July Lecture

July Lecture

Sadafumi Uchiyama

Garden Curator, Portland Japanese Garden

Portland Japanese Garden: The Journey Continues

For more than 50 years, Portland Japanese Garden has been a haven of security and tranquility nestled in the scenic West Hills of Portland, Oregon.  Each year, the Garden introduces the culture and spirit of Japan to nearly 350,000 visitors from all over the world and is considered one of the foremost Japanese cultural organizations in North America.  Sadafumi will cover two major projects at Portland Japanese Gardens: The International Institute and the Cultural Crossing.  The International Institute began in 2013 and is centered at the Garden intended to teach Japanese garden history, design, construction and maintenance.  Cultural Crossing is a $33.5M project started in 2015 and designed to provide additional space for the Gardens’ rapid visitor growth and to enhance its ability to immerse visitors in traditional Japanese arts and culture.


Sadafumi Uchiyama is a third generation Japanese gardener from southern Japan where his family has been involved in gardening for over a century. Prior to his appointment as Garden Curator in October 2008, he also served as a Vice President on the Board of Directors and was on advisory committees for the Portland Japanese Garden.  He is a registered landscape architect in Oregon and California with a BLA and MLA from the University of Illinois. His apprenticeship in Japanese gardening and training of Western landscape architecture allows him to design and build a unique and wide range of private and public landscape projects.  His projects include the renovation of the Osaka Garden, the site of the 1893 Great Columbian Exposition at Jackson Park in Chicago, the Shofu-en of the Denver Botanic Gardens and the Shoun-Kei Japanese garden at Sarah Duke Gardens at Duke University, NC.  He is currently working on the Rolex Headquarters in Dallas, TX in collaboration with designer, Kengo Kuma.