World’s Top Japanese Garden Designers to Reunite at Portland Japanese Garden
Portland, Oregon— The Portland Japanese Garden is widely recognized as the premier Japanese garden outside of Japan. At the Garden’s 25th anniversary celebration in 1988, Nobuo Matsunaga, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States, proclaimed the Portland Japanese Garden to be “the most authentic Japanese garden in the world outside Japan.” Most recently, in June 2009, the current Japanese Ambassador to the United States, Ichiro Fujisaki, taken by the quality of this Japanese style garden in a uniquely Pacific Northwest setting, declared that the Portland Japanese Garden was perhaps the most beautiful Japanese Garden in the world.
Founded in 1963, the Garden has been impressing visitors with its beauty and tranquility since its opening in 1967. The design of the Garden is the unique vision of Professor Takuma Tono, a landscape architecture who taught at Tokyo Agricultural University until his retirement in 1969. Tono’s master plan included the creation of several different garden styles to represent historical developments and concepts in Japanese garden design: the Stroll Garden, the Flat Garden, the Tea Garden, and the Sand and Stone Garden. Later, a fifth and more contemporary style of garden, the Natural Garden, was added to complete the site. Critical to the fostering of Tono’s plan was the appointment of nine** Garden Directors who have worked to develop and maintain the Garden over the past 27 years, resulting in the masterwork that the Garden is today.
October 13-15, 2010, the Portland Japanese Garden is extremely proud to host the first-ever gathering of these eight Garden Directors and our current Garden Curator Sadafumi Uchiyama. This internationally renowned group of nine individuals represents a who’s who of the most sought-after Japanese gardeners and landscapers in the world. Famous for bringing the beauty, harmony, and aesthetics of Japanese gardening to the world, these directors will be coming together for the first time to share their vast knowledge of Japanese gardening and the history of the Portland Japanese Garden.
These distinguished landscape designers are known for having designed and created the major Japanese gardens across the globe—including such gardens as the Morikami and Andersen Gardens in the United States and the Mori Gardens and Japanese Garden at Showa Kinen Park in Japan—working to preserve the traditions of Japanese gardening while continuing to evolve and revolutionize the industry.
“It is personally very rewarding for me to welcome all eight of the men who were responsible for this Garden’s development over its 46 year history,” says Uchiyama… “The beauty of this Garden is the result of a combination of elements: the designer Professor Takuma Tono’s original vision, the meticulous care of each of the eight master gardeners who oversaw its development, and the commitment of a dedicated community of supporters. This is a rare opportunity to learn the first-hand history of this extraordinary place we enjoy today.”
The three-day Garden Director’s event includes a public forum and discussion moderated by one of the Garden’s Advisory Board members Joseph Krakora, Executive Officer of Development and External Affairs at the National Gallery of Art. Additionally, an informal Q&A presentation will be held with Garden members and Guides, instructional time with the gardening staff, filming of each Director for a future documentary, and a final banquet honoring the Directors. Press site for more information www.japanesegarden.com/press/reunion.
“This gathering of Directors will be one of the most significant events to occur at the Garden in its nearly 50-year history,” commented the Garden’s Executive Director, Steve Bloom. “The impact of the art and design of the Portland Japanese Garden on the garden industry in North American has been substantial, and we have this group to thank not only for our own amazing Garden, but for their major advancements in this field over the past five decades. We are very proud to host this momentous event.”
The Portland Japanese Garden has been proclaimed one of the most beautiful Japanese gardens in the world. The Garden is located above Washington Park at 611 SW Kingston Drive in SW Portland, Oregon and is open daily except on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s.
For Garden Director Bios, please visit http://www.japanesegarden.com/press/reunion