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Dear Members and Friends: Welcome to year of the Rooster! We extend our warm greetings and best wishes for a prosperous New Year. The Garden started the year with sporadic rain purifying itself as water seeps through the ground. The heavy fragrance and foliage provide a feeling of solitude, energized calmness and natural healing creating a perfect outlet for meditation and reflection. The Japanese Friendship Garden is gearing up for the Cherry Blossom Festival! Additional Cherry Trees will be planted in the lower garden and along the Paseo De Oro driveway. You will notice the newly replaced tiles at the Koi pond and the landscaping improvement around the garden. In the next few months, we will be installing another bridge in the lower garden. Bridges are a common feature in Japanese gardens to connect streams and islands as well as a resting area allowing the viewer to linger and take in the beauty of the landscape.

Japanese Friendship Garden Society of San Diego 2125 Park Blvd. San Diego, CA 92101 (619)232-2721 | |

10th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival

Sat, March 7th (10am - 4pm) | Sun, March 8th (11am - 3pm)

Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage PAID San Diego, CA Permit No. 2949


JFG Members FREE Kids 6 & under FREE Non-members: $6 Adults, $5 Senior, Student, Military

Celebrate spring and the blooming of our cherry trees at the 10th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival! SEE cultural entertainment and demos TASTE authentic Japanese street foods and drinks TRY fun crafts and kids activities SHOP unique gifts Enjoy samples from our Beer & Sake Garden sponsored by Asahi Beer and Gekkeikan Sake! Bring your picnic blankets to enjoy Hanami, the Japanese tradition of cherry blossom viewing! **Food, beer and sake garden, and kid’s area tickets sold separately. In the event of severe weather, Festival will be cancelled. Please check our website for the latest information.
















Meet New Volunteer Coordinator, Rembering our Dear Friends, SD Potters, Louis Schmidtat the Garden


Path to Wellness, Seijinshiki, Cherry Blossom Festival, Membership Tea


Calendar & Class Schedule Performances and Demonstrations


Welcome Members, Donors

Inamori Pavilion The JFG is proud to announce that the Inamori Pavilion has been LEED certified. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is a rating system created by the US Green Building Council that evaluates the environmental performance of a building. LEED buildings are resource-efficient across a broad spectrum of factors including: energy and water savings, CO2 emissions, etc. In general, LEED buildings demonstrate that they are good stewards of their community’s resources and are sensitive to the impact they will have on their environment. The Inamori Pavilion is one of ten buildings in Balboa Park that have been LEED certified. We thank Roesling Nakamura Terada Architects, Inc. for all of their hard work to obtain this certification.



eet Our Volunteer Coordinator

Hello everyone! My name is Sara Shah and I’m the new Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator at the JFG as of December 2016. As a former JFG volunteer myself, I’m humbled and thrilled to be serving our dedicated volunteer team. In my free time I enjoy reading, sketching, and cuddling with my cat. I’m looking forward to working with all of our guests, members, staff and volunteers to bring the best of the JFG to everyone.


emembering our Dear Friends

Two of our most dedicated, long-term volunteers, Mr. Guy Kiyoi and Ms. Umeko Kawamoto, passed away near the end of 2016. We’d like to honor them in this Volunteer Spotlight. Along with his wife Toshi, Guy managed various aspects of the administrative office during many of our early years, including memberships, the NIWA newsletter, and even payroll! He will always be remembered fondly for his meticulousness- just last month, staff found an instruction manual that Guy had put together that included step-by-step instructions as well as hand-drawn diagrams. The Garden would not have been the same without the hard work and commitment of the Kiyoi’s over the last 30+ years.


an Diego Potters: Japanese Influence

February 3-April 30, 2017 Exhibition Hall The Japanese Friendship Garden presents an exhibition of work by members of the San Diego Potters’ Guild highlighting the influence of Japanese ceramics, historical and contemporary, on the work they do today. Like studio potters everywhere, Guild members borrow Japanese forms, techniques, and glazes, and find inspiration in the characteristically Japanese embrace of nature, its accidents and imperfections. San Diego Potters / Japanese Influences explores how millennia of Japanese ceramic history live on in contemporary San Diego studios. Opening reception: Thursday, Feb 3 4:30pm-6:30pm. Admission $5, RSVP at (619) 232-2784


ouis M. Schmidt: Persons Unknown February 3-April 22, 2017 Inamori Pavilion

The Japanese Friendship Garden presents an exhibition of Louis Schmidt. We are delighted to bring his ongoing series of photos from different cities around the world.

