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Inspiring Harmony and Peace

The Mission Statement of Portland Japanese Garden and The Japan Institute Explained

The Mission Statement of Portland Japanese Garden and The Japan Institute Explained

When Portland Japanese Garden was created in the 1960s, it was met with opposition from those blinded by hate. Despite this, we became a beloved cultural institution with more than 500,000 visitors a year. This transformation is the result of our champions who embodied core values such as mutual respect, harmony, and cultural authenticity.

Those core values led to the creation of Portland Japanese Garden’s first mission to “create, maintain, improve, and administer an authentic, world-class Japanese garden in the city of Portland and to offer compatible educational, cultural, artistic, horticultural, environmental, and charitable activities to people from all over the world.” 

Our mission: Inspiring harmony & peace.

In 2017, the organization took a step back to ask itself why it exists and re-examine its mission so it could align with the needs of our communities. Driven by the same unshakable core values, the Garden felt it was time to update its mission to “bring the ideals of Portland Japanese Garden to the world: art of craft, connection to nature, experience of peace.”

Over the past year, on the heels of the pandemic, upon the launch of the Japan Institute, and on the verge of our 60th anniversary in 2023, we as an organization once again took time to re-evaluate not only the mission of Portland Japanese Garden, but to establish a mission for the Japan Institute as well.  The results of this important soul-searching was first the realization that the Garden and the Institute could share a mission, and second, that mission could be distilled down to four simple, but powerful words: Inspiring Harmony and Peace.

With this refined mission providing a clear way forward, the Garden and Institute will take intertwining paths to inspire harmony and peace. The Garden will focus on achieving its mission through culture, art, and nature and the Japan Institute will make these gains with an emphasis on dialogue, diplomacy, and knowledge. Harmony and peace can only be achieved if it is sought. Our hope is to engage communities in dialogue about how, at the intersection of culture, art, and nature, we can help to build a better future.