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The Garden Path

January 2017 Garden Path

Inside January’s 12-page issue of the Garden Path

Completing the Cultural Crossing: April 1 is Your Day
(Page 1)

“The Cultural Crossing expansion brings together Pacific Northwest materials, Japanese craftsmanship and design, and environmental sustainability at the highest level of functionality and comfort.”

Volunteers Share the Garden: A Call for Guide Applicants
(Page 2)

“For those interested in applying: Guides applicants should have a friendly and welcoming disposition, be good public speakers and have an appreciation of, or willingness to learn about, Japanese history, language, culture, and landscape design.”

Garden Membership in 2017
(Page 3)

We are thrilled to tell you that the Garden’s base membership price of $55 will remain unchanged in our Grand Opening Year.

Our new Membership Program, which rolls out April 1 will you to purchase only what you need, with greater customization options.

With any level of Membership, you can now buy additional guest access cards for just $20 for a full year. These guest cards can be for named individuals or “flex-guests.”

Art in the Garden 2017
(Page 4-5)

“Three major Art in the Garden exhibitions are planned in celebration of the opening of the Cultural Crossing this year. The themes are: ceramics and calligraphy, Kabuki costumes, and Noh masks and costumes. Related lectures, demonstrations, and art activities are being planned for each Art in the Garden exhibition and we invite you, our Members, to come enjoy this exciting year ahead.”

2017: The Year of the Rooster
(Page 6)

“People born in the year of the Rooster are generous, determined, courageous, independent, entertaining, and honest. They are thought to be lively and engaging in crowds, although this tendency toward outspokenness can occasionally get them into trouble.”

From the Garden Gift Store
(Page 6)

Ring in the New Year with this delightful Good Luck Rooster Bell. Handmade in Japan, this lovely ceramic bell strap with fluffed tail feathers is dusted with glittering gold and embellished with beautiful traditional New Year’s symbols.


Garden Calendars: Buy One, Get One Free

The popular Portland Japanese Garden wall and desk calendars are now available at an amazing discount. Buy one of either variety and get another free while supplies last.


Checking in on the Wildwood Trail
(Page 7)

“Now that construction is winding down, the Garden has started building a new, improved path. This path will have fencing on the “Road” side to protect pedestrians from cars and landscaping on the “Green” side to provide natural screening and visual interest. All in all, our goal is for it to be safer and more beautiful than what pedestrians experienced with the original path.”


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November/December 2016 Garden Path

Inside November/December’s 12-page issue of the Garden Path

Our Flourishing Garden: Remembering What Brought Us Together in 2016
(Page 1)

“It is incredible to think that at this time last year, the Garden was closed. Many of our members and guests eagerly awaited the re-opening of our five gardens on March 1. Since the reopening, neither moving pathways nor rumbling excavators have deterred our members from returning. To all of you who have patiently endured while the construction outside the Garden’s gates continued we say thank you!”

Sake Tasting with Joto Sake
(Page 3)

November 4, 2016 at 7:30pm | $20 for Members
Connect with the culture of Japan at an exciting and educational sake tasting event. Hosted by the Portland Japanese Garden and Joto Sake, our exclusive sake sponsor, this offsite evening event will introduce guests to several varieties of Japan’s beloved rice wine. Devil’s Food Catering will provide food pairings to enhance the tasting experience.

To learn more about the event or get tickets, please visit:

Give the Gift of the Garden this Holiday Season
(Page 3)

Give your loved ones a year of tranquility and peace with a Gift Membership to the Portland Japanese Garden. Gift Memberships come elegantly wrapped in seasonal colors and can be mailed either to you or directly to your gift’s recipient.

Gift Memberships are available onsite, online at, or over the phone by calling 503-796-9180.

A Center for Collaboration: The International House of Japan
(Page 6)

“It is that bridge that connects I-House with the Portland Japanese Garden. Both not-for-profit organizations have entered into a collaborative agreement, sharing a similar thirst for international cultural exchange. Both organizations have launched programs to bring top scholars from all over the world together – and to share the knowledge learned.”

