On March 24, Portland Japanese Garden had the profound honor of receiving His Excellency, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the United States of America, Koji Tomita. Ambassador Tomita was greeted by Chief Curator and Director of the International Japanese Garden Training Center Sada Uchiyama, Garden Curator Hugo Torii, and Japanese Liaison Manager Natsuko Takahashi, as well as Board President-Elect Drake Snodgrass and Board Vice President Cal Tanabe.
This group of leaders accompanied the Ambassador for a stroll through our historic garden spaces, enjoying views of a landscape emerging from the stillness of winter into the vitality of spring. As visitors and members know, Portland Japanese Garden places authentic Japanese garden design within a Pacific Northwest forest. This unique quality was something Ambassador Tomita was keenly aware of, remarking that the Flat Garden in particular featured good harmony of a Japanese garden with forest trees and plants from different cultural backgrounds.
Upon the conclusion of a tour that journeyed through the Wisteria Arbor, over the Moon Bridge, and past the Heavenly Falls and Tea Garden, Uchiyama gave the Ambassador a brief overview of Portland Japanese Garden’s new sibling organization, The Japan Institute. Portland Japanese Garden and The Japan Institute are sibling organizations united in the pursuit of the same mission: Inspiring Harmony & Peace. These simple yet profound words are a catalyst that drives our staff and Board of Trustees forward in our pursuit of a more peaceful and sustainable world. The belief we can realize such a world is bulwarked by the support we receive from our International Advisory Board (IAB). Ambassador Tomita joined the IAB in 2021 and he along with other global leaders support the Garden by sharing our mission to a global audience and by making connections with fellow leaders in Japan and around the world.
Portland Japanese Garden is delighted to have been visited by Ambassador Tomita, and is grateful for his kind words, shared later in a Tweet via the Embassy of Japan:
What a wonderful opportunity to visit the @PDXJapaneseGdn in springtime, this facility is truly an unparalleled example of Japanese landscape art. I am so glad that I can support this important institution as a member of their International Advisory Board. -Ambassador Tomita pic.twitter.com/AjRXwwqVUi
— Japan Embassy DC🌸 (@JapanEmbDC) March 28, 2022