Building a Japanese rock garden inside an internment camp

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No, he (Mr. Nishizaki) had no idea, he was not a gardener. He had to go and ask people how to, how to put in the flowers, and which flower. He had to, people had to teach him. In fact, he went to, he happened to go to the village of New Denver and saw some nice gardens there that people had put in there, and so he talked to these people about what he should do, and they gave him plants to put in his place. They told him where, what he should do, he went along the riverbed and picked up rocks. And he would carry rocks daily, bringing rocks into this rock garden, and eventually, it got so big and so many big rocks that he, friends built him a wheelbarrow so he could bring it in, and then that was even too big, too much, so they even used to go out in the truck, and truck in huge boulders for him so that he could build this rock garden. And he kept building this for, for, like I say, for five years. And it became quite a huge, it became an attraction because (...) so big. I don't know how many acres it was, but it went up about twenty feet high, but it was not a Japanese garden. But like I say, people came from all over to see this place. They came from Nelson, B.C., and they looked at it, and some guy, some photographer there decided, "Hey, this is something," so he took a picture of it and then he started making postcards of this Japanese rock garden. But when you look at it, it's not a Japanese rock garden.

Date: July 25 & 26, 2006
Location: Washington, US
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Contributed by: Denshō: The Japanese American Legacy Project.

hastings park rock garden

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