Cultural Crossing: The Warmth of Wood
(Page 7)

“For the past several months, Mr. Brotherton has been working diligently on the ceiling of what will be the Tea Café (The Umami Café by Ajinomoto) within the Cultural Village. He is also building the shoji screens for several new buildings within the Cultural Village. He said ever since meeting Garden Curator, Sadafumi Uchiyama, he has been inspired by his enthusiasm and vision. This project is no exception.”

We invite you to read more about the stories behind the buildings in our Cultural Crossing blog:

From the Garden Gift Store
(Page 12)

Enjoy the Portland Japanese Garden through the seasons with our beautiful 2017 wall calendar. Photographer Members have contributed their best images in this full-sized, twelve month calendar. Add tranquility to your home or office as you keep the Garden close throughout the year.


Garden E-Store Holiday Sale
(Page 12)

Garden Members save an additional 10% on all online purchases now through December 31. Please use promo code HOLIDAY.


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October 2016 Garden Path

Inside October’s 12-page issue of the Garden Path

Stunning Fall Colors Set the Garden Aflame
(Page 1)
“The Portland Japanese Garden is a standout in any season. But as our members know, autumn is perhaps the most breathtaking time of the year to view our 5.5 acres. For these few weeks, the Garden’s Japanese maples, woven amongst a curtain of native evergreens, turn to fiery shades of red and gold.

In a part of the world better known for its year-round greenery, the Pacific Northwest comes to life once a year with exquisite tone and texture. It’s a photographer’s dream for professionals and amateurs alike and visitors from all over the world.”

Due to construction and restoration of Kingston Avenue, the Garden will be CLOSED from October 17-21.

There will also be a temporary interruption to shuttle service from October 10-October 28.

This information was current as of press time but may change throughout the month. As both disruptions are weather dependent, please check our website for up-to-date information about hours and Garden shuttle availability.

We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and will do our best to minimize the impact to our members. We invite you to extended Member Hours on Monday, October 24 from 8:00am-12:00pm.

Garden’s Horticulture Volunteers Integral During Fall Months
(Page 4)

“Autumn is a very special season at the Portland Japanese Garden. It’s the most colorful time as we get ready for the quietness of winter…As beautiful as it is, it’s also a lot of work. The leaves fall down and look pretty for awhile. But they eventually will turn brown and get mushy. Most of our horticulture support volunteers come to the Garden once a week for a four hour shift and each week looks different… We appreciate our horticulture volunteer support so much!”

From the Garden Gift Store: Yamanaka Lacquerware
(Page 5)
“The impeccable craftsmanship evident in this collection of Japanese lacquered wood teaware is a stunning example of traditional Japanese minimalism. Airtight and secure, the tea canisters preserve the freshness of loose-leaf tea, coffee, or spices through superior design and meticulous craftsmanship.”

For more information, please visit:


Bringing Art in the Garden Exhibitions to Life – Staff Profile: Mami Takahashi
(Page 5)
“From helping to source the best Japanese calligrapher to representing the concept of tsunagu for the Kuma exhibition to handcrafting the interactive bamboo Bending Nature exhibition labels, Ms. Takahashi is the person behind-the-scenes making the Art in the Garden experiences unforgettable for our guests.”

Cultural Crossing – Letter from Dorie Vollum, Board President-Elect and Cultural Crossing Campaign Co-Chair
(Page 5)

“We have been touched by the thoughtful, generous gifts so many of you have made to the Cultural Crossing campaign. Just as the Garden is important to me and my family, it is important to each of you and your support reflects that…If you haven’t joined us already, would you considering doing so now? If every member could donate $160 we would reach our goal of $1,300,000 from the members, which would be added to all of our other fundraising efforts to finish this campaign.”

