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Natural Garden Machiai to be Restored

Photo by Dina Avila

Portland Japanese Garden is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is able to pursue its mission of Inspiring Harmony & Peace and provide the community of place of respite because of the generosity of donors and foundations that award our organization grants. The following is a letter from Hugo Torii, Garden Curator of Portland Japanese Garden, in which he shares an update on the upcoming restoration of a machiai (sheltered waiting area) in the Natural Garden, something that will happen because of the amazing support Portland Japanese Garden has received from its community both near and far.

Dear Friends,

Thank you for being a treasured member of Portland Japanese Garden’s family, particularly for your support of our treasured Natural Garden machiai. As you may know, we had raised about 62% ($50,000) of the project’s total costs as of Summer 2021, thanks to over 250 donors. I’m pleased to report, that with the generosity of gifts from Oregon Heritage Trust and Dorothy Piacentini, we have now raised all the funds necessary to complete this project.

The machiai (sheltered waiting area) in the Natural Garden.

Onsite restoration of the Natural Garden machiai will begin in mid-to-late October. We anticipate completion of the project in January or February of 2023 (dependent upon the weather). The machiai’s original structure was built in 1985-1986 with a high quality of workmanship and integrity of tradition. Authentically designed to sit without one front post, preserving the view of those seated inside, the unsupported corner of the roof has begun to sag, pulling the roof, beams, and walls with it.

We are working with Dale Brotherton of Takumi Company, a firm that integrates the ancient tradition of Japanese woodworking into the culture of the Pacific Northwest. As part of the restoration, we will restructure the joints and balance the machiai to help keep the unsupported corner of the roof up. Additionally, the roof will be reinforced and landscaping in the Natural Garden around the structure will be updated.

Dale Brotherton working on a project in the Tea Garden in 2019. Photo by Tyler Quinn.

I believe the machiai is one of the most peaceful spots in the Garden. Thank you for your investment to ensure it remains a place of tranquility for our community for generations to come. If you have any questions, please contact our Senior Philanthropy Manager, Claire Eisenfeld at or 503-542-0281. Thank you.


Hugo Torii
Garden Curator