Structure Type: landscapes - cultural landscapes - gardens - arboretums; landscapes - cultural landscapes - gardens - landscape gardens

Designers: Juki Iida (landscape architect)

Dates: constructed 1959-1960

1075 Lake Washington Boulevard East
Seattle, WA 98112-3755

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By 1937, Arboretum officials had determined that a Japanese style garden would be part of the Washington Park Arboretum; the intervention of World War II and its anti-Japanese sentiment delayed fund-raising for the project. In the 1950s in the US, Japanese art items began to be re-evaluated by American audiences; most importantly, a large show of Japanese art, "Exhibition of Japanese painting and sculpture sponsored by the Government of Japan," circulated at some of the most important museums throughout the US, including the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, MA, the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, and the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA; not to be outdone, the Museum of Modern Art, NY, mounted a show on Japanese architecture the following year (1954), going so far as to erect a Japanese house by Junzo Yoshimura on museum grounds. These exhibitions led to a resurgence in interest in Japanese art, design and architecture, making it easier to fund-raise for the Arboretum's long-delayed Japanese Garden. Sufficient funds were raised by 1959. The Japanese landscape designer, Juki Iida, worked with Kiyoshi Inoshita to design the Washington Park Arboretum's Japanese Garden in 1959-1960. Additionally, Japanese-American craftsmen were selected to sub-contract the job; these included Iida selected William Yorozu (plants contractor), Richard Yamasaki (stone placement) and Kei Ishimitsu (architectural features).

The Japanese Garden covered approximately 3.5 acres originally.

The municipal government of Tokyo donated funds to erect Kei Ishimitsu's Garden Teahouse in 1959. This ceremonial structure burned in 1973, an arson fire set by vandals. In 1980-1981, Yasunori Sugita supervised the rebuilding of the Teahouse. Landscape designer, Koichi Kobayashi, oversaw the completion of a garden renovation in 2001-2002. On 06/18/2008, the City of Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board considered the appropriateness of proposed entry alterations including a new entry gate and ticketing facility, meeting room/staff building, and associated landscaping alterations.

PCAD id: 8657