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Reaching a Historic Milestone: Portland Japanese Garden Celebrates Official Acquisition of Property to House the Japan Institute

From left: Yoshiko Oda Uemura, Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, Consul General Masaki Shiga, Steve Bloom, Board of Trustees Past President Robert Zagunis, Reverend Eisei Ikenaga, Major Bob Lloyd, and Rieko Warrens. Photo by Nina Johnson.

On April 21, 2022, with great honor, the Japan Institute became the next stewards of The Salvation Army’s historic White Shield Campus. Portland Japanese Garden supporters, partners, Board Members, volunteers, and staff gathered to celebrate the milestone marking the purchase of the property and toasting to the future home of the Garden’s sibling organization – the Japan Institute.

This open house-style, private event opened up the halls of the new campus, showcasing artist studios, performance spaces, and residence rooms set against the backdrop of a spring evening and sounds of taiko, shamisen, and piano music.

Reverend Eisei Ikenaga giving a land blessing of the Japan Institute campus. Photo by Nina Johnson.

Special guests included U.S. Representative Suzanne Bonamici, Oregon Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, Consul General of Japan in Portland Masaki Shiga, and Portland Japanese Garden Board Past President Robert Zagunis. Each spoke as to why they believe the Japan Institute will add technical, economic, and social value to not just Oregon, but the broader international community.

After a Native Land Acknowledgement by Portland Japanese Garden CEO Steve Bloom, The Salvation Army’s Major Bob Lloyd spoke to the history of the property Garden being the next stewards of the land. A blessing was performed by Reverend Eisei Ikenaga of the Nichiren Buddhist Temple of Portland.

From left: Portland Japanese Garden CEO Steve Bloom and The Salvation Army Major Bob Lloyd. Photo by Nina Johnson.

Portland Japanese Garden and the Japan Institute are committed to help lead Portland’s recovery from the impacts of the pandemic and recent social strife. The Institute will be a boon to both its home city and the state of Oregon as it will become an international hub of artists, gardeners, intellectuals, and a meeting place for world leaders and peace ambassadors.

This is just the beginning! Thank you for your support in getting us to this moment. Stay tuned, as we will be sure to keep you informed of exciting milestones between now and the Grand Opening (currently slated for Fall, 2024).

The Japan Institute’s Path to Peace Campaign Update

The momentum behind the Japan Institute campaign continues to build! To date, we have raised approximately $16 million of our $25 million goal with support largely stemming from our Board and government funding. We want to especially thank the offices of Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, Representative Maxine Dexter, Representative Lisa Reynolds, and Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, along with support from Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley. A sincere thank you to those who have supported us! For questions or interest on supporting this campaign, please reach out to our Director of Philanthropy, Claire Eisenfeld, at or 503-542-0281.