Friday, June 19, 2009
A thing of beauty, an uncomfortable story
Baron Makoto Hagiwara actually constructed the garden, its pavilions and tea house. Designed in a rustic style to address the rugged site and its surroundings, the original Japanese Tea Garden included a large public area and small private area for the Makoto Hagiwara family.
The Hagiwara family lived in, maintained and enhanced the Japanese Tea Garden from 1895 until 1942 and the beginning of World War II, when they were forced to evict and relocate to concentration camps with other Americans of Japanese descent. The garden was renamed The Oriental Tea Garden, many structures were demolished or moved from their original locations, sculptures disappeared and plants died or were relocated.