About"The Six Element Story"
It is a well-known fact that the lord of Shirakawa, Matsudaira Sadanobu, took the name Kenrokuen from the Chinese Sung dynasty book Rakuyo Meienki (Chronicles of Famous Gardens).
There are six features that make a garden outstanding. If one tries to introduce an impression of vastness, any atmosphere of quietude and intimacy will be lost; if artificial elements are introduced, any impression of antiquity will be weakened; if a lot of flowing water is introduced, distant views are not possible. The only garden that successfully combined these six elements is Lake Garden.
Sadanobu, asked by the lord of Kaga to name the garden, named it Kenrokuen, after a famous garden in China that combined six attributes that were said to be impossible to combine. At the time, Takezawa Palace was located on Chitosedai Plateau, and Kasumiga-ike Pond and the meandering stream did not yet exist, so the garden looked quite different from how it looks today. What's more, there is no record of Sadanobu having visited Kaga.
Was the name chosen for its suitableness for the garden of the wealthy lord of Kaga? It is not known for sure, but what is certain is that Kenrokuen has been passed down to the present as a famous garden that lives up to its name.