Saturday, February 6, 2016

Lecture: Evolving garden in Japan and abroad

-- Mr. Takuhiro Yamada of Hanatoyo Zouen of Kyoto will make the following presentation. You and your friends are invited.

1. Presentation:

10:30-11:30 AM, February 15 , 2016
Place: Theater at Bayview Manor
11 West Aloha Street, Seattle, WA 98119
Ph: 206-284-7330

2. Tour and workshop at the garden

1:30 PM-3:00 PM at Tateuchi Community Room

He has recently designed and installed Tea House and Garden, Urasenke style at Hungtington Library and Museum in Pasadena and has been maintaining the garden. He has been working on Japanese Garden around the world including Kubota Garden in Seattle.

Koichi Kobayashi

小林 竑一

Visiting Research Fellow
Hyogo University, Japan

Kobayashi Global, Seattle, WA. USA

Monday, January 18, 2016

Tsunagu: Connecting to the architecture of Kengo Kuma

February 4-29, 2016 Center for Architecture  (403 NW 11th Ave, Portland, OR)

Many of us Japanese garden lovers visited Portland Japanese Garden already sometime in the past. We were impressed. This year, they are closed since last September until March 1 because they are working on “Cultural Crossing” expansion project for $33.5 million.

The center piece of the project is Kengo Kuma (隈研吾, 1954- Japanese prominent architect)’s design for a Cultural village buildings for a learning center, a library, gallery and tea café. Now our faces are all green with envy, aren't they? These three buildings are LEED–certified, meaning it was recognized as best-in-class green building by USGBC. LEED stand for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design. They are even greener. :)

The exhibition,Tsunagu: Connecting to the architecture of Kengo Kuma, uses images, construction drawings, as well as some interactive displays, in order to introduce Kuma’s architectural philosophy: continuity between nature, natural materials, and Japanese tradition.

“Kengo Kuma’s work is about a continuous flow of spaces, reinforcing the human relationship with nature and one another. Tsunagu means cpmmectopm. But also has implications of continuity, linking, and looking forward.”

While I question the claim “It [Portland Japanese Garden] is considered the most authentic Japanese garden outside of Japan,” by Yuuyake Shimbun (Community paper in Portland), the exhibition may worth a visit for Portland again during the wet and cold month of February.

Portland Japanese Garden. Events. (link above)

Portland Japanese Garden Exhibition Distills Design Concepts Of Kengo Kuma. Yuuyake Shimbun. The sunset Newspaper. Dec. 2015. 207.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Two presentations on Japanese Garden

Time: Wednesday, January 20, 2016, 3:30 PM
Place: UW Arboretum Foundation, 2300 Arboretum Drive East
           Seattle, WA 98112 (Both with Power Point Presentation)

“Design of Kurimoto Japanese Garden at University of Alberta”
by Dr. Isao Nakase, University of Hyogo, Japan

“Garden of Enlightenment of Tohoku”
 by Koichi Kobayashi, Seattle, USA

      San Diego, CA
      Los Angels, CA
      Saratoga. CA
      Seattle, WA
      Vancouver B.C.
      January 15-25, 2016

Isao Nakase Presents:

① 日本庭園におけるデザインアイデア  Design ideas in Japanese Garden
     自然立地が庭園の基本 : 京都の庭と借景 Base for Japanese Garden-Kyoto Garden
     否定の美の観点から見た日本庭園: Japanese Garden as seen from denial
     デザイン技法 : 縮景・借景、多様な感覚(有機感覚)、スケール感、時間などについて。

②クリモト庭園のコンセプトと設計のついて Concept for Kurimoto Garden
     日本風カナダ庭園 : なぜ、緑豊かなエドモントンに日本庭園 Why in Edmonton?
      地域主義の庭園 : 地元の素材 、技術、人材 High localization

Koichi Kobayashi Presents :

Reflections from "Garden of Enlightenment of Tohoku"
North American's participation on building a commemorative Japanese Garden for victims of 2011 Earthquake Disaster and Recovery. Introduction to 2016 Program and beyond.

