The AjA Project: Refelect + Unfold
Jul 23

The AjA Project: Refelect + Unfold

  • Japanese Friendship Garden

Working in partnership with the Japanese Friendship Garden, Momentum Learning and The AjA Project implemented a series of workshops that introduced students to the art of origami and photography with an emphasis on the use of abstraction and symbolism.

Ethan Snow
Jul 12

Ethan Snow

  • Japanese Friendship Garden

Ethan Snow's installation and participatory art piece will be displayed in the Exhibition Hall where he presents his speculative re-interpretation of Japanese Shintoism transformed by a digitally obsessed modern society. His works will be comprised of both painting, ceramics elements, and pieces by attendants from the opening reception.

Apr 23

Louis M Schmidt "Persons Unknown"


The Japanese Friendship Garden represents an exhibition of Louis M Schmidt: “Persons Unknown”. He is delighted to bring his ongoing series shooting in different cities around world. In this exhibition, the artist selected photographs of four recent trips to Tokyo, Japan. The exhibition introduces his unique vision of a way of looking at people in a city and curiosity of life in Japan. He captivates urban images through abstract view of pedestrians, architecture and city details.

The Exhibition leads a way of looking at people in a city, a way to relate the human body to its environment, a way to think about how architecture affects our emotional well-being and even a way to find and spiritualize the thresholds of our passage across this sacred horizontal plane we call Earth.  

Louis M Schmidt is an artist based in Los Angeles, CA. He earned a BFAin Studio Arts graduating Summa cum Laude and a BA in Art History in 2004 from the University of Colorado, and an MFA in Visual Arts from UC San Diego in 2010. His work is centered on drawing, installation, photography and self-publishing, he has produced over 40 books of his own work. Schmidt has participated in the LA Art Book Fair at MoCA Geffen for many years, as well as the NY and Tokyo Art Book Fairs. His publishing work, drawings and photographs have been featured in group and solo exhibitions in San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and elsewhere.

Public Opening Reception    

Friday, February 3, 2017   5:00pm - 7:00pm  Wine & Hors d'oeuvres / Entrance Fee $5.00

RSVP contact 619-232-2784 or or here

San Diego Potters/ Japanese Influences
Apr 30

San Diego Potters/ Japanese Influences

The Japanese Friendship Garden presents an exhibition of work by members of the San Diego Potters' Guild highlighting the influence of Japanese ceramics, historical and contemporary, on the work they do today.  Like studio potters everywhere, Guild members borrow Japanese forms, techniques, and glazes, and find inspiration in the characteristically Japanese embrace of nature, its accidents and imperfections.  San Diego Potters / Japanese Influences explores how millennia of Japanese ceramic history live on in contemporary San Diego studios.

Public Opening Reception    

Friday, February 3, 2017   4:30pm - 6:30pm  Wine & Hors d'oeuvres / Entrance Fee $5.00

RSVP contact 619-232-2784 or or here

 The San Diego Potters' Guild is a working clay studio, an association of San Diego-area potters, and a retail gallery showcasing their work, at Studio 29 in Balboa Park's historic Spanish Village Art Center for over half a century.  The Guild is open daily all year round, with one of the 40 members always available to demonstrate or answer questions.  Themed exhibits rotate in the gallery and semiannual sales in June and November fill the Spanish Village patio with thousands of pots.

Eva Struble "Heavy Grass"
Jan 22

Eva Struble "Heavy Grass"

The Japanese Friendship Garden presents Eva Struble; Heavy Grass in the Pavilion. Struble‘s work in painting and printmaking are influenced by cultural, political and physical landscapes where she lives. ”Heavy Grass” features an indoor site-specific painted installation using gleaned material from garden refuse.

The work refers to the unseen labor of the garden, collected piece by piece, where the garden is also product of a highly codified, stylized image of “the natural which is ” The “unnatural” or undesirable nature. Struble is investigated complicating the terms “natural” and “artificial.” She is in turn stylizing organic material with paint. Installed about 200’ of flexible weavings of this material in widths varying from 24” to 48” hung through the pavilion space.

Eva Struble was born in Elsmere, Kentucky and received MFA in painting from Yale University in 2006.She was taught at San Diego State University since 2011.


