Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The garden is closed for winter

SJG • 12/6/16 - Camellia Sasanqua 'Appledorn' in area S - flowers white in late fall and winter

by aleks
On December 1st, the first day of our winter closure, Rumi, Jessa and Pete hosted a special celebration for volunteers and staff of the Seattle Japanese Garden. Thank you all who organized this very nice get together where the guides could formally meet our new Niwashi volunteers - the garden stewards who help to maintain this beautiful space.  In the coming 2017 season we hope for a greater integrations of the two groups - some docents are already in the Niwashi program, and some Niwashi volunteers are planning to become docents.

SJG • 12/6/16 - Ripe persimon fruit on now leafless tree in orchard - note the frost on the ground

On December 6th the continuing education group met to finalize the details of the 2017 lectures, books to read, field trips and film offerings - watch this space for a list of all of the educational opportunities as soon as it gets formalized (a few speakers and dates are still negotiated) and the Calendar will also be posted on the right side of the blog, for your GO-to viewing throughout  the year.

SJG • 12/6/16 - Camellia sasanqua in N - flowers right on time: late fall

The film non-committee finished its business earlier that expected (most of the discussion was conducted via earlier emails); so  had time for a stroll around the garden and found unexpected abundance of color in winter - see posted pics. Small film appetizer:  the first movie of 2017 - Throne of Blood (蜘蛛巣城 Kumonosu-jō? - will be shown on the day of 'soft opening' of the Garden, March 1st (the official First Viewing ceremony will be hold on the following weekend) - mark your calendar now!

SJG • 12/6/16 - The film non-committee observed 'something wrong with this picture': Camellia japonica in N is blooming, too.  Dewey: 'isn't that a bit early?!' Yes, it is - normal time for c. japonica bloom is early spring.  

The garden might be closed, but some things continue to turn in its own rhythm -  I'll post soon about the two of them that I'm personally involved with:

• 1.) cooperation with Kubota garden and  related visit to UW Center for Urban Horticulture herbarium and

• 2.) MOSS container display garden which is being currently constructed;  the moss garden will have its own separate blog, which Miriam the Gardener already started but it needs some further organizing. There are about 10 000 mosses species in the world - the container moss garden and the moss blog will feature about 10 most prevalent in our Seattle Japanese garden.

12/2/16 - Dicranum scoparium - this particular moss does NOT grow in our garden (but related Dicranum howelii is) - it was chosen for a trial potting, while looking for the right container and soil mix for the display moss garden

SJG • 12/6/12 - bare bones of the SJ winter Garden

Thursday, November 3, 2016

FREE Workshop on recording your ethnic history this Saturday

by aleks
There's still time to register for the free workshop this Saturday on Preserving your Cultural & Historical Record, presented by Ethnic Heritage Council with University of Washington Libraries.

You are invited to bring your organization's brochures and flyers to share.
Please bring your lunch; beverages, light snacks and ethnic desserts will be provided.
You can view and download the program here. St. Demetrios Hall driving directions.

SJG today - 11/3/16 - Samidare maple reflected in the pond

Friday, October 21, 2016

MAPLE VIEWING FEST 紅葉狩り (Momijigari) coming this Sunday

by aleks

SJG • 10/18/16 - Peaceful shaded path behind the tea house garden

Maple Viewing Fest is rescheduled from the stormy last weekend to coming Sunday 11/23 from 10am to 5pm,  with special tours and attractions for visitors.  The garden looks truly splendid now, not just on Sunday, as the trees will continue to delight well past Momijigari celebrations.  Seattle Japanese Garden is a place to experience the fall's fleeting exquisiteness well into November,  when even the stubbornly slow-to-turn maples like shishigasira will finally acknowledge the season's change and all the ginkgo leaves will cover the ground like a golden snow.

SJG • 10/18/16 - A view from the west path  onto the sunny east path

SJG • 10/19/16 - Follow the stream 

Below is a link to a beautiful article just written by one of our guides, Corinne Kennedy for the 'official' SJG blog (this one being the 'community' blog).  She titled it  'Beyond Beauty: The Ephemeral Delights of Autumn':

Autumn is a beautiful time in Japan. Its mild, sunny weather, with colder nights, brings relief from the heat and humidity of summer. Maples and many other plants bring beautiful leaf colors, and some plants display late-appearing flowers or attractive berries. Our Seattle Japanese Garden manifests all of these aspects of autumn beauty. [...]

