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Japan Institute of Portland Japanese Garden to Host Inaugural Peace Symposium in Tokyo, Japan

The Peace Lantern in the Strolling Pond Garden of Portland Japanese Garden.

Her Imperial Highness Princess Tsuguko to Address Attendees

For Japanese translation, please see here.

PORTLAND, Ore. — September 12, 2022 — On September 21, the United Nations’ International Day of Peace, the Japan Institute of Portland Japanese Garden will hold its inaugural Peace Symposium, “Peacemaking at the Intersection of Culture, Art, and Nature” in Tokyo, Japan. The symposium will be held at the International House of Japan’s Iwasaki Koyata Hall and explores how peacemaking can be accomplished at the intersection of culture, art, and nature, using Portland Japanese Garden as a case study when it comes to public spaces that have made transformative social impacts.

The signature moment of Peacemaking at the Intersection of Culture, Art, and Nature” in Tokyo will be an address from Her Imperial Highness, Princess Tsuguko. Taro Kono, Minister of Digital Affairs of Japan and member of the House of Representatives, will also give a keynote speech, followed by James Kondo, Chairman of the International House of Japan, who will be giving special remarks.

The symposium includes two panel discussions:

  • Japanese Gardens – Transforming Global Cultural Landscapes” featuring panelists: Isoya Shinji, Former President, Prof. Emeritus of Tokyo Univ. of Agriculture; Hiromi Matsugi, Assistant Professor, International Research Center for Japanese Studies; Marc Peter Keane, Garden Designer and Author; moderated by Sadafumi Uchiyama, Chief Curator of Portland Japanese Garden and Director of the International Japanese Garden Training Center.
  • Re-imagining Peace at the Intersection of Culture, Art, and Nature”, featuring panelists: Mami Kataoka, Director, Mori Art Museum; Masayuki Wakui, Landscape Architect and Distinguished Professor at Tokyo City University; Junya Ishigami, Architect and CEO, Junya Ishigami + Associates; moderated by Akihito Nakanishi, Arlene Schnitzer Curator of Culture, Art, and Education, Portland Japanese Garden.

The Japan Institute’s Peace Symposia are a signature element of the organization and is part of a broader series of programs that include special events and experiences meant to inspire conversations about peace through the lens of cultural diplomacy. Ultimately, the Japan Institute will hold six Peace Symposia on six continents over the course of three years – the first fittingly being in Tokyo, Japan.

Early morning sunlight trickles throughout the Sand and Stone Garden. Photo by Julia Taylor.
Early morning sunlight trickles throughout the Sand and Stone Garden. Photo by Julia Taylor.

“In today’s complex world, where polarization and violence against diverse communities have increased, we feel the need to share our story of enlisting cultural diplomacy in pursuit of a more peaceful, sustainable world.” says Steve Bloom, CEO of the Japan Institute of Portland Japanese Garden. “Portland Japanese Garden has taught us that at the intersection of culture, art, and nature we can gain a better understanding of ourselves and each other. Through our Peace Symposia, we hope to create spaces where relationships can be fostered, ideas can be shared, and peaceful actions can be inspired.”

Peacemaking at the Intersection of Culture, Art, and Nature” in Tokyo will also feature the work of gifted young poets. In partnership with Young Poets Network, writers aged 25 and under have submitted poems that explore the concept of peace. Selected poets will recite their poem in Tokyo and be published in an anthology at the conclusion of all six Peace Symposia.

The Japan Institute’s peace programming is made possible through Robert and Deborah Zagunis. The second Peace Symposium will be in London, UK, at the historic Guildhall on December 6, 2022. The remaining four will be in New York and Johannesburg in 2023 and in Sao Paolo and Sydney in 2024.

For more information on the Japan Institute, click here.

Media Contact:    

Will Lerner | 503-542-9351 | [email protected]

About the Japan Institute:

Japan Institute was established in 2020 as a sibling organization of Portland Japanese Garden. As an international hub for world leaders, artists, gardeners, and scholars, the Japan Institute organizes symposia, gatherings, and experiences through its three programming centers: the International Exchange Forum, the International Japanese Garden Training Center, and the Global Center for Culture and Art. The Japan Institute and Portland Japanese Garden share in the mission of Inspiring Harmony & Peace, and the vision to be a leading global voice for cultural understanding, in pursuit of a more peaceful, sustainable world.

About Portland Japanese Garden:  

Portland Japanese Garden is a nonprofit organization originally founded in 1963 as a place for cross-cultural understanding following World War II. A hallmark in the City of Portland, the Garden was founded on the ideals of peace and mutual understanding between peoples and cultures. Portland Japanese Garden is considered the most authentic Japanese garden outside of Japan and the foremost Japanese cultural organization in North America.