View all Events

Japan Institute Special Venue

Peace Symposium Tokyo 2022

Peacemaking at the Intersection of
Culture, Art, and Nature


The "Peace Lantern" (neko ashi yukimi), on the east bank of the Upper Strolling Pond. Photo by Jim Reitz.
The “Peace Lantern” (neko ashi yukimi), on the east bank of the Upper Strolling Pond.
Photo by Jim Reitz

“Peacemaking at the Intersection of Culture, Art, and Nature,” will be held on September 21st, on the United Nation’s International Day of Peace at the International House of Japan’s Iwasaki Koyata Memorial Hall. These symposia are our signature program coming out of Japan Institute and is part of our Peace Programs series – special events and experiences created 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. Our time in Tokyo will be preceded by a presentation of replicas of our beloved Peace Lantern as symbolic gifts to Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Tokyo. The second Peace Symposium will be in London, UK, at the historic Guildhall on December 6th.

Among those speaking are Her Imperial Highness, Princess Tsuguko, who will give the congratulatory address. Taro Kono, Minister of Digital Agency of Japan has graciously agreed to give a keynote speech. Furthermore, James Kondo, Chairman of the International House of Japan will be giving remarks. We couldn’t ask for a more honorable presence to kick off our international programming this year.

The Peace Symposia will also feature the work of gifted young poets. In partnership with Young Poets Network, writers 25 and under are invited to submit poems that explore the concept of peace. The first round of the competition is open from July 12 through September 12, 2022. Selected poets in this initial stage will have the opportunity to recite their poem in Tokyo and be published in an anthology at the conclusion of all six Peace Symposia. More information, including on how to enter, can be found here.

Program Agenda
Date & TimeWednesday, September 21, 1:00 pm – 5:30 pm
VenueInternational House of Japan (Iwasaki Koyata Memorial Hall)
AdmissionFree through registration (up to 100 attendees)
OrganizersJapan Institute of Portland Japanese Garden,
The International House of Japan
LanguageEnglish and Japanese (simultaneous interpretation provided)
Schedule (pm)
12:30Doors Open
1:00Welcome Address by Chairman James Kondo, International House of Japan
1:05Opening Remarks by CEO Steve Bloom, Japan Institute of Portland Japanese Garden
1:20Congratulatory Address: Her Imperial Highness Princess Tsuguko Takamado
1:30Session 1 Japanese Gardens – Transforming Global Cultural Landscapes
• 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; Author
• Sadafumi Uchiyama (moderator), Chief Curator, Portland Japanese Garden
2:50Commissioned Poetry Reading
3:00End of Session 1
3:30Session 2 Opening Remarks: Steve Bloom, CEO, Japan Institute of Portland Japanese Garden 
3:45Keynote Speech: Taro Kono, Minister for Digital Agency; Member of the House of Representatives
4:05Session 2 Re-imagining Peace at the Intersection of Architecture, Art, and Nature
• Mami Kataoka, Director, Mori Art Museum
• Masayuki Wakui, Landscape Architect; Distinguished Professor at Tokyo City University
• Junya Ishigami, Architect; CEO, Junya Ishigami + Associates
• Akihito Nakanishi (moderator), Arlene Schnitzer Curator of Culture, Art & Education, Portland Japanese Garden
5:25Closing Remarks: Steve Bloom, CEO, Japan Institute of Portland Japanese Garden
5:30Peace Symposium concludes

Bios (Listed Alphabetically by Section)


