ceremonial tea

Nitobe Memorial Garden

The Nitobe Memorial Garden is a traditional Japanese garden located at the University of British Columbia in the University Endowment Lands, just outside the city limits of Vancouver, Canada. It is part of the UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research.

One of the most authentic Japanese Tea and Stroll Gardens in North America, it honours Inazo Nitobe (1862-1933) whose goal was "to become a bridge across the Pacific". Among many other memorials to him is his portrait on the Japanese 5000 Yen note.

The garden includes a rare authentic Tea Garden with a ceremonial Tea House. Each tree, stone and shrub has been deliberately placed and is carefully maintained to reflect an idealized conception and symbolic representation of nature. There is harmony among natural forms - waterfalls, rivers, forests, islands and seas - and a balance of masculine and feminine forces traditionally attributed to natural elements. Realizing that many native Canadian trees and shrubs could be trained and pruned in typical Japanese fashion, the garden's creators incorporated them, while maple and cherry trees and most of the azaleas and iris were brought from Japan.

The garden has been the subject of more than fifteen years' study by a UBC professor, who believes that its construction hides a number of impressive features, including references to Japanese philosophy and mythology, shadow bridges visible only at certain times of year, and positioning of a lantern that is filled with light at the exact date and time of Nitobe's death each year. The garden is behind the university's Asian Centre, whose roof features a glass and wood structure from Japan's exhibit at Tokyo Expo.

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