To contribute online, please visit

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September 2016 Garden Path

Inside September’s 12-page issue of the Garden Path

Introducing the International Institute for Japanese Garden Arts and Culture: Hands and Hearts Nurture the Legacy of Japanese Gardens
(Page 1)
“As an organization, the Portland Japanese Garden reaches far beyond the boundaries of its own five acres to serve the international communtiy in interpreting, teaching, and perpetuating the legacy of Japanese garden arts for current and future generations. Playing a key role in caring for this legacy is the Portland Japanese Garden’s International Institute for Japanese Garden Arts and Culture.

“Still in its emergent stage, the Institute will teach Japanese gardening arts by blending the tradition of hands-on learning — practiced for centuries in Japan — with rigorous inquiry, discussion, and exploration to enable learners outside of Japan to have an immersive learning experience of Japanese garden artisan training. The Institute will offer a variety of learning opportunities, but its flagship program is Waza to Kokoro (“Hands and Heart”), a three-tiered series of intensive seminars aimed at garden professionals and college or university students of landscape-related disciplines.”

From the CEO
(Page 2)
“Our cover story this month describes what the Institute will offer. But it is the knowing the why we are creating the Institute that also gets me excited. Drawing strength from the last 50 years, I see the Institute as one of the best ways we can serve our community here in the Pacific Northwest and in fact the world over. Providing the resources to improve the state of Japanese gardens everywhere allows us to fulfill our mission in ways that reach well beyond the borders of our own physical Garden.”

O-Tsukimi, Moonviewing Festival
(Page 3)
“There is no better place in Portland to share the romance and mystery of the full moon than from the eastern overlook of the Portland Japanese Garden Pavilion, with a cup of sake or tea in hand, gazing at the harvest moon as it rises above the city… During this intimate evening, you will be enveloped by the elegant traditional Japanese sounds of koto (Japan’s national stringed instrument) by Mitsuki Dazai and Shakuhachi (bamboo flute) by Larry Tyrell.”

Washington Park Reservoir Improvement Project Continues
(Page 4)
“On September 12, the Portland Water Bureau will move forward in earnest with the project to update the Washington Park reservoir site. The project includes building a new, seismically reinforced below-ground reservoir and adding new public areas for Park-users.”

“The first two years of this project will trigger the most significant impacts to Park visitors. Road closures and removal of parking will be the most noticeable impacts to those visiting the north end of the Park where the Rose Garden, the Portland Japanese Garden and the Holocaust Memorial are located.”

“For updated information and a map detailing road closures, please go to

From the Garden Gift Store, Charcoal Products Purify Without Chemicals
(Page 5)
The purifying properies of charcoal have been well-known in Japan for thousands of years. Now, our Garden Gift Store is offering a few products with an updated take on this traditional technology.

Chikuno Cube Charcoal Air Purifier: Made in Japan from activated bamboo charcoal and clay, the Cube purifies the air around it naturally.

Kishu Binchotan Charcoal Water Purifier: Regarded as the highest quality for purifying water.

For more information, please visit:

A Look Inside the Cultural Village:
(Page 6)
“For over a year, we’ve been writing about the buildings in the Cultural Village. But we thought it might be helpful to review what will take place inside those buildings once they are finished. In short, the expansion plans feature facilities for both professionals and casual learners to gain a deeper understanding of Japanese culture and arts.”

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August 2016 Garden Path

Inside August’s 12-page issue of the Garden Path

Bending Nature: Four Bamboo Artists in the Garden
(Page 1)
“For our third and final 2016 Art in the Garden exhibition series, Bending Nature: Four Bamboo Artists in the Garden, two Oita artists join two Portland-based artists to take bamboo to a whole new level. They’re using the mysterious plant— with all its strength and height—to showcase its flexible potential as an art form, inspired by the Portland Japanese Garden.”

