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A Wall Connecting Cultures

Photo by Bruce Forster
Photo by Bruce Forster

When visitors come to the Portland Japanese Garden, one of the features they will notice is a massive stone structure at the west end of the new Cultural Village. Measuring 18.5 feet tall and 185 feet long, it rises up to both greet visitors and transport them to another place and time. Walking past it, the visitor catches his reflection in an oversized stone and pauses. Staring up at the dry stacked rocks looming above, this structure prompts more questions than answers: just what is this giant wall? And what is it doing in the middle of Portland, Oregon?