Steve Bloom, CEO, Japan Institute of Portland Japanese Garden

u003cimg class=u0022size-medium wp-image-12924 aligncenteru0022 src=u0022×376.jpgu0022 alt=u0022u0022 width=u0022251u0022 height=u0022376u0022 /u003ernrnUnder Steve Bloom’s leadership, Portland Japanese Garden in Oregon, U.S. A. has seenrnstrong institutional growth. He oversaw the completion of a $37 million expansion of thernGarden and its facilities designed by renowned architect Kengo Kuma, created a curatorialrndepartment, expanded and improved programs in culture, art, and education, established an International Japanese Garden Training Center, formed an International Advisory Board, and has dramatically increased national and international visibility and recognition.rnIn 2015, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced it was awarding the ForeignrnMinister’s Commendations in Honor of the 70th anniversary of the End of World War II. The award was given to individuals and groups with outstanding achievements in the promotion of friendship between United States and Japan. Bloom was awarded this prestigious recognition along with only 27 other individuals.rnBloom was a 2008-09 Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow in Japan, sponsored by Hitachi, and concurrently served as Visiting Scholar at Tokyo University of Agriculture. Following his fellowship in Japan, Bloom led an effort to create the North American Japanese Garden Association (NAJGA) of which he served as its FoundingrnBoard President. Presented by Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, Bloom is the recent recipient of the “2017 Portland Award” recognizing greatest overall contribution to the promotion of Portland’s visitor industry. On the occasion of its 100th Anniversary in 2018, the Garden Society of Japan bestowed Honorary Membership to Bloom in recognition of outstanding achievements in the promotion of Japanese Gardens worldwide.rnThis year, Bloom was selected as one of the u0022AJS Kaneko Kentaro Awardeesu0022 in recognition of his tireless work in the promotion of U.S. – Japan mutual understanding.


James Kondo, Chairman and Board of Directors, International House of Japan

u003cimg class=u0022wp-image-28298 size-medium aligncenteru0022 src=u0022×376.jpgu0022 alt=u0022u0022 width=u0022282u0022 height=u0022376u0022 /u003ernrnJames’ career spans policy, technology, academia and social arena.rnIn the policy arena, James was President of the Asia Pacific Initiative (API) that merged with the International House of Japan. He was also Special Advisor at the Cabinet Office and a co-founder of the Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI).rnrnIn the technology arena, James is Co-Chair, Silicon Valley Japan Platform and Co-Chair, World Economic Forum Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Japan. He was previously Chairman of Twitter Japan and Vice President of Twitter Inc.rnrnIn academia, James is Visiting Professor at Keio Medical School. Previously, he was Visiting Professor at Hitotsubashi Business School, Visiting Scientist at MIT Media Lab, and Associate Professor at the University of Tokyo.rnrnIn the social arena, James co-founded TABLE FOR TWO, a Davos-initiated social program that simultaneously addresses global hunger and obesity, and Beyond Tomorrow, a youth leadership and scholarship program established after the Tohoku earthquake in 2011. He is also a Global Trustee and Japan Co-Chair of Asia Society.rnrnJames was a visiting student at Brown University, graduated from Keio University and Harvard Business School and was a World Fellow at Yale University.rnrnHe was selected: Young Global Leader, New Asian Leader, a member of Global Agenda Council at the World Economic Forum, Asia 21 Fellow at Asia Society, Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy, and Inamori Fellow of Inamori Foundation.


Taro Kono, Minister for Digital Agency, Member of the House of Representatives

u003cimg class=u0022size-medium wp-image-28233 aligncenteru0022 src=u0022×376.pngu0022 alt=u0022u0022 width=u0022261u0022 height=u0022376u0022 /u003ernrnAmong positions he has held are Foreign Minister; Defense Minister; Minister in charge of COVID-19 Vaccine Roll-out; Minister for Administrative Affairs; Chairman of the National Public Safety Commission, or Minister in charge of the National Police Organization; Minister for Civil Service Reform; Minister for Consumer Affairs and Food Safety; Minister for Disaster Management; and Chairman of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives. He is a graduate of the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University. He was Chairman of the Japan Race Horse Association and Chairman of the Shonan Bellmare Football Club, the 1995 Asia Champion Soccer Club. He is married to Kaori and has a son, Ippei.


Her Imperial Highness Princess Tsuguko Takamado

1989 Entered Shōtō Kindergartenrn1992 Entered Gakushūin Primary Schoolrn1998 Entered Gakushūin Girls’ Junior High Schoolrn2001 Entered Gakushūin Senior High Schoolsrn2004-2008 Studied abroad at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, U.K.rn2008 Entered School of International Liberal Studies, Waseda Universityrn2013 Graduated from the School of International Liberal Studies, Waseda University (minor in Life Science).rnCurrently working at the Japan Committee for UNICEF.rnHonorary President of the All-Japan Archery FederationrnHonorary Chairman of Japan Squash Association