“The exhibitions of all four artists (Jiro Yonezawa, Shigeo Kawashima, Charissa Brock, Anne Crumpacker) will combine the superb mastery of traditional bamboo basketry with the exuberance of the artistic freedom in wider public spaces. Each of the artists attempts to bend nature in new directions, challenging conventional bamboo craft techniques and forms to reflect the close relationship between nature and ourselves.”

From the CEO
(Page 2)
“And here we are: fortunate to now have Hiroshi Furusawa as part of the Portland Japanese Garden family. With him based in Japan, his hiring represents a significant moment for the Garden as we increase our outreach and decrease the distance between our two countries. I look forward to bringing you news of his work in the coming years.”

O-Tsukimi, Moonviewing Festival
(Page 4)
“There is no better place in Portland to share the romance and mystery of the full moon than from the eastern overlook of the Portland Japanese Garden Pavilion, with a cup of sake or tea in hand, gazing at the harvest moon as it rises above the city… During this intimate evening, you will be enveloped by the elegant traditional Japanese sounds of koto (Japan’s national stringed instrument) by Mitsuki Dazai and Shakuhachi (bamboo flute) by Larry Tyrell.”

From the Garden Gift Store, Bamboo Book by Anne Crumpacker
(Page 5)
“A longtime friend of the Garden, Crumpacker’s work is once again on display as part of our Art in the Garden series. Anne is one of four artists featured as part of the upcoming exhibition, Bending Nature: Four Bamboo Artists in the Garden… Anne Crumpacker features examples of the artist’s 20-year fascination with bamboo and bamboo arts. The delicately-bound book showcases Crumpacker’s focus on scale, contrast, and traditional Japanese aesthetics.”

Exhibition Docents: Learning an Artform, Becoming an Expert
(Page 6)
“In May, Bamboo artist Charissa Brock hosted about two dozen docent volunteers in her studio just outside Portland. She walked through her bamboo sculpture making process from start to finish using a variety of traditional hand tools and knives. She answered volunteer questions and passed around examples of her work, explaining each stage of the process.”

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July 2016 Garden Path

Inside July’s special 20 page issue of the Garden Path:

Keihanna Commemorative Park and Garden (Page 1)
“About 40 minutes by train from Kyoto Station, in the heart of Kansai Science City, lies a place where locals and tourists alike can escape into tranquility and nature. Keihanna Commemorative Park and Garden is an essential part of the cultural, technological, and academic stronghold that unites the cities of Kyoto, Osaka, and Nara. The Park opened … as a place to cherish Japanese culture and nostalgic scenic landscapes of the region.”

“In our endeavor to bring new, authentic experiences to our respective members and visitors… the designated management company for Keihanna Commemorative Park and Garden and the Portland Japanese Garden entered into a Cooperative Agreement…  both organizations would help to contribute to the international advancement of Japanese gardens in research, appreciation, and practice through cooperation and exchange.”

From the CEO (Page 2)
“We are honored to feature Keihanna Park and Garden as our Garden Path cover story.  Though newer than other gardens in Kyoto, the work they are doing to create engaging and educational programs is at the forefront of what Japanese gardens can do for visitors.”

Art in the Garden: Bending Nature: Four Bamboo Artists in the Garden (Page 4)
“In August, the Portland Japanese Garden will host four internationally known bamboo artists to showcase their work in several outdoor locations around the Garden itself in Bending Nature: Four Bamboo Artists in the Garden.”

From the Garden Gift Store, Modern Brass Products Share a Historic Tie to Japan (Page 5)
“This month, the Garden Gift Store is bringing you modern products from two historic brass foundries in the city of Takaoka, Japan, Futagami and Nousaku.
Brass products gradually change their color over the course of many years due to oxidization. The longer they are used, the richer and subtler they become. They dissolve into the environment and into human heart.”

Kasagi: Gates of Hope: special eight-page feature (Page 7)
“The large piece of wood Randall saw lying on the shore appeared to be just such a connection. Painted red and 14 feet long, it looked like something. Immediately Randall called the Oregon State Parks & Recreation Department to report the finding. As the sun rose, Randall took photos to share with Park rangers in hopes that someone could identify this unusual discovery.”

