Founded in 1963, Portland Japanese Garden was born out of a hope that the experience of peace can contribute to a long-lasting peace. Inspired in the late 1950s by growing cultural ties between Oregon and Japan, Mayor Terry Schrunk and members of the Portland community conceived the idea of building a Japanese garden. Their reasons were twofold: providing the citizens of Portland with a garden of great beauty and serenity, while forging a healing connection to Japan on the heels of World War II (for more information on our history, see here).

Inspired by our history and in recognition of the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, Portland Japanese Garden commemorates 2020 as the “Year of Peace”Our programming throughout the year is intended to create an opportunity for conversation and facilitate thoughtful discussions on this important topic. Through these opportunities, Portland Japanese Garden hopes to reflect on the ways we experience peace through connections to art, nature, and one another. 

Related Programming


Inspired by our history and in recognition of the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, Portland Japanese Garden is honored to partner with the City of Hiroshima to bring unique, curated goods to our Gift Shop. Representing traditional craftsmanship and quality that stands the test of time, you’ll find items such as ceramic kitchenware, home goods, and stationery.

Don’t miss the chance to shop items from Hiroshima, and see additional crafts and photographs displayed in the Tanabe Gallery from 10/28-11/2.

Relocation Center, 1943

Healing Nature: Gardens and Art of Manzanar with photographs by Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, and Toyo Miyatake

This exhibition looks through the lens of three leading twentieth-century photographers – Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, and Toyo Miyatake – to examine Japanese gardens and art at Manzanar Relocation Camp to shed light on the resilience, perseverance, and creativity of Japanese American internees during World War II.


Tea for Peace (private ceremony)


special event will be captured via video footage, to be shared here once the event concludes. Please check back in late September for the video!