Session 1: Japanese Gardens – Transforming Global Cultural Landscapes – 

Marc Peter Keane, Garden Designer

u003cimg class=u0022size-full wp-image-28231 aligncenteru0022 src=u0022 alt=u0022u0022 width=u0022330u0022 height=u0022330u0022 /u003ernrnMarc Peter Keane is a garden designer, artist, and author. Having lived in Kyoto, Japan, for nearly 20 years, his work is deeply influenced by the aesthetics and culture of Japan. His most recent interest is exploring contemporary forms of the ancient gardening style called karesansui — often referred to as Zen gardens.rnrnKeane’s writing includes works on Japanese gardens such as u003cemu003eJapanese Garden Design u003c/emu003e1996u003cemu003e,u003c/emu003e u003cemu003eSakuteiki u003c/emu003e2001, and u003cemu003eThe Japanese Tea Garden u003c/emu003e2009. He has also published collections of essays on nature, art and gardens including u003cemu003eThe Art of Setting Stones u003c/emu003e2002, and u003cemu003eOf Arcs and Circles u003c/emu003e2022.


Hiromi Matsugi, Faculty at International Research Center for Japanese Studies

Completed Ph.D. from Doctoral School of Aesthetics, Sciences and Technologies of Arts, University of Paris 8. Received Japanese Institute of Landscape Architecture Award / Literature for u0022イサム・ノグチの空間芸術 危機の時代のデザイン u003cemu003e(Isamu Noguchi Spatial Arts – Design in the time of crisis)u003c/emu003e” (Tankosha Publishing, 2021) in 2021. The history and current state of Japanese gardens created abroad is the topic of her research. Concentrating mainly on gardens in France and the United States, Matsugi is investigating these overseas gardens’ ties with Japan, as well as their relationship with other forms of art such as sculpture and architecture. Recent article includes “Le jardin japonais comme champ des enjeux internationaux : tendances récentes de la recherche”, u003cemu003ePerspective : actualité en histoire de l’artu003c/emu003e, 2020-1.


Dr. Isoya Shinji, Former president, Prof. Emeritus of Tokyo Univ. of Agriculture

u003cimg class=u0022size-medium wp-image-28295 aligncenteru0022 src=u0022×376.jpgu0022 alt=u0022u0022 width=u0022251u0022 height=u0022376u0022 /u003ernrnServing as a member of Science Council of Japan (Chairman of Environmental Studies Committee), President of the Japanese Institute of Landscape Architecture and President of the City Planning Institute of Japan. Shinji is also the chairman of the Nature Restoration Council of the Japanese Government Ministry of the Environment. Currently, he is a policy advisor to Fukui Prefecture, director of the Fukui Prefectural Satoyama-Satoumi,Research Institute. Shinji holds PhD in Environmental Studies and Landscape Architecture,rnrnThe author of numerous books including u0022u003cemu003e日本の庭園 u003c/emu003eu003cemu003e(Japanese Gardens)u003c/emu003eu0022 (Chuko Shinsho), u0022u003cemu003e進士五十八とu003c/emu003eu003cemu003e22u003c/emu003eu003cemu003e人のランドスケープ・アーキテクト u003c/emu003eu003cemu003e(Isoya Shinji and 22 Landscape Architects)u003c/emu003e,u0022 u0022u003cemu003e進士五十八の風景美学 u003c/emu003eu003cemu003e(Shinji Isoya’s Landscape Aesthetics)u003c/emu003eu0022 (Marumo Publishing), and others.rnrnAwards received include the Japan Institute of Landscape Architecture Award. He is the recipient of 2015 National Landscape Academic Prize, Cabinet Office, and the Purple Ribbon Medal of Japan.


Sadafumi Uchiyama, Chief Curator, Portland Japanese Garden (Moderator)

u003cimg class=u0022size-full wp-image-3642 aligncenteru0022 src=u0022 alt=u0022u0022 width=u0022246u0022 height=u0022250u0022 /u003ernrnChief Curator and Director of the International Japanese Garden Training Center, is a fourth-generation Japanese gardener and landscape architect whose family has been involved in gardening since 1909 in Fukuoka Prefecture. Since receiving his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Landscape Architecture from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, he has designed and built a range of private and public projects, including Portland Japanese Garden’s new garden spaces and the renovations of Osaka Garden at Jackson Park, Chicago and Shofu-en at Denver Botanic Gardens. Most recently, Sada has been awarded the 2022 Foreign Minister’s Commendation Award in recognition for his achievements in promoting Japanese culture in the United States.


