jiǎshān 假山



  • jiashan (Pinyin without tones)1
  • 假山 (Traditional Chinese)
  • 假山 (Simplified Chinese)
  • jiǎshān (Pinyin)1
  • chia-shan (Wade-Giles)
  • pretend mountain (lit.) (English)2
  • simulated mountain (lit.; ATTCAT preferred translation) (English)
  • artificial mountain (English)3
  • artificial hill (English)4
  • false mountain (English)5
  • rock mountain (English)6
  • little mountain (English)7
  • rockery (English)8
  • rockwork (English)9


    *page under construction*

    The term jiashan 假山, literally “simulated mountain,” refers to a manmade mountain built from rocks and/or earth, that is usually located in a garden. Beginning in the Ming dynasty, jiashan in private gardens increasingly had interior spaces, and large jiashan constructions continued to be popular throughout the Qing period.

    The term jiashan first appeared in the mid-Tang (Cao 1980: 77) and the earliest example of jiashan is found in the title of a poem by Quan Deyu 權德輿 (Quan 759-818). It was widely used in the Tang and Song literature to refer to small “mountains” made of stone and placed in gardens or even on desks. In this context, jiashan were thought to abstract the form of real mountains and bore a strong literati style. The term "jiashan" appears frequently in the poems of the Tang and Song Dynasties. Building small mountains seems to have been an activity especially enjoyed by poets. Examples include Du Fu’s 杜甫 poem “Simulated Mountain” (Jiashan 假山) and Lu You’s 陆游 poem “”Jiashan” in the style of Mei Yaochen” (1002—1060) (Jiashan ni Wanling xiansheng ti” 假山擬宛陵先生體)”, among many others. Also, there is often a spiritual connotation regarding the miniaturized mountains in these poems. 10

    The terms ni jiashan 泥假山 (“clay simulated mountain”) and biyin jiashan 壁隠假山 (“walled and concealed simulated mountain” (?)) are found in the Yingzao fashi (1103). Some scholars believe that instead of the small manmade mountains in the gardens, both terms are used in the Yingzao fashi refer to interior decorations designed to represent mountains (Duanmu 2011: 138). From at least the Song dynasty, the meaning of jiashan has been further expanded to include grand, naturalistic, mountains built from earth or rocks in royal palaces and noble gardens (Sima 1019-1086, 19; Zhou 1232-1298, 49). 11

    Beginning in the late Ming, the term jiashan was also used to refer to a new school of manmade mountain in gardens developed by Ji Cheng 計成 (1582-1642) and Zhang Nanyuan 張南垣 (1587-1671) (Cao 1980: 79; Ji 1631, 34-35; Zhang 1638-1708, 51). Ji and Zhang criticized the “xiaozhong jianda 小中見大” (“showing grandness through smallness”) style of the jiashan popular in the Song and Yuan dynasties (Ji 1631, 3; Huang 1610-1695) and tried to simulate the experience of visiting a mountain by recreating the foot of a mountain with both earth and rocks (Wu 1609-1672, 13; Ji 1631, 147, 151). In Ming and Qing gardens, many jiashan were comparable in scale to the other buildings in the gardens and, in many cases, also had interior spaces (Ji 1631: 148-167). Extant examples include the jiashan in Xiaopangu 小盤谷 and Geyuan 个園 (Zhou Weiquan 1990, 262, 265-266). 12


    “假山”一詞於中唐出現(曹 1980: 77)。從現存文獻資料來看,“假山”一詞最早出現在權德輿所作的《奉和太府韋卿閣老左藏庫中假山之作》一詩的題目中(權 759-818)並在唐宋文獻中被廣泛使用。唐宋時期的假山主要是小型石山,或置於文人小園中,或擺放室內案頭,小中見大,將自然真山的形式抽象化,文人氣息濃厚。宋代《營造法式》中有“泥假山”和“壁隱假山”的記載(李 1103),有學者認為法式中的這部份記載並非指園林中的人造小山,而是指某種以山為主題的室內裝飾工程(端木 2011:138)。此外,最晚從宋代起,“假山”也被用來形容皇家宮苑和貴族園林中用土石構築的寫實大山(司馬 1019-1086;周 1232-1298)。10,, 11

    到了晚明,發展出以計成(1582-1642)、張南垣(1587-1671)為代表的假山新流派(曹 1980:79;計 1631:34-35;張 1638-1708)。計成、張南垣批評宋元流行的“小中見大”的假山風格(計 1631:3;黃 1610-1695),通過用土石再現大山一麓為遊賞者創造“身在此山中”的遊玩體驗(吳 1609-1672;計 1631:147,151)。明清園林中被建築化的假山,不僅與園林中的其它建築規模相當,還多被打造為有內部空間的可入、可遊之山,且時常與周邊建築結合形成豐富立體的組合(計 1631:148-167),例如從小盤谷和個園的假山中皆能一窺明清假山的這些建築化特點(周 1990:262,265-266)。 12

Works Cited

Any information without attribution has been created following the Syriaca.org editorial guidelines.

  • 1 漢語大詞典編纂処. 2011. 漢語大詞典, accessed May 28, 2022.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 2 KROLL. 2015. A Student's Dictionary of Classical and Medieval Chinese, 193, 399.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 3 ; 35., 35.; 35., 35.; 1., 1.
  • 4 52., 52.
  • 5 158., 158.
  • 6 157., 157.
  • 7 174., 174.
  • 8 55., 55.; 296., 296.
  • 9 107., 107.; 278., 278.
  • 10 77., 77.

How to Cite This Entry

ZUO Lala 左拉拉 et al., “ 假山 jiǎshān” in Architectura Sinica last modified November 19, 2023, https://architecturasinica.org/keyword/k000227.


ZUO Lala 左拉拉 et al., “ 假山 jiǎshān.” In Architectura Sinica, edited by Tracy Miller. Entry published May 28, 2022. https://architecturasinica.org/keyword/k000227.

About this Entry

Entry Title: 假山 jiǎshān

Authorial and Editorial Responsibility:

  • Tracy Miller, editor, Architectura Sinica
  • ZHUGE Jing 諸葛净 and ZUO Lala 左拉拉, associate editors, Architectural Terminology
  • ZUO Lala 左拉拉 and JIN Yinuo 金一诺, entry contributors, “ 假山 jiǎshān

Additional Credit:

  • Website coordination by Yuh-Fen Benda
  • Preliminary research and revision by JIN Yinuo 金一诺
  • Peer review by ATTCAT 2022
  • English proofreading by Aurelia Campbell Tracy Miller
  • Chinese proofreading by ZHUGE Jing 諸葛净 ZUO Lala 左拉拉
  • Data entry by LI Zhixian 李知賢
  • Entry of revised data and links by LI Zhixian 李知賢

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