“A torii is a traditional gate used to mark the entrance to a hallowed space, symbolically transitioning from the secular to the sacred in the world of Shinto, the indigenous religion of Japan. In a country with tens of thousands of Shinto shrines, torii are found throughout the land, from the roads leading to a shrine, to the entrance of the shrine itself.”

“For the last leg of their travels, the kasagi were taken northward in October to celebrate a homecoming in Okuki village. Village elders and school children alike congregated around the kasagi to marvel at their journey, grateful that these lost sacred artifacts – presumed lost for so long – had been returned home.”

“Americans packed up to leave Hachinohe, both they and the Japanese present all agreed that this was not goodbye but was instead the beginning of a new and special friendship.”

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June 2016 Garden Path

Inside May’s special 20-page issue of the Garden Path:

Ikebana: The Art of Flower Arranging (Page 1)

“What distinguishes ikebana from other approaches to flower arrangement is its asymmetrical form and the reliance on ma or “empty” space as an essential feature of the composition. A sense of harmony among the materials, the container, and the setting is also crucial.  There are more than 20 schools of ikebana, all differing in their stylistic rules and methods of presentation.”

From the CEO (Page 2)

“This might be a small gate in a small village. But it has become a great gate that connects our two countries, today and for the rest of our lives.”

Students get a Lesson in Serenity (Page 6)

“Each spring, the Garden’s School Tour Program caters to students all over Oregon and teaches them ancient Japanese history, horticulture, and photography. Last year, the program hosted nearly 60 school tours and close to 14-hundred children came through the Garden. This year, in the months of March and April alone, the Garden welcomed about 600 kids from kindergarten through high school. More than half were from schools receiving low income funding.”

A Wall Connecting Cultures: special eight-page feature (Page 7)

A castle wall was originally a symbol of power,” said Garden Curator Sada Uchiyama.

“Approaching, the viewer would think of how much work and how many people it takes to build a wall of this size. In medieval times, that meant hundreds of skilled workers, animals, working for months. It was incredibly costly—only a great leader could have a wall like this,” he added.

“After a stone had been selected to be added to the wall, a rigger carefully wrapped it with a cable, paying special attention to the cable’s placement to prevent the massive rock from leaning or rolling when hoisted. It was then lifted above the wall by excavator. The team used ropes, poles, and hands to guide the stone, gently lowering it into place. Next came the subtle adjustments: leveling the stone, checking its alignment. Once Mr. Awata approved, the deliberate process began again with the next boulder. Craftsmanship and intention were the priorities.”

“From day one Uchiyama said the site had one rule for the stones: Each stone should move only once.”

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May 2016 Garden Path

Inside May’s special 12-page issue of the Garden Path:

“That connection of man to the environment is at the heart of the second Art in the Garden exhibition of the year (May 21st through June 19th). Titled American Bonsai: The Unbridled Art of Ryan Neil, the exhibition focuses solely on American species of trees, designed to directly reflect the character of American culture and the landscapes in which our culture has been formed.”

“What is becoming more and more visible each day however is the careful thought and thorough planning that has gone into each element of design to ensure beauty, functionality, environmental  stewardship, and relevance to the life of the individuals who will use and enjoy it for decades to come.”

“Spring has come to Washington Park and hopefully most of you have had a chance to visit the Garden since we reopened while continuing to work around construction. For many of you, these return trips—and the crowded parking lots you encountered when making them —have inspired questions about our Cultural Crossing expansion project. That’s why we’re continuing to address Member questions about the construction and expansion. Below are answers to some of the questions we heard most often in April.”

“When asked what his grandfather would say about this project, Awata-san reflected for a moment and responded, ‘At first I think he would be very surprised that I was doing a project in America. But once he got over that, I think he would point out ways it could be better. He would say ‘There is always more to do.’”

