Moderator: Megan Lieff
Name: Kawana Koichi (1930-1990)
Country UNITED STATES
Added to JGarden 8/11/2001
Last Updated 1/23/2005
Description Kawana Koichi was one of the great designers of Japanese-inspired gardens in North America. Born in Hokkaido March 16, 1930, Dr. Kawana became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1971. He received a B.S from Yokohama Municipal University in 1951; an M.A. in 1959 and M.F.A. in 1964 from University of California, Los Angeles and a Doctorate from Pacific Western University in 1979. He was a professor and lecturer on Japanese landscape architecture, Japanese art and environmental design at UCLA for 24 years.
Dr. Kawana is credited with designing many of the finest Japanese-inspired gardens in North America including:
* Shofu-en at the Denver Botanic Gardens;
* Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant, Van Nuys, California;
* Seiwa-en at the Missouri Botanical Garden;
* Minnesota Landscape Arboretum at the University of Minnesota;
* Memphis Botanic Garden;
* Sab Diego Balboa Park;
* The Bloedel Reserve, Bainbridge, Washington; and
* Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).
Kawana was honored with several award for his contributions to design including Progressive Architecture's design award in 1972; the Companionate of Merit, Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem in Edinburgh in 1974 (Knight's grade in 1990); the Victor M. Carter Diamond Award of the Japan America Society of Southern California in 1980; and the Henry Shaw Medal in 1987.
Displaying a sensitivity toward traditional Japanese design principles and aesthetics, Dr. Kawana was critical of some modern Japanese-style gardens which merely grouped together typical Japanese garden features. His essay "Symbolism and Esthetics in the Traditional Japanese Garden" on the garden�s website is worth reading.
Kawana K�ichi. "The Challenge of Building a Japanese Garden in the United States." Plants & Gardens, Brooklyn Botanic Garden Record: Japanese Gardens. New York: Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 1990.
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