Nature, seasonal changes, and “insight into the truth of human existence” (Paul Varley, ibid.) are magically captured in the haiku form of poetry. Developed in 17th century Japan, it consists of three lines (5 syllables, 7 syllables, and finally 5 syllables). Here is a translation of an autumn haiku by the great poet Matsuo Basho (1644-94):

so very precious
and do they tint my tears? – the
fall of autumn leaves  [...]

The entire Corinne's article here...

SJG • 10/19/16 - A closer look at the loveliness of red-tipped maple leaves
SJG • 10/18/16 - Yellow flames of ginkgoes reflected in pond

Friday, October 7, 2016

Film Sugihara Chiune, "Persona Non Grata" 10/14 at Uptown

by aleks
After its world premiere in Lithuania in October 2015, a new film about Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara, "Persona Non Grata," opens SPFF (Seattle Polish Film Festival) next Friday, October 14 at SIFF Cinema Uptown at 6:30 pm. Director Cellin Gluck will be present for the film screening, followed by Q &A.

The film tells the story of Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara who was posted in Lithuania during World War II, and who defied orders and issued over 2,000 transit visas to Jewish refugees, famously continuing to sign visas even as his train pulled away from the station. He is estimated to have saved over 6,000 lives from the Nazis, who invaded Lithuania a year later in 1941.

Directed by Japanese American Cellin Gluck, "Persona Non Grata" was filmed in Poland and stars Japanese actors Toshiaki Karasawa and Koyuki, and Polish actors Borys Szyc and Agnieszka Grochowska.

WHEN:  Friday, October 14th, 6:30 pm
WHERE: SIFF Cinema Uptown on 511 Queen Anne Ave N. Seattle 98109
You can buy tickets right before the film or on-line via SIIF; tickets and FB page here:

Here is an informative article about the film from

And a January 2016 interview with Cellin Gluck, Director Of “Persona Non Grata,” from

Trailer here:

Monday, September 26, 2016

Peggy's pics of 2016 Otsukimi

by aleks
Peggy G. was kind to share what her camera registered the night we honored a harvest moon a week ago (amazingly, it was her iPhone 6S and not a special low light equipment!). Enjoy and thank you, Peggy!

SJG • 9/17/17 - Photo by Peggy G.
SJG • 9/17/17 - Photo by Peggy G.

SJG • 9/17/17 - Photo by Peggy G.

SJG • 9/17/17 - Photo by Peggy G.

SJG • 9/17/17 - Photo by Peggy G.
For more Peggy's Otsukimi 2016 go here...

Monday, September 19, 2016

お月見 (Otsukimi) 2016 & Moon Viewing Haiku Winners

by aleks
SJG • 9/17/16 - the gate entrance

We had another fabulous Moon Viewing celebration last Saturday, complete with traditional Japanese tea ceremonies in the Shoseian Tea House,  bento dinners in the courtyard and Tatueuchi Community Room + floating lanterns launch on the pond at dusk.

From our  moon viewing platform we were delighted with haiku readings by Michael Dylan Welch from Haiku Northwest and music from several artists:
• Marcia and Kuniko Takamura on koto
• James Jennings on Shakuhachi
• Gretchen Yanover on electric cello
• Gary Stroutsos on bamboo flute

SJG • 9/17/16. Photo by Tony 

It was a cloudy evening, with prediction of 70% rain for the start of the fest, but luckily we only got a slight drizzle somewhere half-way trough.  No moon, alas. But that's OK: the ceremony does not require the moon to be present, as waiting for it is sufficient to celebrate this dating back to the 8th century tradition of honoring the autumn harvest moon.

