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Portland Japanese Garden CEO Steve Bloom Receives Kaneko Award

Award is in Recognition of Promoting People-to-People Exchanges Between Japan and the United States

Steve Bloom, the Chief Executive Officer of Portland Japanese Garden since 2005. Photo by Christina Sjogren

Steve Bloom, Chief Executive Officer of Portland Japanese Garden and the Japan Institute, has been awarded the Kaneko Kentaro Award. The honor, referred to as the Kaneko Award, was established by the America-Japan Society in 2017 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of its founding. This award has been bestowed upon Bloom in recognition of his longstanding contributions to grassroots exchanges between Japan and the United States.

On September 20, the America-Japan Society held a ceremony at the International House of Japan in Tokyo to honor Bloom and his fellow recipients of this prestigious award, one day ahead of the Japan Institute’s inaugural Peace Symposium in the same location. In a press release, the America-Japan Society cheered Bloom’s many accomplishments since taking on his role at Portland Japanese Garden in 2005, writing that he has provided “dynamic leadership and exceptional vision that has resulted in strong institutional growth, including: the completion of a $37 million expansion of the Garden and its facilities, creation of a curatorial department, expansion of programs in culture, art, and education, establishment of the International Japanese Garden Training Center, creation of the International Advisory Board, and establishment of the Japan Institute.”

Yoshio Kurosaki (second from left) stands next to Steve Bloom during a Portland Japanese Garden event in 2014.

Joining Bloom in this honor is Yoshio Kurosaki. Kurosaki is the former Director and President of the Japan-America Society of Oregon and is a Board Member of Portland Japanese Garden. In addition to Kurosaki’s leadership on the Garden’s Finance and Accounting Committee and Director Selection Committee, he has led and assisted numerous nonprofit and academic organizations and facilitated sister-city exchanges. Other Kaneko Award recipients in 2022 include Kiyoko Morita Caine, Jiro Kawatsuma, Gerald Curtis, and Hiroshi Senju.

Related: Sadafumi Uchiyama Bestowed High Honor by Japanese Government

This marks another notable accomplishment by Steve Bloom during his 17 years of leadership of Portland Japanese Garden. In 2015, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs awarded Bloom the Foreign Minister’s Commendation in honor of his outstanding achievements in the promotion of friendship between Japan and the United States. He was also a recipient of the “2017 Portland Award,” for his contributions to Portland’s visitor industry. Bloom was also bestowed an Honorary Membership by the Garden Society of Japan in recognition of outstanding achievements in the promotion of Japanese Gardens worldwide.

To learn more about Steve Bloom, click here.