Japanese Garden Breaks Ground on New Expansion
Wednesday, September 02, 2015
Jordan Schnitzer, President of the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, Commmissioner Nick Fish, world-renowned architect Kengo Kuma, and many more were all in attendance for the groundbreaking ceremony.
The Cultural Crossing expansion will add seven new garden spaces, as well as three new LEED-certified buildings where guests can learn more about Japanese culture, socialize, and enjoy traditionally prepared tea in the garden's first-ever tea cafe.
Shinto priests from the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shinto Shrine in Kamakura, Japan performed a ritual that blessed the expansion with prayers for the safety of the workers. Finally, CEO Stephen Bloom and nine other turned over shovels full of dirt to signify the official groundbreaking.
A driving force behind the Cultural Crossing expansion is the development of the International Institute for Japanese Garden Art & Culture. While Japanese gardening is traditionally handed down from one generation to the next, the institute will allow the historically apprentice-based study of Japanese garden arts to evolve into a more accessible education program.
The garden will reopen in March of 2016 when the first phase of construction is completed. Visitors will once again be able to enjoy the familiar cherry blossoms, the garden's iconic West Hills landscape, as the project is finished over the next year. The Portland Japanese Garden is considered the most authentic Japanese garden outside of Japan, and this expansion will surely allow it to continue to be one of the foremost Japanese cultural organizations in North America.
Related Slideshow: Ikebana: Japanese Flower Arranging In 10 Steps
Ikebana, the ancient art of Japanese flower arranging, is all about less. Less is more. Here are 10 steps to help you create the perfect arrangement.
The tallest should stand upright and represent the heavens (shin). The medium length represents man (soe). The shortest represents the earth (hikae). One should also consider what altitude each plant specimen comes from. A flower that grows in the mountains should be placed above a branch that grows in a lowland prairie.
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