SJG • 9/17/16. Photo by Tony

2016 Seattle Japanese Garden Moon Viewing Haiku Contest

Judged by Tanya McDonald and Michael Dylan Welch (from 126 entries)

First Place:

Lying in bed,
moonlight through the window,
my second blanket

Kaitlin Powell

Second Place:

the moon viewing
even the fish
need umbrellas

Anonymous (please let us know your name by emailing

Third Place:

the pond’s still surface
       reflects the full moon
              reflecting the sun

Kelvin Kleinman

SJG • 9/17/16 - tea ceremonies in the Shoseian Tea House. Photo by Tony 

Adult Honorable Mentions (in no particular order):

silver reflection
     drifting on the water
          faint as a caress

Rachel Burgoon

sun descending moon ascending
in a garden by a pond
a young boy looks up

Mahdi Mohammad Bagher

the moon is high
and so am I
the stars are out

B. St. J.

The moon is full,
and I am full too,
full of memories

Robbie Emmet

Small moons among us
The artificial lights flicker
The full moon shrouded
  Rebecca Church

SJG • 9/17/16 - Gretchen Yanover on electric cello

The pond’s hungry koi
Nibbling for their evening meal
Eat nothing but moon


Again the night is dark.
With flashlights and white balloons
let’s make our own moons.

Mata tsuki nai.
Hai-tekku wo tsukaite
tsuki wo shimas

Maurice Varon

Moon viewing in the park
I slip on a rock
Ah, the koi

Rodney Smith

drifting fog
an acquaintance
I’d rather not meet

Sky Ramirez

Even if you claim
it’s not a competition
no one “views” the sun

R. Thursday

SJG • 9/17/16. Photo by Tony

Youth Honorable Mentions  (in no particular order):

Look up to the sky
the moon smiles to you happily
to say hi to you

Olivia Near, age 10

The koi swim around
like a circle beautiful
as the moon

Olivia Near, age 10

Shadows on the sky
are like ghosts dancing on the moon
that are saying hello

Olivia Near, age 10

peaceful quiet dark
it drives away nightmares the moon
I gaze at the moon

Isaac Kim, age 8

Dear moon
you are so beautiful
I love your moonlight
you make me smile every night

Eliza Kim, age 5

SJG • 9/17/16 - Gary Stroutsos on bamboo flute. Photo by Tony
SJG • 9/17/16

Friday, September 16, 2016

Otsukimi 2016 and from our film club: Miyazaki's 'The Wind Rises' (2013)

by aleks
Our  full/harvest moon viewing ceremony is tomorrow, and sold out, unfortunately: if you don't have the tickets look here for the report from the event...

But you can still make it to the film screening on Oct. 5th, Wed. at noon till 3 pm at the Tateuchi Community Room:  we will be showing Hayao Miyazaki's 'The Wind Rises' (2013).  (Japanese: 風立ちぬ Kaze Tachinu) - it is a 2013 Japanese animated historical drama film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and animated by Studio Ghibli.

The film is a fictionalized biopic of Jiro Horikoshi (1903–1982), designer of the Mitsubishi A5M fighter aircraft and its successor, the Mitsubishi A6M Zero, used by the Empire of Japan during World War II. The film is adapted from Miyazaki's manga of the same name, which was in turn loosely based on the 1937 short story The Wind Has Risen by Tatsuo Hori. It was the final film directed by Miyazaki before his retirement in September 2013. The Wind Rises was the highest-grossing Japanese film in Japan in 2013 and received widespread critical acclaim. It won and was nominated for several awards, including nominations for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year.

The film trailer here:

It's for all of you Garden volunteers, lovers, friends and all other Japanese films aficionados: i'm sure you'd  fit somewhere there?:)  C YA!

Monday, July 4, 2016

Tanabata + Butoh interpretation of Beksinski x 2

SJG • 6/20/16

by aleks
Tanabata or the Star Festival is happening this coming Saturday, July 9th  in Seatlle Japanese Garden, between 10 am and 7 pm.  Celebrated in Japan on the 7th day of the 7th month of the year, when, according to a Chinese legend, the two stars Altair and Vega, which are usually separated from each other by the milky way, are able to meet.  Music, stories, Japanese crafts and games - hope you can visit.

• • • •

Zdzislaw Beksisnski (1929-2005) (pronounced ˈzd͡ʑiswaf bɛkˈɕiɲskʲi] was a renown Polish painter, graphic designer, photographer and sculptor, whose hauntingly evocative art is often described as  dystopian surrealism.

Dance interpretation of his work is a project that in 2016 brought together butoh artists from Warsaw, Poland and Seattle. Performed in the Polish cities of Warsaw, Krakow, and Wroclaw in March 2016 to full audiences, Beksiński_Butoh. Untitled2 is a collaboration of LimenButoh Theatre Warsaw/Poland, "The Academy of Social Skills" Association in cooperation with DAIPANbutoh Collective and co-financed by the City of Warsaw.