A. Design of Kurimoto Japanese Garden at University of Alberta

The Kurimoto Japanese Garden began with the approval of a proposal by Dr. Marion Shipley and the Friends of the Devonian Botanic Garden in 1978. The garden is named after Dr. Yuichi Kurimoto, who was the first Japanese national to graduate from the University of Alberta's Faculty of Arts in 1930. The two Mayday trees, located on the centre hill, were planted by Hiroshi Kurimoto in memory of his parents in 1993.

The Kurimoto Japanese Garden's main purpose is to provide a cultural exchange between the Japanese and Canadians. This exchange has created a place for meditation and contemplation, rather than just another pretty garden. The garden is the creation of the designer, the late Tadashi Kubo, Kubo and Associates, Osaka, Japan. It was implemented by his representative Kozo Mitani, Japan. An attempt is made to idealize or make abstractions of the surrounding nature. There are subtleties left untouched in the garden where visitors are left create images in their own minds. Thus, each person entering and leaving the garden gates forms his or her own interpretation of the garden.

Isao Nakase, PhD
Director General, Museum of Nature and Human Activities, Hyogo  
Professor Emeritus, University of Hyogo

Born in 1948 in Osaka Prefecture, and completes a master’s course in agriculture at Graduate School of Osaka Prefectural University.  Before taking the current post, I served as an instructor, and Associate Professor at Osaka Prefectural University, and a visiting scholar at University of California, Berkeley.  I took my PhD in agriculture at Kyusyu University.  I was awarded a prize by Japanese Institute of Landscape Architects.
My main publications include: American Landscape no Shiso (“Concepts of American Landscape”), Kashima Institute of Publishing Co., Ltd.; Mori, Hito, Machizukuri (“Forest, Humans, and Urban Planning”), Gakugei Shuppan-sha; Kankyo wo Mamorisodateru Gijyutsu (“Technology Protecting and Nurturing the Environment: Environmental Strategies for Self-Governing Bodies and Communities”), Gyosei Corporation; Kodomono tameno Asobi Kankyo (“The Environment for Children’s Playing”), Kashima Institute of Publishing Co., Ltd.; Midori-Kukan no Universal Design (“Universal Design for Greenery Environments”), Gakugei Syuppan-sha; Anzen to Saisei no Machizukuri (“Safe, Reproductive Urban Planning”), Gakugei Syuppan-sha.
I had been appointed as a president of Japanese Institute of Landscape Architects, a vice president of Japanese Society of People-Plant Relationship, a member of Independent Administrative Institution Evaluation Committee of Ministry of Finance Japan, a temporary member of Central Environmental Council Japan, a committee member of Japan Groundwork Association, a member of an environmental assessment committee in Hyogo Prefecture, a member of a local urban planning council in Hyogo Prefecture, a member of a council for lives of residents in Hyogo Prefecture, and Director of Tamba no Mori Association.  I am also involved in NPOs by working as a member of an executive committee of a national citizens’ summit for dragonflies, and as a director-general of Hanshin Green Network for reconstructing areas damaged by the Hanshin-Awaji Great Earthquake.

B. Garden of Enlightenment of Tohoku

There are many of you who have benefited overtime being associated with Japan or apprenticed and studied in Japan, yet some of you including myself, who do not know how to assist Tohoku, Japan for their recovery from disasters of March 11, 9011, in some meaningful and constructive way.

There is a unique opportunity to assist in building a Japanese Garden near Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture. This garden, when completed, will be a memorial and prayer for victims of disaster and commemorate their efforts in recovery and future development.

Designing and building of this garden is organized by Sendai Chapter of the Japanese Garden Society. It is being built on a five year program with a completion date set at 2019 to coincide with the society's 100 year anniversary.

The garden has been under construction and constatnt design improvement for the last three years under careful eyes of Japanese garden masters of Masaki Kikuchi, Eietsu Yokoyama and Yoshinori Hirose of the Garden Society of Japan.

This presentation is about the purpose of the garden, people involved and our (Team North America) participation in the project, 2015.

