Annual Conference

National Conference and AGM 2021

In place of a Conference this year the 2021 AGM is held being in conjunction with the Opening Lecture of a Winter Lecture Programme, developed in collaboration with the Gardens Trust which include seven virtual lectures on Japanese Gardens past present and future and three lectures on Japanese gardens within the Gardens Trust series of Unforgettable Gardens.  

On Saturday 23rd October the 2021 National Conference will comprise

the 2021 Annual General Meeting via Zoom from 4pm – 5pm and the

Opening Lecture of the joint JGS and Gardens Trust Lecture Series, starting at 6:30pm.

All members of the Japanese Garden Society are invited to attend the Virtual Annual General Meeting, which is free. Online Zoom registration is required in advance. For details see the events calendar. The agenda, meeting papers and registration details have been sent to all JGS members by email (and by post to those that reside in the UK for whom we have only postal addresses). If members have not received this information by Friday 8th October 2021 they may request it from Entry to the AGM starts at 3:45pm, and formal proceedings begin at 4:00pm (UK time).

The Opening Lecture of a series of seven talks focussed on Japanese gardens which JGS has developed in collaboration with the Gardens Trust.  Dr Jill Raggett will talk on Japanese-style Gardens in the British Isles. Registration for this Zoom event is via the Gardens Trust website and costs £5. ( A summary and information about the speaker is below.

Exploring our Legacy of Japanese-style Gardens in the British Isles – why were they built, how do stereotypes emerge and what of the future.

Lecturer:  Dr. Jill Raggett

at 6:30pm on Saturday 23rd October 2021

There are considerable challenges and issues in transplanting the Japanese garden to another country and these can be both philosophical and practical. The gardens we see in Britain inspired by the Japanese tradition are the result of the ongoing relationship between the two nations alongside the motivations, knowledge and skills of individual owners, designers, and gardeners and these will be explored.

There are new gardens being built, and old ones being restored and modified. The interpretation of Japanese-style gardens in Britain has been extremely diverse ranging from thoughtfully constructed interpretations striving for authenticity to a nod to a Japanese stereotype with the addition of lanterns, bridges or plants.

The Japanese garden has been absorbed into British gardening culture along with plant species from and used in Japan, and a growing understanding of Japanese design techniques and maintenance skills.



National Conference and AGM 2020

We are pleased to announce details of the Society’s first ‘virtual’ National Conference and the Annual General Meeting.  Both events will be held in the afternoon of Saturday 10th October and require separate on-line Zoom webinair registration in advance (see also ).   

The registration and other details for the AGM & Conference have been sent to all JGS members by email (or by post to JGS members resident in the UK without email addresses registered on our database) and should have been received by 23rd September 2020.   Alternatively this information can be obtained by contacting:

The virtual Annual General Meeting will commence at 1:45pm, with formal proceedings beginning at 2:00pm.  

The virtual Conference will start at 3:15 pm (log-in at 3pm is recommended to enable connection).  It features two half-hour video presentations by internationally known key-note speakers who reside in the USA and Japan.

Hoichi Kurisu, will be speaking about the significance of ma in Japanese garden design.  Ma is the space between elements of the garden, contributing a positive element in its own right to the effectiveness of the design and the experience of the viewer.

Tomoki Kato, will describe his landscape company’s approach to fostering gardens in Kyoto that will be familiar to some JGS members. His talk will feature his company’s work in caring for the garden at Murin-an, Kyoto, Japan.

Following the video presentations the audience will be able to use “Zoom Q&A” to ask a panel of UK experts any questions they have arising from these video presentations.  The conference will end at 4:30pm

Speaker profiles

Hoichi Kurisu, President, Kurisu International, is a noted designer of Japanese gardens, active in the United States. Kurisu studied landscape design and construction under Kenzo Ogata in Tokyo, Japan. He later became Landscape Director for the Garden Society of Japan, during which time he supervised construction of the Portland Japanese Garden. Other gardens he has designed include the Morikami Museum in Florida, Anderson Gardens Illinois, Lebanon Community Hospital, Oregon, Harn Museum, University of Florida, Samaritan Lebanon Health Sciences Campus and Boulder Falls Inn.

Tomoki Kato, President, Ueyakato Landscape, is based in Kyoto and is one of the visiting Japanese tutors at the International Japanese Garden Training Center, Portland Japanese Garden, Oregon.  Fostering is a term adopted by Kato-san as an alternative to maintenance, reflecting a different way of thinking about the approach to caring for gardens.  His message, as President, on the Ueyakato Landscape website begins “In today’s ultra-convenient society, Japanese gardens, which sometimes are fostered over a period of several centuries, must seem quite inefficient. We believe, however, that it is precisely in our present age that garden fostering techniques may hold the value we need to help shape a better society.”