Karen Sano "The Interaction"
Jan 28

Karen Sano "The Interaction"

The Japanese Friendship Garden welcomes Karen Sano and her selection of works of koi paintings and shino vessels. "The Interaction" portrays Sano's interest in koi, its beauty, grace, strength and curious personality. She is exploring to exemplify koi paintings in contemporary style using her unique personal artistic views. In this exhibition, Sano unites with her hand built stone wares. Sano's stone wares are coated with shino glaze. Shino Glaze is a generic term for a family of pottery glazes. They tend to range in color from milky white to orange, sometimes with charcoal grey spotting, known as "carbon trap", which is the trapping of carbon in the glaze during the firing process.

The two different mediums are balanced by each other and determine the underlying moods and appreciation of her subjects.

There will be an artist demonstration held on Saturday, November 5th.

A public reception will be held on November 10th from 4:30pm - 6:30pm. Entrance fee is $5.00.

RSVP with Exhibit Coordinator Emiko Scudder at 619-232-2784 or

Constructs: The Art of Saori Weaving
Oct 27

Constructs: The Art of Saori Weaving

Sophie's Gallery presents Constructs: The Art of Saori Weaving at the Japanese Friendship Garden Society of San Diego. Constructs features hand-woven clothing, accessories, woven wall hangings and banners along with a collection of mosaic and fused glass art made by the artists of Sophie's Gallery, the off-campus art program of St. Madeleine Sophie's Center (SMSC).

The Saori method of weaving is based on the philosophy of freestyle weaving for everyone and emphasizes that there are no mistakes in art. Sophie's weaving program began in 2010 when a Saori loom was purchased from the son of the Saori founder, Kenzo Jo, at the International Conference on Arts & Disabilities held in Washington DC. The Saori loom includes adaptive equipment for hands-free and foot-free weaving as well as height adjustibility for wheelchairs, making it a perfect fit for St. Madeleine's students. Sophie's weaving classes are comprised of 3 to 4 weavers at a time working in 15-minute shifts. Together they weave the material for clothing and wall hangings using organic fibers such as wool, silk and bamboo to increase the quality of the finished products. Sophie's weaving program makes a difference in the lives of the artists, giving them self-confidence, greater independence and a chance to let the world know about their talents.

Constructs will run from August 9th - October 27th at the Japanese Friendship Garden Society of San Diego.

Kawaii in the Garden: Love, Magic, and Friendship
Oct 23

Kawaii in the Garden: Love, Magic, and Friendship

  • Japanese Friendship Garden

Cute, Cute Kawaii! Japan's Pop Culture Movement

Join us for the next featured exhibit in the Japanese Friendship Garden's Inamori Pavilion!
June 23 - October 23, 2016
Open daily 10am-5:00pm.

Special closures due to special events on: July: 16, 17, 22, August: 5, 10-13, 16-19, 20, 27, September: 3, 4, 30, October: 8, 14, 16, 21. 

The exhibit delves into the extra-adorable world of kawaii (cute) culture to look at how phenomenons such as Hello Kitty/Sanrio, Totoro/Miyazaki films, cat video games/Pusheen, anime, and Harajuku (just to name a few) have shaped contemporary life in Japan.

Kawaii is not only about expressing 'cuteness' or being cool, it is about how youth form meanings of self-expression and originality, rebel against or honor tradition, and establish Japan as a global distributor of goods and images. Kawaii is both simple and complex: it helps to form a national identity while also creating the opportunity to squeal "KAWAII!" at something or someone adorable and adorn ourselves with Hello Kitty and Sailor Moon. 

Included in the exhibit will be: Group art show featuring 25 local and international artists including artists represented by Thumbprint Gallery, Japanese fashion magazines, kokeshi dolls, bento boxes, Hello Kitty ephemera, Japanese mascots (Yuru Kyara), photobooth, anime/manga art and posters and more! 