Koichi Kobayashi, JILA
Principal, Kobayashi Global of Seattle
Senior Visiting Research Fellow, Hyogo University

Koichi served as the President of Puget Sound Japanese Garden Society and Kobayashi & Associates. His practice and teaching covers both sides of the Pacific. Koichi Kobayashi, A.S.L.A., J.I.L.A., is a registered Landscape Architect, and has over 40 years experience in the fields of landscape architecture, urban design and environmental planning. .Hs education includes a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1972 and a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from Kyoto University, Japan in 1968.Since starting his own firm in 1981, Koichi has been involved with all the projects completed by the firm. His work experience covers USA, Canada, Japan, China, Korea and Dubai. He has served as an Executive Board Member of WASLA (1988,1992) as well as a number of other professional and civic commissions and boards in Washington and Ohio as well as  in Japan. He is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects, Japanese Institute of Landscape Architects and North American Japanese Garden Society. He is a recipient of a number of awards including American President Design Excellence and Federal Design Achievement and Japanese Institute of Landscape Architectural Award. Currently he is based  out of Seattle, Washington, USA, serving domestic as well as overseas clients , NPOs and volunteer organizations.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Guest Performers of Japanese Music & Dance from Japan

Wariki (see below) will provide a free lecture / demo on taiko drums, Japanese dance, fue (flute) and shamisen (3-stringed Japanese instrument):

When: Jan 15, 2016, 2:45 p.m 
Where: Carlson Theater at Bellevue College (3000 Landerholm Circle SE Bellevue, WA 98007). 

*Free Japanese snacks available in the Carlson lobby

Wariki, a three-man group, will be coming from Japan to Bellevue this January as part of the 2nd Annual Bellevue World Taiko Festival.  On Friday, January 15, they will also be giving a free lecture / demonstration for the Bellevue College community. Everyone is welcome.

Wariki is dedicated to the re-creation of traditional art forms into theatrical productions. Wariki’s members are masters of their instruments and traditional performing art forms and have been performing individually for more than 30 years. They have been touring and performing  in Japan and around the world (US, Canada, Europe, etc.) as a group since the group’s founding over 15 years ago. 

This event is sponsored by the Asian Pacific Islanders Student Association and Katarou-kai, a Japanese language culture exchange club of Bellevue College. (edited by Keiko)

Sunday, November 1, 2015

紅葉狩り • Momijigari (maple viewing) goes on

SJG • 10/21/15 - our magnificent lace leaf maple (acer palmatum dissectum) 

by aleks
In summer of 1973 the builder of our garden, Juki Iida, travelled to Seattle for 2 weeks and it was the first time he saw the garden 13 years after he created it...  Everyone was wondering what his reaction would be to see the garden somewhat matured and closer to what his vision for the garden was, when he built it.

SJG • 10/21/15 - Dobashi (earthen bridge) & Yatsuhasi (8-plank bridge) amids  autumn colors

Well, there is a record of what he thought, because upon return to Japan he penned an article about the garden and his experience of re-visiting it for Niwa magazine.  Julie Coryell and Shizue Prohaska recently translated that article to English, and it will be the topic of the next post;  for a teaser let's just say he found things in the garden he wasn't too wild about.

SJG • 10/27/15 - Osakazuki akame maple screening the tea house...  HI, Mary Ann Wiley, this maple was planted in your memory.

In the meantime enjoy a few pics of Momijigari progress during the last two weeks.

SJG • 10/27/15 - people resting on the bench by the katsuga style lantern 

SJG - 10/27/15 - East path of the Garden

To put you in the 1960s mood, when our Garden was created,  a song ‘Ue o muite arukou' by Kyu Sakamoto - the number one song of 1961 in Japan:

'The song was picked up in 1963, one-and-a-half years after its initial release, by a foreign record label executive visiting Japan. Later that year the song was released internationally in among others the US and the UK, making Sakamoto Japan’s internationally best known singer.' 
- See more about the artist and the song at:

Monday, October 12, 2015

A few pics from Maple Viewing 2015

by aleks
SJG • 10/11/15 - Taiko drummers and onlookers celebrate Momijigari
SJG • 10/11/15 - Taiko drummers 

SJG • 10/11/15  

SJG • 10/11/15 - Waterfall

Kobayashi Issa, 1808

aki kaze ni kotoshi haetaru momiji kana

in autumn wind
this year's crop...
red leaves
Translated by David G. Lanoue

SJG • 10/11/15 - Tea House Garden