Umeko Kawamoto was very active in the Japanese community of San Diego, especially at the Japanese Friendship Garden. At the Garden she’ll always be remembered for her enthusiasm during her weekly visits when she would organize our financial documents and prepare contributions for deposit. On behalf of the Japanese Friendship Garden Board and staff, thank you Guy and Umeko for your dedication and many years of service. You will always be remembered.


In this exhibition, the artist selected images from four recent trips to Tokyo, Japan. “Persons Unknown” introduces his unique way of looking at people in a city and curiosity of life in Japan. He captivates urban images through abstract views of pedestrians, architecture and city details. Opening reception: Thursday, Feb 3 5pm-7pm. Admission $5, RSVP: Emiko Scudder (619) 232-2784 or registrar@ niwa. org


ath To Wellness


herry Blossom Festival

Late last year, the Garden launched our wellness March 10, 11 & 12, 2017 program called the “Path to Wellness.� The Path to The Japanese Friendship Garden Cherry Blossom Festival Wellness program offers an opportunity for participants will be held for three days beginning Friday, March 10 to Sunday, to visit the Garden for quiet contemplation and reflection. It March 12 from 10am to 6pm. Last year, the festival drew over 9,000 includes five sessions including cultural activities and a guide visitors. There will be a members only entrance located between book. the Garden and Organ Pavilion walkway. Fast pass admission tickets are available online.

The program is facilitated by Donna Kobayashi. Donna taught the practice of walking and sensory meditation at the Chicago Botanic Garden for many years incorporating her indepth knowledge of the Japanese garden and culture. The program provides an enriched experience of the garden and perspective that supports wellbeing. The Path to Wellness program is offered throughout the year. Please contact the office at 619-32-2721 for more information.


oming of Age Ceremony

The Japanese Friendship Garden in collaboration with Azunakai celebrated our 2nd annual International Coming of Age Ceremony at the Inamori Pavilion. The event celebrates young people becoming of legal age for adulthood. It is marked by ceremonies in municipal spaces all over Japan. Approximately 100 attendees enjoyed the event with Taiko performance by Genbu Daiko, U-JAM and motivational speaker, Alex Montoya. Alex Montoya is an author and international speaker. He delivers motivational presentations to businesses, schools, conferences, churches, and more. Alex speaks to audiences about overcoming obstacles and succeeding in business, education, and service. Drawing on his experiences as a congenital (from birth) triple amputee.

The Cherry Blossom Festival is a tradition in Japan in celebration of the sakura hanami (flower viewing). Families gather to enjoy food, drink, sing and dance under the blossom-laden branches. The Japanese Friendship Garden has over 100 Cherry Trees that typically bloom in March. The festival will have an array of vendors and food prepared by the Japanese community organizations. There will be Beer and Sake Tasting, Tea Tasting, colorful activities for kids, performances, demonstrations, story telling and much more. Shuttle service will be provided during the day of the festival. For more information, please visit our website at


embership Tea

April 15, 2017

Come join the JFG to our annual Member Tea event which will be held on Saturday, April 15, 2017. Enjoy a variety of tea with delectable desserts and sandwiches provided by our preferred caterers.

The Membership Tea event ticket is $5 for members and $15 for nonmembers. Invitations will be mailed soon with more details. More information at:


Calendar & Class Schedule

The Garden offers a unique variety of classes and demonstrations to all visitors. It is a vital part of our mission to provide educational programs that promote understanding of the Japanese heritage among people of diverse ethnic backgrounds. Please call the office at (619) 232-2721 or email to register. Fees help to cover class expenses and support the Garden. Cancellation Policy: Refunds are made only in the event of the Garden’s cancellation of the class.

Docent Tour Schedule

Please check the website for updated schedules Upper Garden 11am Sun, Mon, Thurs, Frid, Sat

Lower Garden

12pm/1pm Sun, Wed, Thur, Sat

Upper & Lower Garden 1/14 & 1/28

11am & 1:30pm (Upper), 12:30pm & 3pm (Lower) Public tours are FREE with admission-no registration necessary (Tours subject to cancellation, please verify schedule online or by phone )

Class Schedule Yoga classes

Date: Wednesdays (Gentle) & Thursdays (Hatha) Time: 9:00am – 10:00am Fee: $6 Members, $8 General Attend 5 classes and get the 6th Free) Description: Relax your body & calm the busy mind! Enjoy a mindful yoga class in the peaceful serenity of the Garden. Practitioners of all levels are welcome. Please bring a mat & water, and avoid heavy foods before class. Mornings can be cool, so dress in comfortable layers. The class will be held either at the koi pond or at the lower garden pavilion deck. Please inquire at or 619.232.2722. Instructor: Lisa Hampton (Wed),Timothy Weir Schultheis (Thu)