For gallery of Zdzislaw Beksinski's art go here...

This July Seattle will have a chance to see this work at two unrelated events (both free):

7/9 Sat. 5 pm at Seattle Center, Armory Loft #3  as part of  Seattle Polish Festival:  Robert Jedrzejewski (composer) and Joan Laage (butoh artist) will share Beksiński’s art and their new collaborative work in Beksinski_Butoh Film & Presentation

 7/17 Sun. 7 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center as part of Seattle Butoh Festival: Sylwia Hanff (butoh dancer) and Robert Jędrzejewski (video artist/composer) with their collaborator DAIPAN’s Joan Laage will present: Beksiński_Butoh. Untitled 2, produced by LimenButoh Theatre Warsaw/Poland, "The Academy of Social Skills" Association in cooperation with DAIPANbutoh Collective and co-financed by the City of Warsaw.

Beksiński_Butoh. Untitled 2 - Hanff and Laage

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Pottery class & 11 Beautiful Japanese Words That Don't Exist In English

by aleks
ON JUNE 16, Thursday, 10–Noon we have a CLASS for the Garden volunteers and staff: Reid Ozaki, an instructor of pottery at Tacoma Community College and one of the most respected potters in the Pacific Northwest —Development of a Potter: Gardens, Bonsai, Ikebana, Chanoyu, and other influences.  Tateuchi Community Room at SJG.

SJG • 6/1/2016 - Plant I never noticed until Corinne pointed it out to me recently:
Kirengeshoma palmata, native to Eastern Asia, grows along the western fence
and only emerging now; will have nodding, waxy yellow flowers in summer

* * * * * 
And here a post by Marie Sugio from a website I bookmarked some time ago:

11 Beautiful Japanese Words That Don't Exist In English

いただきます Itadakimasu
"Itadakimasu" means “I will have this.” It is used before eating any food to express appreciation and respect for life, nature, the person who prepared the food, the person who served the food, and everything else that is related to eating.

おつかれさま Otsukaresama
"Otsukaresama" means “you’re tired.” It is used to let someone know that you recognize his/her hard work and that you are thankful for it.

木漏れ日 Komorebi
"Komorebi" refers to the sunlight that filters through the leaves of trees.

For more words and their beautiful illustrations + terrific Japanese onomatopoeia words (hiso, hiso =  secretly, discretely) go here....

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Polish theater meets Japanese butoh dance

by aleks
Sunday, April 17, 4:30 pm 
Borderlines: Kantor's 'Dead Class' Revisited 
Polish Cultural Center at Capotol Hill: 1714 18th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122
Free admission

The Polish Salon of Poetry in Seattle and Kogut Butoh present evening of poetry and performance  Borderlines: Kantor's 'Dead Class' Revisited, directed by Joan Laage and staged with five other artists. 'The Dead Class' is a famous play by Tadeusz Kantor (1915-1990), Polish playwright and director renown for his ascetic performances. Joan 'Kogut' Laage is known in Seattle for her dance performances based on the Butoh style. The program includes a book exhibit and video clips about Kantor.

Joan Laage is one of our docents and she is also an accomplished butoh dancer/director - many Garden visitors know her work from various performances on different occasions, from Moon-viewing celebrations to annual Wandering and Wondering presentations .  Come to Polish Cultural Center to see how she and her dance group Daipan butoh translated the famous Polish theatrical piece of 1970s into 21 century butoh dance.

Press release for the performance is here...
More about Tadeusz cantor and his work at CRICOTEKA - Centre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor.

SJG • 3/31/16

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Our book club has a BOOK SHELF!

Recommended Reading to Better Understand Japanese Gardens and Japan in General
Recommendations of Seattle Japanese Garden (SJG) Docents and Friends

Browse this list as you might a bookshelf in a friend’s home; the readings have been submitted by SJG docents and friends, for which, and whom, the SJG Reading Group facilitators are grateful! The list is in alphabetical order by title, although none of our bookshelves might actually be organized that way….   One asterisk (*) at the end of a listing means a reading was discussed by the SJG Reading Group, and two asterisks (**) mean it’s scheduled to be discussed in the future. Go and browse the shelf here!

