Friday, October 17, 2014

Seattle Japanese Garden

All photos were taken in September 2014.

Click here for more photos of the Seattle Japanese Garden.

The best known Japanese garden in the Seattle area is located the Washington Park Aboretum.  In 2010 the Seattle Japanese Garden celebrated its 50th anniversary.  In 1924 the Olmsted Brothers designed the University of Washington Arboretum.  By 1937 it was agreed that the arboretum needed a Japanese garden, a project not realized until end of the World War II, for obvious reasons.  The Arboretum Foundation began raising funds for the creation of the Japanese Garden in 1957. The Foundation asked Tatsuo Moriwaki of Tokyo Metro Parks to help guide the process. He selected Kiyoshi Inoshita & Juki Iida to design the project.  The design was finished in 1959.  Under the supervision of Juki Iida & Nobumasa Kitamura, construction began in March 1960 & was completed within four months. More than 500 large granite rocks from Snoqualmie Pass were used. Construction was done mostly by local Japanese-American gardeners including William Yorozu as the prime contractor for plants, Richard Yamasaki for stone setting, and Kei Ishimitsu for Garden structures.  The Seattle Japanese Garden was the earliest postwar public construction of a Japanese garden on the Pacific Coast.  It had a strong influence on the design of future Japanese gardens throughout the region.  The original tea house was burned by vandals in 1973 & reconstructed by Yasunori (Fred) Sugita in 1981.  A new gatehouse & community meeting room were completed in 2009.  The bronze gate was designed by Seattle sculptor Gerard Tsutakawa.

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