Sogetsu-style Ikebana Class (Tuesdays)


Date: Every Tuesday Time: 9:30am – 11:30am Fee: $15 one session, $50 for four Description: This weekly Sogetsu School ikebana class is designed for a wide range of talents from novices to advanced students. Please bring your own kenzan, a shallow container, Ikebana (gardening) scissors, flowers and branches. Instructor: Yumi Rakers

Meditation (Tuesdays) (No class on 3rd Tuesday of each month)

Date: Every Tuesday except for 3rd Tuesday Time: 1pm - 2pm Fee: Free with admission Description: Meditation is a great tool for relaxation and peace of mind which also helps us deal with negative thoughts, emotions and situations. Your instructor will teach several techniques including breathing to guide you. Meditation will be held in front of the “Sekitei” (rock garden) viewing room. The bare simplicity of the raked white gravel and grey rocks absorbs our thoughts and is devoid of clutter. One is able to gaze without judgment, without criticism, nothingness, reaching the quietude of oneself. Instructor: Yumi Rakers, R.Y.T.

Go Club (Wednesdays)

Date: Every Wednesday Time: 3pm – 4:30pm Fee: Free with Admission Description: Go, the national game of Japan, is the oldest board game in the world. This introductory class is intended for students, but all are welcome to attend. Classes are typically held in the Activity Center. Each class will include instruction and time for individual games. Instructor: Ted Terpstra

Craft Club (First Mondays)

Time: 10am -12pm Fee: $10 General (annual fee) Description: The craft club meets the first Monday of each month. Each session, the group makes unique items which the Garden offers for sale at the main entrance. The crafts include book markers, note cards, and gift cards.

Japanese Language Class

Date &Time: Jan 12-Feb 16, 6pm – 7:30pm Fee: $199 for 6 classes, $100 material & registration Fee Berlitz interactive class for beginning adults. Students learn Japanese through speaking it. Students speak at least 50% of class time through language immersion. Register online!

November Cooking Class

Date &Time: TBD Fee: $40 Package A (1 adult, 1 child),$50 Package B (1 adult, 2 children) ,$60 Package C (2 adults, 1 or 2 children) Instructor: Rachel Filtz See website


Corporate Memberships

Participate in our Japanese Calligraphy class with Shuku. Free with admission. Every 1st Friday of each month from 10am-11:30am. Please visit our website for additional information.

Cultural Demonstration & Performances UrasenkeTea Ceremony Demonstration It is generally held two times a month on the first Saturday and second Tuesday of the month, but occasionally it may be held on a different date than usual. Free with admission. The Saturday tea and sweets tasting is $3.Presented byUrasenke San Diego Association. Please visit our website for specific dates.

We now offer membership levels for your entire workplace! Corporate Membership with the Japanese Friendship Garden is the perfect way to reward employees, encourage team building, and foster cultural understanding. There are five corporate levels featuring benefits such as: yearlong memberships for employees and their families, corporate recognition in our newsletter and website, tickets to JFG’s Annual Gala, discounts on corporate events and more! If you’re looking for an exceptional wellness benefit package for your company, contact Gerry Casupang, JFG Membership Coordinator at 619-232-3997 or visit our website at: corporate-membership-levels-and-benefits for more information.

Koto & Shakuhachi (Saturday)

It is generally held once per month on the second Saturday of the month, but occasionally it may be held on a different date than usual. Free with admission. Presented by Kyoko Takeda (koto) & Jon Crick (shakuhachi). Please visit our website for specific dates.

Tibetan Bowl Concert with Diane Mandle

Date &Time: January 29 (Sunday) 5pm Fee: $15 Pre-sale, $20 at the door An intense transformational sound immersion with Tibetan Bowls, Bells, Planetary Gong, and Percussion. We recommend bringing a mat to lie on as well.