“An unpainted, weathered gate, slightly ajar, is a guest’s first sign of welcome to a tea gathering. Water has been sprinkled about, an indication of the host’s readiness for his guests. The other guests arrive at about the same time, pass through the outer gate and enter the entryway where they change their shoes and take off their wraps. After proceeding to a waiting room they are served small cups of hot water.”

Plus a special fold out panel with a calendar of this summer’s events.

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April 2016 Garden Path

Inside April’s special 12-page Garden Path:


“April 22 is Earth Day. It’s a time when the importance of environmental responsibility is top of mind. But as an organization that is so deeply tied to nature, every day is Earth Day at the Portland Japanese Garden.”


“With the Cultural Crossing project, we are in the heart of a renewal project for the Garden. Glimpses of the future can already be seen. The steel frames of the buildings are taking shape. And every day I see the steady progress our incredible construction team is making.”


“The Garden’s gates have reopened and it has been wonderful having you, our Members, back for the first time since construction began in September. For many of you, these return trips have inspired questions about our Cultural Crossing expansion project.”


“Twenty feet high and 140 feet long, the Castle Wall at the Portland Japanese Garden will be a monument to what many hands can accomplish, working together. As visitors approach the Garden, this wall will rise up to meet them, transporting their imaginations to another place and time. As a multi-part series, we are telling the stories of the people, traditions, and stones that make up this one-of-a-kind creation.”


“This month, the Garden will again offer free public demonstrations of Chado – the Way of Tea. The Way of Tea is intrinsically linked to Japanese gardens and understanding the kokoro (heart) of Japanese gardening. As such an important component, we want to delve into helping our readers understand the complexities of Chado and what makes it such an inspiring practice.”

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March 2016 Garden Path

Inside March’s special 12-page Garden Path:


“On March 1, just as Portland is turning to the soft breezes and opening buds of spring, the Portland Japanese Garden will welcome visitors to return to our five familiar landscapes. From new leaf growth on our Japanese maples, to pink petals appearing on our 75-year-old weeping cherry tree, Members will have plenty of springtime sights to enjoy.”


“Welcome back, Members! We’ve all missed seeing you in the tranquil setting of the Garden in the early hours of our work day—and we know you’ve missed your regular visits. It was wonderful, however, to see so many members at the variety of locations where the Garden hosted events over the past six months—from the Introduction to Sake at Union/Pine and the Wine Tastings at the Torii Mor Winery in Dundee, to our free Japanese Movie Night at OMSI and all of last month’s events surrounding Tsunagu: Connecting to the Architecture of Kengo Kuma at the Center for Architecture and Portland Art Museum.”


“Many Portland Japanese Garden Volunteers have logged more years at the Garden than even some staff have. They offer a unique perspective helping visitors experience and see the Garden in a new way each time they enter. As the Garden welcomes back visitors, the Volunteers reflect on their own special moments in the Garden and what members might look for the next time they’re strolling through.”


Since the Garden went public last July with the news of our Cultural Crossing expansion project, many members have asked about the financial status of this project. We have good news to share with you about the project, in fact, the very best of news—it’s on time and on budget. We are now 1/3 of the way through construction with another 12 months to go.”


“On December 9th 2015, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced it was awarding the Foreign Minister’s Commendation to Portland Japanese Garden CEO Steve Bloom. This award is bestowed on individuals and groups with outstanding achievements in the promotion of friendship between Japan and the United States.”


“When the Garden returned the kasagi back to Japan last October, Ambassador Kennedy observed that ‘the Pacific Ocean is not something that divides us but is something that connects us.’ Such a special sentiment is echoed in the Japanese word kizuna meaning the ‘bonds’ that hold us all together. In the spirit of kizuna, we will continue to find ways to help. At the same time, we will stay encouraged for the country’s recovery. Gambare Nihon—be strong Japan.”

Plus news about special Gateway Member events. (Page 2)

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