News & Photos

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Embracing A New Reality

As we look to embrace this new reality, enjoy these captivating videos of Japanese culture that take us back to why it is that we revere those gardens so much and how those gardens have also became a platform for other art forms that inform how we experience the garden.

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Creativity in Isolation

How Japanese Art Presents a Fitting Case for Our Times Topographically and Botanically-inspired Japanese Art Show at Harvard brings a fitting narrative to our own period of isolation Over millennia, Japanese gardens have always been an indispensable part of Japanese architecture and art, but they perhaps became the most visible and critical part of the

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Ura no Tomoya: The Humble Fisherman’s Hut

Musings by Diane Durston, Curator Emerita   見渡せば / 花も紅葉も / なかりけり / 浦の苫屋の / 秋の夕暮れ Miwataseba  / hana mo momiji mo / nakarikeri / ura no tomaya no / aki no yuugure Casting wide my gaze, Neither flowers Nor scarlet maple leaves– A humble fisherman’s hut, In the autumn dusk.   With this poem, Fujiwara no Teika, an

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IKASU! Come Alive!

MUSINGS BY DIANE DURSTON, CURATOR EMERITA Walking the empty streets of Tokyo last week in search of a bit of nature to refresh his spirit, calligrapher Kihachiro Nishiura noticed a camphor tree with a small plaque beneath it that identified it as having grown from the seed of a tree that stood in Nagasaki on

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An Unknown Craftsman

MUSINGS FROM DIANE DURSTON, CURATOR EMERITA   Among the many people I met in Kyoto over the eighteen years I lived there, the most memorable were the craftsmen. Spending time with them I always learned something, not just about crafts, but about life—about what it means to make something you are proud of every day,

Demonstrations & Performances

Piano Audio: Elegy by Nobuyuki Tsujii

Dear Members, In honor of Mother’s Day, my mom (also a Garden member!), recorded this piano piece that for you to enjoy during this time while the Garden is closed. The Japanese composer, Nobuyuki Tsujii, is a remarkable young man who was born blind and “is said to have achieved pop-star status in his native

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The Moon at My Window

Musings from Diane Durston, Curator Emerita As the last of the cherry blossoms cling to the trees, and the sunshine this spring reminds us that the beauty of nature transcends hard times. This year, we missed the celebration of Hana Matsuri, the Flower Festival, at the Garden. Observed with an exhibition of Ikebana by the

Special Events

Welcoming Geisha

In September 2019, Portland Japanese Garden welcomed three authentic geisha – Miehina, Kanako, and Konami – from Kyoto for one day only. Highly trained and skilled as artists and entertainers, geisha transmit the knowledge and beauty of traditional Japanese arts such as dance, music, and poetry to modern audiences. During this rare event, Garden guests