Dr Jill Raggett, an Emeritus Reader in Gardens and Landscapes at Writtle University College and long-time student of the history of Japanese style gardens in Britain and Ireland will open the series by exploring the legacy of such gardens in the British Isles. Jill will discuss why were they built, how stereotypes emerged and what the future holds. The author and academic, Yoko Kawaguchi, will describe the Japanese garden aesthetic in terms of the various styles and forms of Japanese gardens and their key elements. Later in the lecture series Yoko will explore how the Japanese garden aesthetic has developed in the modern gardens in Japan.
Japanese gardens are undoubtedly beautiful spaces and foster general wellbeing, but they can be used to realise additional social and cultural benefits. Professor Seiko Goto of Nagasaki University will present her research on how Japanese gardens impact on the behaviour and psychological state of viewers particularly the elderly or those suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia. Hoichi and Michiko Kurisu of Kurisu International Inc will discuss the design of their Japanese gardens in Oregon which were integral to the community regeneration in Lebanon and prisoner rehabilitation at the State Penitentiary in Salem. Graham Hardman of the Japanese Garden Society, Rebecca Bollands a primary school headmistress with a special interest in cross cultural education, and Robert Ketchell the Japanese garden creator will describe how a karensansui garden was constructed in the War Memorial Park in Coventry in collaboration with local schoolchildren. The garden is part of a wider cultural programme reflecting Coventry’s role as an International City of Peace.
The lecture series concludes with the internationally respected and most thoughtful designer Dan Pearson speaking about the design and development of Tokachi Millennium Forest, a naturalistic ecological public park garden in northern Japan. Dan will describe the big thinking and detailed consideration required to realise this long-term project which combines the culture, aesthetics, and horticultural practices of East and West.