Van Nuys, CA 91406
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The Japanese Garden
The balance of positive and negative forces, Yin & Yang, are ever present here. Obvious in the skillful blending of traditional Japanese landscaping with modern Occidental architecture, less so in the way the Japanese concept of 'WA'or harmony is used to unite the desires of the human spirit with our more mundane requirements-the exquisite beauty of a Japanese garden with the need for an abundant supply of fresh water.
We invite you to walk, to sit, to contemplate your surroundings in our garden. To do so is to experience absolute tranquility, it is to enrich one's spirit, to achieve a state of grace so elusive in our busy modern world. It is to emulate Lord Buddha who, three thousand years ago, seated in the shade of a tree in silent contemplation of the human condition, achieved spiritual enlightenment.
On behalf of myself, my staff, the Mayor's Advisory committee, and our docents, I invite you to visit and experience the beauty of Suiho En - the garden of water and fragrance.
DOCTOR KOICHI KAWANA The Garden Creator
Dr. Kawana designed more than one dozen major Japanese gardens in the United States, including botanical gardens at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, San Diego's Balboa Park and gardens in Denver, Chicago, Memphis, Minneapolis, and the largest Japanese garden in the United States - the 14 acre garden in St. Louis. He pioneered the design of traditional Japanese gardens which utilized plants native to the area of the garden.
A native of Hokkaido, Japan, Dr. Kawana was listed in Who's Who in America, the Dictionary of International Biography, and Who's Who in Art, among others. Awards include Progressive Architecture's Design Award for design of this garden; the Victor M. Carter Diamond Award, the highest honor of the Japan America Society of Southern California; the Companionate of Merit in Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem in Edinburgh; and the Gold Medal from Academia Italia della Arti de del Lavoro. National Geographic Magazine featured Dr. Kawana's St. Louis garden in its August, 1990, issue.
Dr. Kawana died in September, 1990, at age 60. Professional associates recall him as a 'renaissance man,' a garden designer, architect and artist whose paintings are now collectors' items - writer, poet, collector of fine art and teacher. He taught ikebana informally Japanese architecture and landscape design at UCLA, formally. One associate wrote, 'He taught me about the art of gardening and human grace.'
The Japanese Garden shares the address of the Tillman Reclamation plant with an entrance on the east side of Woodley Avenue in Van Nuys. Access to both the San Diego (405) and Ventura (101) freeways is close by and convenient and ample free parking adjacent to the entrance of the garden is provided for visitors.
Phone: (818) 756-8166
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