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Posted: 21 Mar 20, 02:44 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I translated a story about Garden Lodge's Japanese garden that was in the liner notes for Greatest Hits in Japan:

Garden Lodge, the mansion that Freddie called home in London, was built in the early 1900s for artist Cecil Rae and his sculptor wife, Constance Halford. It includes a yard of approximately 660 m². , and Freddie made a part of that into a Japanese garden. Ryutaro Takahara was one of the landscape artists who worked on the project.
“At the time, I was living in London, and I was working while going to English language school in the evenings. I was working at a place called Japanese Garden Centre, and that’s how I got to working at Garden Lodge.”
The company was stunned at having received a landscaping request from a superstar, but the young Takahara was first to offer his services, and he went along with the company’s master landscaper to survey the property. That day, the members [of Queen] were at Garden Lodge for a meeting. Takahara would recall, laughing, “I was so nervous that none of the numbers from our surveying and measurements would stick in my head.” The master landscaper followed Freddie’s requests to plan and design the garden, which would include a pond and a waterfall.
“When we [Japanese] think of a waterfall for a Japanese garden, we would be satisfied with a barely audible trickle, but Freddie would say to us, ‘There’s not enough force. Waterfalls should come crashing down from the top,’ so we would have to adjust things like the water pressure and the electrical work. But actually, Freddie’s garden is the only place where you would see a Japanese garden with a powerful waterfall,” laughs Takahara.

In September 1986, when Freddie privately visited Japan and stayed in the Kyoto area, he would also visit the Koishikawa Kourakuen Gardens [Tokyo] and the Katsura Imperial Villa [Kyoto].
“Apparently Freddie was passionate about incorporating things he saw in Japan. Freddie had a very strong image in his head of, ‘This is how it is in Japan,’ which would come across in his sensibilities for the design. For example, the tiles of the inner wall. We got the OK to go with brown, but Freddie would exclaim, ‘The Japanese tiles I saw in Kyoto were grey! This brown is fake!!’ And with that, I would spend the night re-tiling.”

Despite setbacks like that, the garden was completed in 1987. “When the project was completed, Freddie gave me the keys for the side entrance. Of course today, this key cannot be used. Being the youngest, I worked every morning from 8am, taking orders from my superiors. I had the key for that reason, as I was always also the last to leave, and would lock up before heading home. So when the project was completed, Freddie said to me, ‘Ryutaro, arigato! You’ve made me a wonderful Japanese garden. I know that you were here every morning before anyone else, and would work until dark. This key to the side entrance is yours to keep. You hang on to this, you hear?’ This key, to me, is something I’ll treasure forever.”


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Posted: 21 Mar 20, 04:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Very interesting. Thank-you for posting that.


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Posted: 21 Mar 20, 04:50 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Freddie Jupiter wrote:

Wasn't the house owned by the Hoare family just before Freddus aquired it? Apparently he loved that fact because he could say that he lives in the Hoare house.


Yes! =)


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Posted: 21 Mar 20, 10:32 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Great read ! - thanks.


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Posted: 21 Mar 20, 10:32 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Great read ! - thanks.


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Posted: 21 Mar 20, 10:36 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

death to ming! wrote:

I translated a story about Garden Lodge's Japanese garden that was in the liner notes for Greatest Hits in Japan:

Garden Lodge, the mansion that Freddie called home in London, was built in the early 1900s for artist Cecil Rae and his sculptor wife, Constance Halford. It includes a yard of approximately 660 m². , and Freddie made a part of that into a Japanese garden. Ryutaro Takahara was one of the landscape artists who worked on the project.
“At the time, I was living in London, and I was working while going to English language school in the evenings. I was working at a place called Japanese Garden Centre, and that’s how I got to working at Garden Lodge.”
The company was stunned at having received a landscaping request from a superstar, but the young Takahara was first to offer his services, and he went along with the company’s master landscaper to survey the property. That day, the members [of Queen] were at Garden Lodge for a meeting. Takahara would recall, laughing, “I was so nervous that none of the numbers from our surveying and measurements would stick in my head.” The master landscaper followed Freddie’s requests to plan and design the garden, which would include a pond and a waterfall.
“When we [Japanese] think of a waterfall for a Japanese garden, we would be satisfied with a barely audible trickle, but Freddie would say to us, ‘There’s not enough force. Waterfalls should come crashing down from the top,’ so we would have to adjust things like the water pressure and the electrical work. But actually, Freddie’s garden is the only place where you would see a Japanese garden with a powerful waterfall,” laughs Takahara.

In September 1986, when Freddie privately visited Japan and stayed in the Kyoto area, he would also visit the Koishikawa Kourakuen Gardens [Tokyo] and the Katsura Imperial Villa [Kyoto].
“Apparently Freddie was passionate about incorporating things he saw in Japan. Freddie had a very strong image in his head of, ‘This is how it is in Japan,’ which would come across in his sensibilities for the design. For example, the tiles of the inner wall. We got the OK to go with brown, but Freddie would exclaim, ‘The Japanese tiles I saw in Kyoto were grey! This brown is fake!!’ And with that, I would spend the night re-tiling.”

Despite setbacks like that, the garden was completed in 1987. “When the project was completed, Freddie gave me the keys for the side entrance. Of course today, this key cannot be used. Being the youngest, I worked every morning from 8am, taking orders from my superiors. I had the key for that reason, as I was always also the last to leave, and would lock up before heading home. So when the project was completed, Freddie said to me, ‘Ryutaro, arigato! You’ve made me a wonderful Japanese garden. I know that you were here every morning before anyone else, and would work until dark. This key to the side entrance is yours to keep. You hang on to this, you hear?’ This key, to me, is something I’ll treasure forever.”


Fascinating read. Cheers mate.


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Posted: 22 Mar 20, 00:10 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thanks for the regional info. This is a nice share.


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Posted: 22 Mar 20, 02:16 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thanks a lot!

Cheers,

Ogre-


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Posted: 22 Mar 20, 02:35 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Subarashii! Doomo arigato gozaimasu! Wonderful story. Thank you for sharing!

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Posted: 22 Mar 20, 02:47 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Freddie Jupiter wrote:

Wasn't the house owned by the Hoare family just before Freddus aquired it? Apparently he loved that fact because he could say that he lives in the Hoare house.


i really hope this is true! awesome.

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Posted: 22 Mar 20, 05:36 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Freddie, you keep on surprising me dude.


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Posted: 22 Mar 20, 21:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thank you for this lovely story.

death to ming! user is on Queenzone.com

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Posted: 23 Mar 20, 13:47 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thanks everyone. This story from the liner notes is actually an excerpt from a larger piece from the official book "Queen in Japan" which was released at the same as Greatest Hits in Japan back in January. I was critical about the lack of "Japanese" photos in the CD booklet, and I still feel that way, but I guess they were saving everything for this book.

The book includes stories from Japanese photographers and Freddie's bodyguard in Japan, as well as new interviews with Brian and Roger. I'll probably get it soon and if there's anything worth translating, I'll do so and post it on Queenzone.

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Posted: 26 Mar 20, 23:37 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thanks for translating it! Fascinating story.