After this post goes to archives you can still access the BOOK SHELF - it's now pinned on the left side of this blog, above the FILM BANK. Enjoy!

Hanami continues at UW quad: yoshino cherries  - 3/12/116
Is it just me, or the yoshinos are getting paler in color with each year?

Saturday, March 12, 2016

The garden is open & sakura on the UW quad

SJG • 3/6/16 - Reverend Barrish of Tsubaki Shinto temple in front of the Garden's gate , blessing ceremony
by aleks

The SJG officially opened for 2016 season on March 6 and welcomes you for the reminder of the year, and the 2016 Cherry Blossom Viewing (sakura) on UW quad opened 2 days later, on March 8 with calligraphy, aka poetry and tea ceremony - the blossoms will be there for you for another 2 weeks or so.

SJG • 3/6/16 - Rev. Barrish inside the Garden, blessing the pond with offering of sake and rice

Only 3 years earlier those events were like 3 weeks apart (check this blog's  past entries)  - what can I say?  We had another warm winter in Seattle and the cherries are blooming almost immediately after, or nearly with  the ornamental plums - a traditional Japanese spring harbinger...

UW Quad yoshino cherries • 3/12/16

UW yoshino cherry blossoms - up close on the trunk

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Welcome Rock Arrangement By Dick Yamasaki

Seattle Japanese Garden At Washington Park Arboretum
By Koichi Kobayashi
SJG •  “Welcome Rock Arrangement by Dick Yamasaki “ - photo by Koichi Kobayashi

SJG •  “Welcome Rock Arrangement by Dick Yamasaki “ - photo by Koichi Kobayashi

This is a story about a set of rock installment.

I have been trying to determine who is responsible for placing an impressive set of rock you can see on your left hand side of pathway right after entering current south gate at the Seattle Japanese Garden at Washington Park Arboretum. It is widely known that most of rock installation in this garden was executed by Yamasaki/Yorozu team and supervised by Juki Iida during 1959-1960 construction period.  But this set of rock is very powerful and is not a typical rock set as seen in other gardens produced by Juki Iida and other parts of this garden.

 Area between the current entrance gate to WPA vintage stone bridge was not completed by end of initial construction and there was no entrance at the south end of the garden.  I verified this by examining original construction drawing and as built drawing produced by Nobumasa Kitamura of Tokyo Metropolitan Parks Department.  It has been documented that completion of this area was supervised by Dick Yamasaki who was also responsible for installing rock retaining wall on the north end of lake. I speculated that Dick Yamasaki installed this set of rocks.

In a strange encountering recently with Larry Hettick who is married to Suzie, who is related to Fumi Yamasaki, wife of Dick Yamasaki, Larry was told by Dick Yamasaki that Dick Yamasaki himself installed this rock arrangement.  That cleared my speculation over a long time.  Now I would like to propose to name this rock arrangement as “Welcome Rock Arrangement by Dick Yamasaki “.

For more (supporting documents for this article) go here.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Juki Iida's 1974 'Niwa' article - 2015 translation

by aleks
The Seattle Japanese Garden will open its gates to the public in a few days on March 1st, and the following Sunday March 6th it'll have an official First Viewing with a customary Shinto ceremony.

This is a good time to reflect on the words of Juki Iida, the builder of our Garden, penned after his visit to Seattle and the Garden 13 years after the construction was finished; the article was originally published in the Japanese magazine 'Niwa' in February 1974, and just recently translated into English by Shizue Prochaska and Julie E. Coryell.

Below the beginning of Juki Iida article's translation; the whole translation at link below the excerpt.  The captions under the pictures of the Garden how it looks today, are taken from the Juki Iida's 1974 article.
• • • 
Next week:  look for the article by Koichi Kobayashi on the 'Welcome Rock by Dick Yamasaki' (the stone arrangement in the area between the current south entrance gate and WPA vintage stone bridge, which was not completed by the end of the initial garden construction).

SJG • 10/27/15
Juki Iida, 1974: ‘[…] We pruned most of the lower branches of some trees located in the path of view lines. Of course, I had to admit that our work looked pretty strange, however, it was done with the future in mind. Fortunately we obtained spruce and yew trees seven-to-eight-feet high so we could plant them from the base of the waterfall up the hill around the jūsansō-tō, thirteen-story pagoda.[…]

Shizue Prochaska and Julie E. Coryell, translators, 2015.
[Note: translators added information within brackets for clarity].