JFG Programs partly funded by


Welcome NEW Members Abigail Metcalfe Aimee and Neale Floresla Allison and Matthew Sutch Allison and Philip Nelson Andrea Wadington Andrew Liersch Anthony and Eazeylynn Carlson Barbara McCubbin Barbara Smith Ben and Delores Brannon Cassie and Dustin Jasso Catherine Collins Chao Chen Charlene and Christopher Davis Charlene Kawabata Chris Soriano Chuck and Mary-Ella Samples Cristina and Daniel Rivera Crizel and Jason Retener Dallas Fialkowski Damien Rosales David and Joy Kirsh David and Sophia Robinson Deborah Naranjo Dennis and Miriam Servetter Dianne and Brad Buss Elizabeth and Ben Robbins Eric Stadler Georgia and Laris Laris Gloria and Rosie Landin Gonen and Gonen Ayelet Hong and Yihui Zhao J Summers Jacqueline and Mike Pirotta James and Nicole Conley JannaLyn and Justin Rogers Jeffrey Wright Jenna and Michael Hackett Jesse and Daniel McManus Jo and Mike Zukovich Jonatan and Beatriz Gonzalez Joy and Robert Reyes Judi and Ed Gottschalk Judy Winkler June and S. Williams Karen Worthington Katerina and Paul DeHart


Katie Borton Kenneth and Charlene Kawabata Kevin and Barbara Smith Kevin and Cathy Frame Kyle and Vanessa Lauter Liz and Jon Scherer Lu and Chong Lou Manuel and Richard Trillo Mar and Crystal Cardenas Mariah and Eric Koehle Michael McCarthy Momo and Andree Haase Nicole Conley Pamela Smith Paris Taggett Patricia Scollay Philip and Germaine Morin Rolla and Jon Yafawi Rosemary and David Frazier Ryan LeDoux Sabrina and Stefan Feve Samantha Guzzardo Sandy Lawrence Sara and Vicki Hoppenrath Sean Smith Shahin and Nazanin Farahani Susan and Richard Namba Susan Erickson Svetlana and Steven Elbert Ted and Teri Drcar Thomas and Miho Johnston Tiana and Geri Aina Vickie and Julie Brady Victoria and Dhaval Bietz Victoria and Steven Almera Wallace Cunningham & Pamela Smith



$1,000 and UP In Memory of Guy Kiyoi Dayton Foundation Depository, Inc. Donna Kobayashi Sanji & Miyoko Kanzawa Maurice Kawashima Annette Lau Deborah Szekely $999 and BELOW Jim Bozarth Dick Bridy Sandi Calabough Jeanette M. Dutton Mark Edgar Heidrun Faulconer Margaret Headley Handy Horiye Clinton Hubbard William Jackson Lynn M. Kaihatsu Donna Kobayashi Hisako Koike Harold Kuhn Howard K. Kuwada Christopher Kyburg Joan McNamara Chieko L. Moriyama Hatsune Mukai Susan Namba Robert Robinett Hiroshi Sawasaki Patricia A. Schneider Judy A. Schrosk Cruz Swedelius Kiyoye B. Takahashi Takao D. Takeuchi Joseph Tunner Robert D. Wallace Nathan Workman Dick H. Yamane Wallace Yuki

Japanese Friendship Garden Board and Staff Board of Directors Dr. Hiroko Johnson Mike Kawamura Roy Muraoka Tad Muraoka Arthur Nishioka

Dr. Thelma Press Justin Rennilson Marilyn Travaglini Dennis Otsuji

Executive Committee

Dennis Otsuji, President Dr. Thelma Press, 1st Vice President Mike Kawamura, 2nd Vice President Arthur Nishioka, Treasurer Tad Muraoka, Secretary

Advisory Board Richard Davis Maurice Kawashima Michael Kinoshita Rod Lanthorne

Larry Marshall Ed McDaniel Ken Muraoka Miyo Reff

Executive Director Luanne Kanzawa Administration (619) 232-2721 Operations Assistant Marisa Rodriguez (ext. 1503) Private Events Christina Zakimi (ext 1500) Events & Marketing Coordinator Jonathan Osio (ext 1506) Program Coordinator Frederic Hewett (ext.1505) Registrar & Exhibit Coordinator Emiko Scudder (ext. 1504)

Contact Us: For more information about these events please call the Garden at (619) 232-2721. Garden Hours: Monday-Sunday 10am-7pm (Last entry 6:00pm)

The Garden may close early for special events, please visit our website for more information. The NIWA is written and produced by staff and volunteers of the Japanese Friendship Garden. For more information about becoming a volunteer or comments for the NIWA, please contact the

Outreach Coordinator at: (619) 232-2721 ext. 1501 or To join our email list contact:

Follow us on the web: Website: Twitter: Facebook: Instagram: instagram@japanesefriendshipgarden Blog:

Membership & Fund Development Coordinator Gerry Casupang (ext. 1502) Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator Sara Shah (ext. 1501) Head Gardener Benancio Carreno


The Niwa Newsletter January-February 2017  

The Japanese Friendship Garden's Bi-Monthly Newsletter! Check out our upcoming programs and events going on in the garden!

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