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Peacemaking at the Intersection of Culture, Art, and Nature: Japan Institute Events in 2022

The Japan Institute of Portland Japanese Garden has an incredible array of events, gatherings, and offerings in 2022. These opportunities for people to gather and experience the cultural gifts and values of Japan include two Peace Symposia, the signature programming of the Japan Institute, and much more. Read on to discover what lies ahead and make sure you subscribe to our newsletter so you can receive reminders and updates as these events approach.


American Public Garden Association Annual Conference: “CommUNITY of Gardens”

Japan Institute of Portland Japanese Garden CEO Steve Bloom giving his plenary address at the 2022 APGA annual conference in Portland. Photo by Jonathan Ley.

In June, the Japan Institute of Portland Japanese Garden was among the co-hosts of this year’s American Public Garden Association (APGA) annual conference, titled “CommUNITY of Gardens.” From June 19th through June 24th, professionals representing 600 organizations from all 50 states and 20 nations convened at Hilton Downtown Portland to highlight how public gardens “ignite connection, protection, and change.” On June 22, our CEO Steve Bloom gave a plenary speech about the power of vision, and how it can bring about transformational change.

When: June 19-June 24
Where: Hilton Downtown Portland


The Alliance Working in America (TAWA PDX 2022)

Portland Japanese Garden’s Cultural Village. Photo by James Florio.

Portland Japanese Garden and Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA have partnered to bring the program, The Alliance Working in America: Forum for Reimagining the Oregon-Japan Alliance to Portland, Oregon. This invitation-only conference – TAWA PDX 2022 – explores the building blocks of the bilateral alliance through the lens of creative enterprise, climate, and sustainability industries. TAWA PDX 2022 convenes experts from the fields of government, business, education, international affairs, and sustainability for a series of two panel discussions on agricultural innovation and trade in the age of climate disruption and creative dynamics in the U.S. and Japan partnership. Attendees will hear from public leaders, including Oregon Governor Kate Brown.

When: July 19, 2:00-5:30pm PDT
Where: Portland Japanese Garden
Cost: Invitation only; Program will be recorded and released to the public at a later date
Click here to learn more.

Lecture by Richard Deverell: Gardens as Global Living Museums

In July, the Japan Institute will offer a special and rare opportunity for Portland community members to hear from Richard Deverell, Director of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in London, England. A leader reimagining the role of gardens in the 21st century, Deverell has committed to improving education and public engagement during his 10-year tenure as director of Kew, one of the world’s greatest gardens. Deverell’s talk will include how Kew incorporates innovative design projects and contemporary art to enrich visitors’ experience – an endeavor Portland Japanese Garden is also tackling. He will then have a conversation with Portland Japanese Garden CEO, Steve Bloom. The Japan Institute is co-hosting this event with Portland Art Museum.

When: July 31, 1:30 – 2:45pm PDT
Where: Portland Art Museum’s Whitsell Auditorium
Cost: $25 for General Public, $20 for members of Portland Japanese Garden, Portland Art Museum, and Portland Art Museum’s Asian Art Council
Click here to learn more.


Artist-in-Residence: Rui Sasaki

Rui Sasaki in Portland Japanese Garden in 2019. Photo by Meg Nanna.

On August 31, the Japan Institute’s Global Center for Culture and Art will welcome internationally acclaimed Japanese artist, Rui Sasaki, as its first Artist-in-Residence (AiR). A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and Musashino Art University, Sasaki’s work is part of permanent collections in museums across Asia, Europe, and North America. Lauded for her “dogged exploration” of glass art by The New York Times, Sasaki has won an impressive and still-growing number of awards. Sasaki’s recent body of work involves selecting plant specimens, then firing them in a kiln between sheets of glass to create ethereal traces of those plants left behind in the material. Sasaki will be using her residency to create art pieces that will be exhibited at the Garden in 2023.

When: August—September 2022 & December 2022–January 2023
Where: Portland Japanese Garden


Lecture by Jason James

The Flat Garden in September. Photo by Tyler Quinn.