Gai Yō, Introduction
This garden was constructed thirteen years ago between 1959 and 1960. I learned that
the University of Washington made the initial request to build a garden. Consul General Yoshiharu Takeno in Seattle contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which in turn, conveyed the request to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.
When I was asked to assist in this project, two points struck me. First, how could rocks, plants, and other materials for a large-scale Japanese garden be obtained outside of Japan? Second, how could people of European descent and second-generation gardeners [of Japanese descent] build such a garden? Never having experienced such a project and thinking it could be a great opportunity to learn, I was happy to undertake the work.

SJG • 10/27/15
Juki Iida, 1974: ‘[…] The pond covers 850 tsubo [about 1.5 acres]. The plan is a stroll garden in “somewhat Momoyama style.” Where the creek enters the pond, large sawa tobi ishi, marsh stepping-stones connect the shores. A yukimi-tōrō, snow-viewing stone lantern stands nearby.[…]’

Sekkei, Planning
With the leadership of [master landscape designer Sensei] Kiyoshi Inoshita, the design team included [Tokyo Metropolitan Park Department Director] Tatsuo Moriwaki, [Tokyo Metropolitan Park Department Engineer] Nobumasa Kitamura, Messrs. [Shoshi] Iwao Ishikawa, Naotomo Ueno, Chikara Itō, and myself. The year before [in 1958] discussion of building a Japanese garden in Seattle started around the time Park Director Moriwaki visited the United States and viewed the site personally. Using his firsthand report and photographs and other materials sent to us from Seattle, we formed the basic plan.

Genchi Chōsa, Site Research
In the autumn of 1959, I traveled to America to check the initial plan for the proposed garden site and to explore the availability of rocks, trees, shrubs, and other materials. The day after my arrival, I attended a meeting of the Arboretum Foundation members with the Acting Consul General and [Cultural Affairs liaison James] Fukuda. There I explained the plan in detail. Everyone present appeared to be satisfied with the design. I was told that the garden was planned to be built for the centennial celebration of the Japan-

America treaty [1858] but was delayed for various reasons. The Arboretum Foundation members left matters in my hands to build an authentic Japanese garden “not to be found” outside Japan. 

SJG • 10/27/15
Juki Iida, 1974: ‘[…] A yatsuhashi, zigzag bridge and a dobashi, earthen bridge link the middle island to the shores.[…]’

Zōen Shikichi , Garden Site
The garden site covers about 6,000 plus tsubo [actually three and a half acres], stretching north to south fronting a public road to the east. It faces slopes of zōkibayashi, woodlands, to the northwest and south. There is a numasawachi, marsh, at the bottom of the slopes. I found the site ideal for building a Japanese garden and not likely to require extensive revision of the design. There is already a teahouse donated by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government on the south side of a small hill. [...]

The whole article  (+ a dictionary of Japanese terms used in the article) here:

SJG • 10/27/15
Juki Iida, 1974: ‘[…] To create the atmosphere of a harbor town and boat landing, between the foot of the north slope and the pond we used sandstone pavers measuring two by seven-feet, and to represent a lighthouse, we placed an omokage-gata tōrō, face-style or reflection lantern. To protect the foot of the slope we created a seven-foot high rock wall and planted a chain of small shrubs on top of the wall. […]’

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

This May: Invitation to the most memorable tour to Kyoto and Kansai, Japan

We are currently finalizing a group tour (Max. ten)  to Kansai Region of Japan. This tour will concentrate on gardens, architecture and townscape of  Kyoto, Nara and Takayama of Japan starting on May 13 for 12 days.

Special feature of this tour is to follow a number of gardens illustrated by Yuri Ugaya in her just published book, “ Splendid Gardens in Kyoto”. She once studied with me when I was a visiting professor at Awaji Landscape and Horticulture Academy of  Hyogo University.

Koichi Kobayashi

小林 竑一 

Visiting Research Fellow
Hyogo University, Japan

Kobayashi Global, Seattle, WA. USA

The link below will take you to 5-page detailed schedule of the trip, features, pictures of potential places to visit, cost and contact: 

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.