Los Angeles, CA 90089
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USC Rock Garden - Building a peaceful place for reflection & remembrance. Dedicated to Japanese American students forced out of USC during World War II, a rock garden in traditional Japanese style is designed with a spirit of stoic strength and optimism borne of adversity.
Event Date Opens
April 1, 2022 - A dedication ceremony event at which family members of USC Nisei students will be present.
Specific Inforrmation: Call USC for more information.
USC Rock Garden, Event Location
Cross Street: Trousdale Pkwy & W Jefferson Blvd.
Map Image of USC Campus
Google Directions to Rock Garden
• Shrine Auditorium, 665 W Jefferson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90007
Background - Designing a Rock Garden at USC
Calvin Abe, the renowned landscape architect who designed the garden, is the son of Nisei generation parents who owned a farm near Sacramento. Along with extended family members, they were sent to detention centers in Arizona, Arkansas and California.
“I was old enough to experience the post-war era, and as a kid the racial slurs that came my way in the late ’50s and early ’60s were internalized,” Abe said. “I got into fights. But for me and for my parents, we were always trying to assimilate. There was a drive not to forget the culture but to get educated, go to college, succeed.”
A graduate of Harvard University with a passion for sustainability, Abe has designed eco campuses, parks, gardens and urban watershed green spaces throughout the western United States. Rarely, though, has he worked with such devotion and speed, going from concept to completion in months.
Those who pass through the rock garden will feel no such rush. A series of boulders will rise, according to the designer, “like the bow of a ship passing through stormy seas.”
Aligned with the historic Alumni Memorial Pylon erected in the early 1930s, the rock garden orients visitors in such a way that their backs are to the traffic of downtown Los Angeles. The University Park Campus is in front of them. It is symbolic, Abe said, of a return.
“The Nisei students are a part of USC,” Abe said. “The garden is a place to relax and reconsider what happened in the past, an expression of perseverance and hope.”
Source: Ron Mackovich-Rodriguez, March 14, 2022 - USC Newspaper (USC Rock Garden)
What is a Japanese Rock Garden?
The Japanese dry garden (枯山水, karesansui) or Japanese rock garden, often called a zen garden, is a distinctive style of Japanese garden. It creates a miniature stylized landscape through carefully composed arrangements of rocks, water features, moss, pruned trees and bushes, and uses gravel or sand that is raked to represent ripples in water. Zen gardens are commonly found at temples or monasteries. A zen garden is usually relatively small, surrounded by a wall or buildings, and is usually meant to be seen while seated from a single viewpoint outside the garden, such as the porch of the hojo, the residence of the chief monk of the temple or monastery. Many, with gravel rather than grass, are only stepped into for maintenance. Classical zen gardens were created at temples of Zen Buddhism in Kyoto during the Muromachi period. They were intended to imitate the essence of nature, not its actual appearance, and to serve as an aid for meditating about the true meaning of existence. - Wiki
USC Rock Garden has was completed April 1, 2022
2022 A Japanese Rock Garden in Traditional Japanese Style, USC Campus (Video) Landscape Composed Arrangements of Rocks..Aid for Meditating
April1, 2022 Opened
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Saturday, 2 March, 2024
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