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Seminar in Kyoto Oct/Nov 2007

Started by udoanome, February 03, 2007, 09:37:03 AM

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February 03, 2007, 09:37:03 AM Last Edit: February 03, 2007, 01:21:13 PM by Mike
Once again I am thinking of going to Tokyo. Once again I am procrastinating about the cost. Is this seminar aimed at people like me? I know udoanome but ....


February 03, 2007, 11:10:22 AM #1 Last Edit: February 03, 2007, 01:21:39 PM by Mike
Quote from: udoanome on February 03, 2007, 09:37:03 AM
Once again I am thinking of going to Tokyo. Once again I am procrastinating about the cost. Is this seminar aimed at people like me?

Would this be the first time you went to Japan strictly for gardening purposes?



February 03, 2007, 11:44:34 AM #2 Last Edit: February 03, 2007, 01:21:58 PM by Mike
First time, ever.


February 03, 2007, 12:40:43 PM #3 Last Edit: February 03, 2007, 01:22:13 PM by Mike
Well, how do they say it, "you always remember your first"   :)

I am having a hard time finding the details on the seminar and have only talked to a few people about it.  Anyone else want to chime in, please do so.

Having said all that, whatever the agenda is, your trip is going to be memorable.  My first (and clearest) memory of Japan was when I was 11 and I got very, very sick.  Now, TMI notwithstanding, I remember all the gory details of being horizontal for a while, BUT I also have vivid detail of the country inn in which I picked up the "tourista".  The smells, the roaring fire, people singing at the tops of their lungs, the potato stew which did the damage, etc........

I also remember playing in the garden of the Onsen my relatives owned.  It was covered in snow, I went out there in my barefeet cuz I could not find my shoes cuz I went through the kitchen entrance versus the formal entry.  I got in trouble and had to stay inside so I played pachinko all day and watched sumo wrestling.

We don't get to chose our memories, they chose us.  That is what I keep in my back pocket whenever I start thinking "should I or shouldn't I". We can plan, plan, plan but in the end it is the unplanned, the unexpected, that we remember the most. 

We have know each other for a while so the philosophy lesson is free. I say go for it, show up with an empty cup, work hard, party harder, you can sleep when you get back on the plane.

This MIGHT be the thing that takes you to the next level.  Now, how scary can that be?


p.s. watch out for the potato stew   :)


February 03, 2007, 01:07:13 PM #4 Last Edit: February 03, 2007, 01:22:34 PM by Mike
Below is the e-mail I got announcing the seminar.  I attended in 2003 and sent one of my employees in 2006.  Others participating here have also been to it.

I enjoyed it tremendously even though I had lived in Japan for several years and already had a garden design business.  It's absolutely worth the money, in my opinion.  I was skeptical initially because of the cost, but I ran into a couple of graduates (one head gardener of a highly-rated JG in the US, another a major gardening mag editor) who told me I really had to go, so I believed them.  The curriculum is absolutely packed and you get a little crash course in JG from a whole bunch of experts in various fields.  The seminar also brings you together with other designers, LAs, professors, etc. from around the world.  Plus you get to spend two weeks with Wybe Kuitert (author of Themes in the History of Japanese Garden Art and Professor Makoto Nakamura, among others.

In my opinion you can learn a lot regardless of your level.  In my group (attendance is limited to 20-25 participants) three of us spoke Japanese, but we all still felt like we got a lot out of it.  Lectures in Japanese are interpreted into English, mostly by Wybe Kuitert, whose mastery of Japanese and English (his native language is Dutch) is truly amazing.

By the way, the application process is competitive and only about half the applicants get in, so be sure to make your application a good one.  I know several people who have tried repeatedly to get in.  I'm told that young people (under 30) are given preference, as are attendees from unusual countries, but professionals are the next preferred group of applicants.  The seminar seeks to help cultivate the next generation of JG builders, specialists and educators to help continue passing on the rich culture of the JG.


Here's the press release I received:

To Anyone Interested in Learning About Japanese Gardens

October 22nd -November 3rd, 2007

The Research Center for Japanese Garden Art, in Kyoto, is pleased to
announce we are accepting applications for the 11th annual
English-language intensive seminar regarding the history, design theory,
and construction of Japanese Gardens. Any persons interested in receiving
more information about the Seminar may do so by visiting our website,
or by sending an email or fax to the Center. A PDF file of the Seminar
brochure is available on the website.

WEBSITE: <http://www.kyoto-art.ac.jp/~j-gar/semnew.html>;

Marc Peter Keane
Landscape Architect

Research Center for Japanese Garden Art
2-116 Uryu-yama, Kita-shirakawa,
Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606 JAPAN
FAX: +81-75-791-9342
E-mail: <j-gar@land.kyoto-art.ac.jp>
Web-site:   http://www.kyoto-art.ac.jp/~j-gar


Since it appears that the conference is in Kyoto not Tokyo, I amended the title of the Topic so we can move along with the correct information.


p.s. I am not amending udoanome's post to reflect the change (even though I can).  I do have a line when it comes to modifying other people's posts, you have just seen it.


.....while I'm at the airport... the International Symposium / conference is in Tokyo September 14/18
--the Research Centre's Intensive Seminar is in Kyoto..
two different events..
                                 edzard... cats and pigeons always got along fine.. hasn't changed. 8)


Edzard ---

Do you have info. about the Tokyo Symposium?  I (and some other friends) have been trying to find out about it (when, where, how, etc.).

Many thanks,



... hmmm., no...
I haven't asked for more information... shrug.. actual date is Sept 15 - 18 with a tour of Adachi Museum after.
-- didn't need to know until July when its ticket booking time.
today is presentations, not the day to ask Hiro... later.. -> tomorrow.. .
is there a rush?


No, just trying to nail it down.  This would be the fifth international symposium, no?


February 05, 2007, 01:50:35 AM #10 Last Edit: February 06, 2007, 11:36:12 PM by Mike
Lee,.. n'all interested..
yes it would be the fifth international symposium.
Apparently it has no name yet, and is still in the planning stages. Title was, for last years prelims "what do Japanese gardens Overseas need?"
I gather that not all of the entries matched that description. ???
-the dates still are Tokyo, 15-18 september with a tour to Adachi 18- 22.



Anything else for me other than a food warning and the anagram? Who else has been apart from Lee, BTW what did your guy report back Lee, was it the Tibetan monk? This is an expensive venture for me which I would prefer to think of as an investment, not necessarily in monetary terms.


Not the monk, it was Noah.  And I (and my husband) were in Kyoto with him during the seminar, then the three of us travelled around for another couple of weeks.

Noah loved the seminar.  It was interesting because we reacted differently to different parts of it, had different favorites.

Attending the seminar is definitely a business investment for any JG designer/maintainer/builder.  And a most enjoyable tax write-off  :)

I know of five seminar graduates from Maine, including Prof. Clifton Olds (who created the nice Bowdoin College JG website) and Asticou Azalea Garden head gardener Mary Roper.  Of our forum participants, there's Edzard and also a European who might prefer to tell you himself.



Me, too! I loved the seminar in Kyoto. Whetted my apetite for more, wish they would host a Part 2.

Unfortunately, we budget for trips to seminars in the previous year so I won't be making in Int. symposium. Any idea where/how they will advertise?