Scenic USA - California

Japanese Tea Garden

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Japanese Tea Garden - Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Photos by Bob Goldman

     The garden is one of the highest art forms in Japan, evolving into a variety of styles over the last 1000 years. With many influences from the Orient, Tea Garden Sculpture - Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California one of San Francisco's landmarks is the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park. Baron Makoto Hagiwara, coming to the United States in 1879, is credited for funding, building and managing the Japanese Tea Garden. Members of Japan's aristocracy, the Hagiwara family spent most of their fortune on the garden, living there in a small area until 1942. During World War II Americans feared a Japanese take over and forced Japanese Americans into concentration camps. During the Hagiwara's internment, the garden was neglected, sculptures disappeared, buildings were torn down, plants withered and the garden was renamed to the Oriental Tea Garden. Tea Garden Bridge - Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California
     Today, the garden's plantings have been restored, notable sculptures have been donated and the garden's rightful name returned. Much of the Hagiwara-Frasier collection was gathered and dedicated in a proper Shinto ceremony on April 1, 1966. However, the garden bears little resemblance to the Japanese Tea Garden that the Hagiwara family once cherished. Remembered for introducing the fortune cookie to America, Baron Makoto Hagiwara is recognized with a bronze plaque that reads: "To honor Makoto Hagiwara and his family who nurtured and shared this garden from 18951942."

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