Todaiji Gakuen Junior High School students came to Keihanna Memorial Park for a workplace tour. Our gardener Tomohiko Muto, who is park director and in charge of the overall landscape, introduced the park, how it is managed and what role it plays. Although it was a hot summer day, the students listened attentively and got a look behind the scenes of a park managing site.
Two interns from the TRIAD fellowship program visited Ueyakato for three days from June 6th. For the first two days, the interns created a small-scale tea garden under the instruction of our senior garden craftsman, followed by visits to several Kyoto gardens on the final day. Though challenged with new tools, terms and tasks at first, the fellows became soon familiar and accomplished their work smoothly. With their freshly acquired frame of reference as garden owner, craftsman as well as from a management point of view, the interns experienced the depth of Japanese gardens during the tour on the last day. We hope the interns can use the new perspective on landscape and management and further enjoy their upcoming rest of the fellowship program.
Our efforts to foster and maintain Keihanna Commemorative Park received endorsement by Kyoto Prefecture and were featured in an annual manual by the Ministry of Environment of Japan ( “Manual of the Integrated Pest and Weed Management in Parks and Street Trees”). Our garden craftsmen have specialized knowledge in disease control and could early on detect pests on red pines and hydrangeas. By promptly sharing information with local communities and organizations, damages from disease spreading were effectively prevented. We are humbled to receive recognition for our work and continue to provide high quality maintenance of parks and like to share the efforts with local communities.
From February 27, 2017 ~ March 01, 2017 – Our company welcomed two American interns (Adam and Bryan) from the TRIAD Fellowship Program. They learned the basics of the landscape construction work by actually creating spatial structure (building a Japanese garden) at Keihanna Commemorative Park. Also at Konkai Komyo-ji Temple, they planted maple trees and learned our garden fostering method of ‘Although maintained meticulously, gardens appear like untouched nature’ The participants expressed their appreciation with those words ‘I was able to obtain the totally different perspective.’ ‘I learned the various technics which could be applied to the gardens back home’.
A Family workshop about knowing Okazaki, Kyoto titled “Oyako Okashiru Villa and Garden edition” was held in the Murin-an Garden on February 18,2017. Our company president Tomoki Kato and Tomio Sakauke acted as lectures.
Elementary school aged children acted as guests to the garden and experienced at first hand how broad welcoming hospitality in Japanese culture actually was.
And at the same time, they leanred how the villa and garden function in that respect, as well as what the gardeners regard as most important in everyday maintenance work and Shitsurai (setting made by keeping mind of appreciation of the change of seasons, milestones of preople’s lives, hospitality )means.
It was a delightful day that we were able to show the children how beauty in everyday life could be celebrated.
The Portland Japanese Garden released a report of the “Waza to Kokoro ~ Hands & Heart” seminar conducted from August 28 ~ September 4, 2016 by their new Institute facility. Our president, Tomoki Kato and one of our garden craftsmen, Takeshi Kato, participated in the workshop. Please read the great report about the seminar to learn more about the contents and activities. It was an honor to be part of this wonderful learning experience and we will strive to utilize what we have attained.
From August 28 ~ September 4, 2016 the Portland Japanese Garden in Oregon State, U.S.A. conducted the “Waza to Kokoro ~ Hands & Heart” Seminar focusing on stone arrangements. Our president, Tomoki Kato and one of our garden craftsmen, young Kato, participated in the workshop group teacher. The participants had about 10 years of Japanese garden related work experience in the North-American region. This workshop was a wonderful learning experience for both teachers and participants.
From August 28 ~ September 4, 2016 the Portland Japanese Garden conducted the “Waza to Kokoro ~ Hands & Heart” seminar focusing on stone arrangements. Our president, Tomoki Kato was invited as a guest lecturer and presented on “anmokuchi” (tacit knowledge and shared understanding), based on the “Sakuteiki,” an ancient gardening text. He discussed the importance of “anmokuchi” in the world of garden craftsmen and the challenges of transmitting sensibility in this field. For many of the seminar participants, this was their first time learning about the “Sakuteiki,” and showed keen interest and fascination in the Japanese perspective and sense of natural beauty.