Sadafumi Uchiyama, the Garden Curator of the Portland Japanese Garden, is a third-generation Japanese gardener. His family has been involved in gardening since 1909 in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. His training started at a very early age, first under his grandfather, father, and uncles, and later with his older brother. Since his arrival in the US in 1988, Uchiyama received his Bachelor’s and Master’s in landscape architecture from the University of Illinois, graduating with high honors.
Traditional apprentice in Japanese gardening combined with the formal training in Western landscape architecture has allowed Uchiyama to design and build a unique and wide range of private and public landscape projects. Two of his representative projects include the renovation of Osaka Garden (the Japanese Government exhibition site at the 1893 Columbia Exposition) at Jackson Park in Chicago and the renovation of Shofu-en Garden at Denver Botanic Gardens.
Prior to becoming the Garden’s Curator, Uchiyama taught landscape design courses at Clackamas Community College and lectured on Japanese gardening at both Mt. Hood and Portland Community Colleges. Since the beginning of its publication, he has contributed to theJournal of Japanese Gardening. His writings have also appeared in Inspired House and locally in Oregon Home.
He served as a secretary of International Association of Japanese Gardens (1996–2000). Most recently, Uchiyama was invited to speak at the 5th International Symposium on Japanese Gardens in Tokyo, September 2007.