Japanese Fence Ideas

Written by karen holcomb
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Japanese Fence Ideas
Brushwood is often used to build a Japanese fence. (Art Wolfe/Photodisc/Getty Images)

A successful Japanese garden is said to blend into the imperfect world that lies beyond its boundaries. The Japanese call this harmonious fusion, "borrowing scenery," or artfully disguising our own human intervention with nature. A fence, especially a Japanese-style fence, provides one means of achieving this blending of two worlds. Japanese-style fences have a unique look that makes them instantly identifiable. Bamboo, brushwood, lattice or redwood are the most common materials used to build these fences.


Bamboo is perhaps most identified with Japanese-style fencing. In fact, any fence that incorporates bamboo posts will have an Asian look. Use a traditional Japanese knot (called Otoko musu) and black palm rope to tie the posts to horizontal bamboo poles for an open fence. For a privacy fence, place tall bamboo poles close together to create fence panels.


Brushwood is another fencing option with a distinctly Japanese look. Brushwood--also called broombush or brushbox--is a shrub native to Australia. The twigs are tightly packed to create a fence panel. This material absorbs sound and provides a wind block. Use brushwood panels alone for privacy, or incorporate them with bamboo or lattice for a more decorative look.


Lattice can be used to create a Japanese-style fence, especially if it's used as an accent among wood planks. Incorporate lattice panels at evenly spaced intervals, or use them as horizontal accents at the top of a fence. To complete the look, add a cap with some decorative posts running horizontally beneath it. The cap should appear to be a miniature roof, with boards placed at right angles.


Redwood has a decidedly Japanese look when used for fencing. It can be used to create a modern-style Asian fence with redwood boards of varying widths running horizontally. Vertical redwood boards make for a more traditional style Asian fence. For an open fence, use redwood planks to form squares and rectangles in a symmetrical pattern.

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