Featured Artists: 
Aricson Tarasova
Amanda Campbell
Caitlan Patrice Shankles
Cory DeYonker
Elwing Gonzalez
Gina Cannella
Hikari Shimoda
Jazz Tanedo
Jenna Bao
Jeremy Holden

Jessica Cross
Joan Diwa
Kimberly Hom
Kristin Tercek aka Cuddly Rigor Mortis
Leeza Martinez
Lyndon Kerse
Matthew Perez
Meghan Graham
Meghan Murphy
Miggie Cake Wong
Monique Young

Natalie Greenwood
Tabitha Jensen
Venus Lumayag
Verona Chen
Yosuke Ueno

Kawaii is: cute writing, fashion, cartoons, love, imagination, anime, costumes, acceptance, magic, and friendship!

Curated by Jennifer Moreno and Christina Zakimi

Special Thank you to Thumbprint Gallery for joining forces with us on this project! 

キュウト、キュウト、可愛いい! 日本のポップカルチャー祭り


三渓園のメンバーの入場券$25  /お客さんの入場券$30



一緒に日本のポップカルチャーや自己表現や可愛いいのは祝ってくださいませんか? ライブ発揮や握手会やメークアーティストや前菜やコスプレコンテストやプリキュラカクテルやJPOPミュージックビデオや景品があります。




Life is Like a Journey, Peace a Piece of Dream
Jul 28

Life is Like a Journey, Peace a Piece of Dream

Contemporary, multi-media artist Minori Yata will be displaying a collection of her works including painting, assemblages, quilts, and other sculptures. Yata is known for using fine art techniques in quilting and creates artwork based on inspiration from everyday life, sometimes blending in products such as tea bags, stamps, travel tickets with poetry and essays in a collage-style format. In this exhibit, Yata hopes to express the imagination of time and the simplicity of NOW as being both only for a moment and also infinite!


Opening Reception will be held in the Exhibit Hall on Friday, May 6th from 4:30-6:30pm. To RSVP, please click here.

Threaded, Traveled, Treasured: Kimonos From Japan In San Diego Collections
Jun 12

Threaded, Traveled, Treasured: Kimonos From Japan In San Diego Collections

In collaboration with the Mingei International Museum and MiraCosta College, the Japanese Friendship Garden presents a special exhibition in the Inamori Pavilion of exquisite kimonos brought to San Diego from Japan. Each treasured kimono was donated to these collections with the intent of preserving a special part of Japanese culture and sharing it with visitors of diverse backgrounds. Join us in learning the stories of how these kimonos came to be collected in San Diego and the memories created because of them.

This exhibit will explore symbolic imagery seen on the kimonos including: birds, flowers, and natural landscapes. Additionally, Threaded, Traveled, Treasured will also look at how kimono are worn traditionally and as modern forms of self-expression.

Please join us in celebrating this collaborative effort and viewing these threaded garments that have traveled such far distances to be treasured by all.


Saturday April 02, 09

Friday April 15

Saturday May 14, 21

Sunday May 29


Top Picture: Irridescent Pink Kimono with peacock from the Japanese Friendship Garden Permanent Collection

Bottom Picture: Black Kosode with streams and lillies from the MiraCosta College Aizawa and Kameda Mingei Collection.

Koi Jack's Travels: Naval Service Mementos from 1980s Japan
Apr 28

Koi Jack's Travels: Naval Service Mementos from 1980s Japan

  • Japanese Friendship Garden

The Japanese Friendship Garden is proud to present a selection of items from the collection of beloved and long-time volunteer, Jack Chapman, also known as Koi Jack, who was stationed at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Yokosuka, Japan in the 1980s. Around the Garden, Koi Jack is known for the work he does to maintain the beautiful koi pond, he is one of several volunteers from the Koi Club of San Diego who performs weekly maintenance, selection of quality show fish from Japan, and gives them medical treatment and care. Beyond his interests in koi, however, Jack Chapman is an endlessly fascinating person. He was in the United States Navy for 42 years and is now a retired Navy Captain Medical Service Corp Officer, but he also has practiced the art of ikebana (earning a certificate from the Kofu School in Japan), was a member of a Yokosuka Sake Tasting Club, has learned how to sew an obi into a traditional Japanese tea chest, and has even climbed to the top of Mount Fuji! Come and experience his journey in Japan with us as we display some of his most precious Japanese mementos, artwork, and relics.





Yokosuka Naval Base located in Kanagawa Prefecture in the southern Kantō region.