Monday, March 2, 2015

The Garden is open for 2015!

The Third Month
harunare ya namonaki yama no asagasumi

truly spring—
nameless mountains
in a thin morning mist
- Basho
 translated by Emiko Miyashita and Michael Dylan Welch

by aleks
The Garden kami, beautiful Sunday weather and who knows what else caused that the opening day of the Seattle Japanese Garden for the 2015 season brought almost more guests that our courtyard can hold.

Welcome everyone! With hope that you had a chance to view our exquisite flowers of camellia japonica bushes (we have many kinds: 'Amabilis', 'Cheerful', 'Daikagura', 'Finlandia', 'Hikaru-Genji', 'Hino Maru', 'Lily Pons', 'Prince Eugene Napoleon', 'Purity', 'Takayama' and more) and multiple  pieris japonica with its creamy white tiny clusters of flowers (common name of this plant is Andromeda or Lily of the Valley shrub - and it's as poisonous as it is alluring, so beware and don't picnic too long under them, ever). Thank you gardeners for presenting the garden so beautifully!

Below a few snapshots from the First Viewing ceremony + 1 minute shaky video of Rev. Barrish chanting (sorry, I used the video function of my camera for the first time here). Thank you all who worked on organizing this touching ceremony!

SJG • 3/1/15 - First Viewing: Steve Alley, of Seattle Japanese Garden Council,
giving the opening remarks.  Also note offerings on the Shinto altar:
mandarin oranges, daikon radish, rice bowl and a bottle of sake...

SJG • 3/1/15 - First Viewing: Christopher Williams, the outgoing
superintendent of Seattle Parks and Recreation  greeting  attendees.
Thank you, Christopher, for many happy years of the Garden!

SJG • 3/1/15 - First Viewing:  Jesus Aguirre, the newly appointed superintendent
of Seattle Parks and Recreation, telling guests he moved to Seattle from Washington
D.C. for this job. Good Luck, Jesus and keep our Garden strong!

SJG • 3/1/15 - First Viewing: Reverend Koichi Barrish of Tsubaki Grand Shrine
in Granite Falls, WA, conducting the formal blessing rite in the courtyard.

SJG • 3/1/15 - First Viewing: Reverend Koichi Barrish of Tsubaki Grand Shrine
in Granite Falls, WA, conducting the blessing rite (with Christopher Williams,
the superintendent of Seattle Parks and Rec. and Michele Malo,
president of Unit 86 - the Garden guides organization)

SJG • 3/1/15 - First Viewing: The ceremony moves inside:  sake and rice
offered to the grounds during the formal ceremony, conducted in Japan since
ancient times. The Shinto blessing is conducted  to guide in auspicious ki (life energy)
for a successful new year.   With Reverend Koichi Barrish we all prayed that  “all visitors
are deeply nourished, enriched and invigorated by visiting the Seattle Japanese Garden” ...

SJG • 3/1/15 - First Viewing: camellia japonica 'Finlandia', photo by Tony

From Komonews - Photos: Seattle Japanese Garden opens for the season picture gallery here...

SJG • 3/1/15: Rev. Barrish's shoes


  1. I didn't know pieris are poisonous! Sorry I missed the festivities but had conflict, thanks for the photo documentation, especially Ken's shoes.

  2. What perfect weather for the ceremony! It was surprising to see so many flowers in bloom already. Ditto, on the thanks for the photos!