated now!
Bixa, I don't know my stuff at all. It's just another lucky coincidence because there is a big reddish-leaved beech tree in the garden behind ours near the coast and I asked the gardener to identify it for me.