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太陽は、昔と同じこぎれいな庭のむこうから昇り、...
The sun rose on the same tidy gardens and ...

If I were to translate this word-for-word I would get "the sun climbed from the opposite side of the same tidy gardens".

Maybe I'm thinking about this too literally but the picture in my head is that maybe I'm stood on the west side of the garden and the sun is rising on the opposite side (east). But if I now watch the sunrise from the south side of the garden, the sun is no longer opposite me, so it seems that むこう is inappropriate.

Is Xのむこうから昇り a standard way to talk about the sun rising over X? Perhaps my understanding of むこう is too narrow. Is there a better way to think about it than just 'opposite'? I'm aware of it's usage as 'over there', but that seems to fit even less well in this context.

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    But if I now watch the sunrise from the south side of the garden, the sun is no longer opposite me, so it seems that むこう is inappropriate. ← If you were to describe the sunset in a novel, would you not place the character/narrator in a better position than on the south side? I would place him pretty much on the west side if I were the author. – l'électeur Dec 19 '19 at 17:14
  • @l'électeur Very true, but there isn't actually anybody watching in this scene. I was just imagining a person to help try and understand the meaning. – user3856370 Dec 19 '19 at 17:16
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Your understanding is basically correct, but perhaps 向こう can more loosely be interpreted as “across” or “beyond” as opposed to necessarily “opposite”. That is to say, as long as the garden is between you and the sun to some extent, 向こう is understandable. If the sun is positioned entirely behind you when you are facing the garden then it’s unusable.

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