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South Forbes Translates Tokyo
by Cesar Miguel Escano
Published in The Philippine Star, 9 September 2006
The Japanese mystique has captured the global imagination. Popular films such as The Last Samurai, Lost in Translation, and Memoirs of a Geisha have drawn out the otaku (Japanese term for enthusiast) in everyone.
South Forbes Golf City invites you to experience the mystique of Japanese living through its themed residential project, Tokyo Mansions.
The two model units of the Tokyo Mansions are aptly named after significant turning points in Japanese history: Meiji and Yamato. The Meiji period narrates Japan's emergence into the modern world after centuries of self-imposed isolation. The Yamato period tells the beginnings of Japanese culture and civilization when the country began to interact with its Asian neighbors.
Nothing is lost in translation. The two model homes capture the essence of the Japanese home: refined luxury amid tranquil surroundings. Simple straight lines, a staple of traditional Japanese design, dominate the architecture. The interiors have been updated for the modern setting with the infusion of steel and other materials. The backyard of each Tokyo Mansion features a miniature Japanese garden and its own infinity pool. Traditional Japanese landscaping borrows from the Zen principle of Buddhist temples. Japanese taste is epitomized in the subtlety and delicacy of the landscaping, with an ingenious arrangement of rocks, pebbles, sand, plants, and water.
The Meiji Mansion draws inspiration from the Meiji Era in Japanese history. The 122nd emperor of Japan took the title of Meiji, meaning �enlightened ruler.� During his reign from the mid-18th century to the early 19th century, Japan transformed from a pre-industrial, feudal country into a powerhouse on the world stage. During this period of great change, Japan embraced modernity while preserving its rich culture and traditions.
The design of the Meiji Mansion embodies the spirit of that enlightened era. The interiors are unmistakably modern and at the same time evocative of traditional Japanese design. In the living room, a Minotti-style white sofa complements the immaculate walls and dark wooden frames of the floor-to-ceiling windows. Woven lamps, whose shape mimics bowing flower buds, are found in the living and dining rooms. The dining room showcases a wenge perforated wall with backlighting, creating a luminous effect.
The refined exteriors command respect in the same way Japanese temples and castles draw out the aesthete in everyone. Dark Japanese shingles and wooden rafters on the rear wide of the roof contrast against the white walls. Standing guard outside the expansive windows, bamboo trees heighten the feeling of serenity.
Yamato, meaning �Land of Great Harmony,� is the traditional name for Japan. It also refers to the progressive period in Japanese history from the 4th to the 7th centuries. Yamato also means �place of mountains.�
The Yamato Mansion personifies both meanings of the word. Japanese upper-class dwellings are renowned for refinement and simplicity in design. In the same manner, the Yamato edifice is subdued yet composed. The 20-foot roof sweeps to blank white walls. A clerestory window at the highest point of the living room offers a view of the clear skies.
This mansion honors man's bond with nature. Its layout conforms to the sloping terrain. The 525-meter mansion maximizes the space of the trapezoid-shaped lot by allowing easy separation of the functional areas of the house: living room, private quarters, service quarters, lanai, and infinity pool. The pool and adjoining Zen garden offer a scenic view to a nearby river and virgin forest.
The Tokyo Mansions Clubhouse is located in the center of the country's first Zen-themed community. Fronting the clubhouse is a rotunda whose paved blocks are laid out in a ripple-like pattern. The stately fa�ade of the clubhouse�its blank whitewashed walls, bamboo landscaping, and dark Japanese roof�hints at the treasures contained inside. A vast open space connects two structures. On the right is a social hall with floor-to-ceiling glass windows and wood frames. Separating the function rooms are sliding doors, which can be fully opened to accommodate a 300-sq.m area. The structure on the left houses the sales office and a game room.
Outdoor dining areas are found at the far ends of both buildings. The view from the dining areas beckons to a three-level swimming pool. A reflecting pool cascades to a lower pool, which in turn feeds a 25-meter central pool. Two children's pools border opposite sides of the main pool. Taken together, the 50-foot pool structure provides enjoyment for swimmers. At the same time, the aesthetic layout serves as a pleasing vista for observers.
The haiku is a traditional Japanese poem. Its symmetrical structure of three lines (5/7/5 syllables) embodies the aesthetic principles of Japanese culture.
Most haikus talk about nature. In order to become a haiku, the poem must contain a satori moment. Loosely translated, satori means epiphany or enlightenment.
South Forbes Golf City offers everyone a chance to discover the mystique of Japanese living. To experience satori at the Tokyo Mansions and get a free golf membership to the world-class 18-hole South Forbes Golf Club in the process.