Session 2: Re-imagining Peace at the Intersection of Architecture, Art and Nature

Junya Ishigami, Architect

u003cimg class=u0022size-medium wp-image-28235 aligncenteru0022 src=u0022×376.jpgu0022 alt=u0022u0022 width=u0022293u0022 height=u0022376u0022 /u003ernrnAfter completing the master’s program at the Department of Architecture, in Tokyo University of the Arts, he established Junya Ishigami Architects in 2004 after working at Kazuyo Sejima u0026amp; Associates.rnrnHis major works include Kanagawa Institute of Technology KAIT Workshop / KAIT Plaza, Park Groot Vijversburg Visitor Center, Botanical Garden Art Biotop/ Water Garden, Serpentine Pavilion 2019, and House u0026amp; Restaurant. He received awards such as Architectural Institute of Japan Prize (2009), Golden Lion award for best project at Venice Biennale 12th International Architecture Exhibition, Mainichi Design Award (2010), The Minister of Education,Culture, Sports, Science and Technology’s Art Encouragement Prize for New Artists (of fine arts), OBEL AWARD by the Henrik Frode Obel Foundation (2019).


Mami Kataoka, Director, Mori Art Museum

u003cimg class=u0022size-medium wp-image-28236 aligncenteru0022 src=u0022×376.jpgu0022 alt=u0022u0022 width=u0022305u0022 height=u0022376u0022 /u003ernrnKataoka Mami joined the Mori Art Museum in 2003, taking on the role of Director in 2020. Beyond Tokyo, Kataoka has held positions at the Hayward Gallery in London, where from 2007 to 2009 she was the institution’s first International Curator; she has also acted as Co-Artistic Director for the 9th Gwangju Biennale (2012), Artistic Director for the 21st Biennale of Sydney (2018) and is currently Artistic Director for the Aichi Triennale 2022. Kataoka has been serving as a Board Member of CIMAM [International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art] (2014-) and currently the President of CIMAM.


Aki Nakanishi, Arlene Schnitzer Curator of Culture, Art, u0026 Education, Portland Japanese Garden (Moderator)

u003cimg class=u0022size-medium wp-image-10585 aligncenteru0022 src=u0022×376.jpgu0022 alt=u0022u0022 width=u0022251u0022 height=u0022376u0022 /u003ernrnAkihito (Aki) Nakanishi is a cultural leader and public diplomacy expert with over two decades of experience in government relations, public communication, artistic exchanges, and cultural programming in Japan. For 10 years, Nakanishi served as the Cultural Affairs Specialist at the U.S. Embassy, Tokyo, where he oversaw a wide range of embassy involvement in cultural, creative, and educational activities designed to enhance mutual understanding between the U.S. and Japan. In addition to being the principal advisor to the Mission’s Cultural Attaché, he also served as a special aide to U.S. Ambassadors charged with direct oversight of some of the Ambassadors’ cultural and education projects, while also running his own non-profit programs for young leaders across Japan.rnrnHaving majored in Economics, European Law, and Business Administration in London, Nakanishi holds a Master of Cultural Policy from the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, Tokyo, Japan, where he has published a research paper on U.S. Cultural Policy in supporting the arts.


Shiro Wakui, Landscape Architect. Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies, Tokyo City University

u003cimg class=u0022size-medium wp-image-28302 aligncenteru0022 src=u0022×251.jpgu0022 alt=u0022u0022 width=u0022376u0022 height=u0022251u0022 /u003ernrnShiro Wakui is an expert in landscape architecture, environmental engineering, and regional planning.  Professor Wakui has been involved in diverse projects on the spatial coexistence of humans and nature.  His representative projects include the landscape planning of Huis Ten Bosch (Nagasaki, Japan) and general producing of the 2005 World Expo in Aichi Japan (Aichi Expo) as well as project site planning and supervising memorial parks.  He also plays an active role as a TV commentator.rnrnProf. Wakui holds various important positions including member of the Steering Committee and Judging Committee of the MIDORI Prize for Biodiversity; Visiting Professor, Chubu Institute for Advanced Studies, Chubu University; Visiting Professor, Faculty of Regional Environmental Science, Tokyo University of Agriculture; and Vice-Chairperson of the Parks u0026amp; Open Space Association of Japan.rnrnPrizes and honors include the Yellow Ribbon Medal (awarded by the Japanese Government), a commendation from Japan’s Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.



Japan Institute

Japan Institute can be best understood as the next evolution of Portland Japanese Garden. These sibling organizations share a vision – to be a leading global voice for cultural understanding, in pursuit of a more peaceful, sustainable world.