New Orleans Japanese Haven

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City Park in New Orleans has nestled in its midst the New Orleans Japanese Gardens, known formally as Yakumo Nihon Teien. Yakumo is the assumed Japanese name of the prominent New Orleans writer, Lafcadio Hearn. Lafcadio was deeply stirred and inspired by the Japanese culture in his visits to Japan, and brought much of what he saw and learned back to Louisiana through his prose Continue Reading

Thinking of Spring!

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When it comes time to plan a spring garden, there are many designs from which to choose. One of the serenest and most enjoyable garden designs is a Japanese garden design. A Japanese garden is a simple garden design that creates a space that fosters calm and is perfect for meditation. The following is a guide to the elementary principles to understand to make your Japanese Continue Reading

Edo, Japanese Garden Transformation

The strategically situated castle town of Edo, destined to become modern day Tokyo, was the seat of power for the Tokugawa Shogunate from 1603 to 1868.  Following nearly a century and a half of war known as the Sengoku period, the Edo period welcomed a much needed period of social harmony. This change in mental attitude also signified change in the purpose of the many castles Continue Reading

Origami, a meditative art

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Origami come from the root ori, meaning folding and kami, meaning paper. It is a 1700 Japanese folk art of folding a traditional square piece of origami paper into an intricate sculpture. The most popular and well-known form is the crane. Customarily the paper cannot be cut or glued for it to be considered true origami. There is not much evidence to trace origami back to early Continue Reading

Bonsai, a balance with nature

The Japanese regard bonsai as a union of very old beliefs and Eastern philosophies regarding harmony between man, his soul and nature. Much focus and patience is required to carefully prune the roots and branches to prevent unwanted growth. The best bonsai specimens portray nature accurately in miniature form. It's important to remember that the goal of bonsai is not to Continue Reading