.
U  R  A  S  E  N  K  E
FOUNDATION SEATTLE BRANCH
Transmitting the living art of Chado, the Way of Tea,
through harmony, respect, purity and tranquility
THE JAPANESE GARDEN-- History
Written by Marjorie Clausing and Joy Spurr, 1970


The concept of a Japanese Garden began within the Arboretum Special
Projects Committee in 1937. The idea was quiescent until 1957 when
Carl Ballard, President of the Arboretum Foundation, appointed Mrs. Neil
Haig to take action to make the garden a reality.

After the basic work of setting up a committee, estimating costs and
raising funds, Mrs. Haig prepared a 12-page prospectus which was
presented to Mr. Yoshiharu Takeno, Consul-General of Japan.
Mr. Takeno requested aid for the garden from various cities of Japan.
The first response was from Seattle's sister city, Kobe, which sent two
lovely, hand-hewn, granite lanterns (one weighing five tons).

At about the same time Mr. S. Moriwaki of the Tokyo Motropolitan Park
Department visited the Arboretum. Upon seeing the land set aside for
the Japanese Garden, he volunteered assistance. When notes of
gratitude were sent to the Governor of Tokyo for Mr. Moriwaki's offer,
the City of Tokyo further responded with a truly splendid gift, the
Japanese Tea House.

Ground was broken May,1959, in the presence of Mayor Gordon Clinton
and the Japanese Consul General, Mr. Yoshiharu Takeno. At this time the
tea house was being constructed under the supervision of Mr. H.
Hasegawa and Mr. T. Kato, representing the Shimizu construction
Company of Tokyo.

Mr. Iida visited the site of the garden in December and made sketches
and photographs before returning to Japan. There, working with six of
the foremost landscape designers, including Mr. K. Inoshita, a master of
landscape engineering and design, he drew up the 38 pages of plans.

Mr. Iida and his assistant, Mr. T. Kitamura, returned to Seattle in March
1960, to supervise the construction. Yorozu Gardening company of
Seattle was designated prime contractor, and Mr. Richard I. Yamasaki
handled the rock work.

The garden area of about four acres was cleared, the lake dredged and
enlarged. Over 9,000 yards of earth were brought in to build the twin
mountains.

From Bandera, on the Snoqualmie River, over 600 rocks were hauled,
each carefully selected by Mr. Iida and handled with care to prevent
scratching. Individual rocks weighed over a thousand pounds and some
as much as eight tons. Each rock went to its pre-selected spot and most
are buried in the Japanese tradition, two-thirds underground. Smaller
stones were selected and placed with equal precision, and some stones
were shipped from Tokyo. Over 200 feet of rock walls were placed.

Hundreds of shrubs and trees were planted, many native to Japan.
Cherry trees were the gift of the Japanese Community Service and were
planted by the Japanese Gardeners Association.

There are 10 hand-carved granite lantern and a pagoda imported from
Japan, a traditional stone washing basin adjacent to the tea house with a
hand-made bamboo dipper for the 'owner's use.'

Man-made structures include two entrance gates, two wooden bridges,
moon viewing stand, arbor and two shelters.

This charming garden was made possible through the generosity of one
anonymous individual and his wife, living in the Seattle region, who bore
the major part of the costs. (Mr. and Mrs. Prentice Bloedel). Notable
contributions were made by the University of Washington, including
engineering and staffing, the City of Seattle by providing funds for the
surrounding fence, sidewall and lighting, the Arboretum Foundation,
and many other local firms, foundations,and individuals. The Prentice
Bloedel Unit No. 86 was organized in 1967 to provide leadership in
sustaining the garden.

The Japanese Garden was dedicated and opened to the public on June
5, 1960. May it bestow upon all who enter its gates, the benediction of
beauty, peace, and tranquility.

Foremost living landscape designer is Mr. K. Inoshita whose signature
appears on every sheet of the Japanese Garden plans. Working carefully
with six other landscape design engineers, Mr. Inoshita and his aides
spent three months preparing the plans utilized in constructing the
garden.  His work, and that of his outstanding assistants, was given to
the City of Seattle and the University of Washington Arboretum as a gift
from the City of Tokyo and from the government of Japan --  for which
we owe a debt of gratitude in great abundance

Creator of more than a thousand Japanese Gardens is Mr. Juki Iida, the
landscape design engineer who assisted in preparing the plans for our
garden, and supervised the entire construction. His work, of almost a
half a year's duration, is a gift of the City of Tokyo and of the Japanese
Government. Mr. Iida has so endeared himself here, not only as an artist
of landscape design and construction, but as a warm friend to all peoples
represented in Seattle, that it is with deep regret that his legion of
admirers will watch his return to his homeland. It is our hope that he will
return often to see the maturing of our garden which he built.

These are gifts extraordinary in history between peoples and
governments.  We hope you will return here often, to enjoy the
changing beauties of the Tea Garden from season to season.


SHOSEIAN TEAHOUSE- History
.
.
Home | Chado | About us | Demonstrations | Events | Membership | Study | Links | Contact | Bulletin | Calendar
history