The Japan Institute is delighted to welcome Jason James to Portland Japanese Garden for a guest lecture in September. James is Director General of the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, a UK charity that has been supporting closer links between Japan and Great Britain since 1988. An expert on Japanese and British economics, financial markets, and Japanese literature and arts, James joined Daiwa in 2011 after his tenure as a leader for HSBC and British Council of Tokyo. His lecture in Portland Japanese Garden’s Yanai Classroom will explore commonalities between the British Royal Family and Imperial Family of Japan.

When: September 7
Where: Portland Japanese Garden

Peace Lantern Presentations

The Peace Lantern in Portland Japanese Garden’s Strolling Pond Garden.

In September, the Japan Institute will present exact replicas of its Peace Lantern to the cities of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Tokyo ahead of its Peace Symposium, “Peacemaking at the Intersection of Culture, Art, and Nature” in Tokyo. The Peace Lantern in Portland Japanese Garden was a gift from Yokohama Mayor Ryōzō Hiranuma, who shortly after World War II, shipped stone lanterns to different locations around the world to “cast the light” of peace. Initially, presentations in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were planned for 2020 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II and reaffirm the unshakeable bond between the United States and Japan. However, the COVID-19 pandemic postponed all international programming. Now, in 2022, this meaningful and symbolic cultural exchange will finally take place.

When: September 14 (Hiroshima), September 16 (Nagasaki), and September 20 (Tokyo)
Where: Hiroshima, Japan; Nagasaki, Japan; Tokyo, Japan

Peace Symposium Tokyo 2022: Peacemaking at the Intersection of Culture, Art, and Nature

A Japanese lace leaf maple. Photo by Rebecca Saltonstall.

The Japan Institute will hold six Peace Symposia on six continents over the course of three years. The first and inaugural event will fittingly be in Tokyo, Japan on September 21, 2022. The symposium keynotes will explore the interplay between and convergence of landscapes, architecture, and arts in shaping new civic conversations and efforts for peace-building through cultural diplomacy. They will engage in dialogue exploring those ideals of Japanese culture which resonate in every culture. The highlight of this signature program by the Japan Institute will be remarks from Her Imperial Highness, Princess Takamado, as delivered by her daughter, Her Imperial Highness, Princess Tsuguko. Joining the Japan Institute in this endeavor will be the International House of Japan.

When: September 21
Where: International House of Japan’s Iwasaki Koyata Hall in Tokyo, Japan
Click here to learn more.


Peace Symposium London 2022: Peacemaking at the Intersection of Culture, Art, and Nature

Dappled sunlight on the Sand and Stone Garden. Photo by Wayne Williams.

The second of the Japan Institute’s six Peace Symposia on six continents over the course of three years will be London, England. Taking place in London’s august Guildhall and other locations throughout the city, the Japan Institute is teaming with Japan’s U.K. embassy, Japan House London, the Japan Society of the U.K., the Japanese Garden Society of the U.K., Daiwa-Anglo Japanese Foundation, and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew to present panel discussions and remarks from world leaders, gardeners, and scholars. Additionally, Portland Japanese Garden Chief Curator and International Japanese Garden Training Center Director, Sadafumi Uchiyama, will lead gardening workshops at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew alongside Garden Curator, Hugo Torii of Portland Japanese Garden.

When: December 5 – December 8
Where: London, England
Click here to learn more.

Peace Lantern Presentation

The "Peace Lantern" (neko ashi yukimi), on the east bank of the Upper Strolling Pond. Photo by Jim Reitz.
The “Peace Lantern” (neko ashi yukimi), on the east bank of the Upper Strolling Pond. Photo by Jim Reitz.

In December, the Japan Institute of Portland Japanese Garden will present a Peace Lantern to Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew to be on display in their Japanese gardens. Those in the London area will be welcomed to witness this event that will commemorate this burgeoning relationship between two of the world’s finest gardens.

When: December 8
Where: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in London, England