Mie Gakure: Discovering Nikkei Gardeners and their Communities


The concept of "mie gakure"—or "hidden and seen"—is a central design principle in Japanese stroll gardens, where the path curves, and elements are arranged so that new, unexpected views are discovered at each turn.

Inspired by the personal stories of Japanese American gardeners that were "unearthed" for the Japanese American National Museum's exhibition, Landscaping America: Beyond the Japanese Garden, we invite people to share their own connections to Nikkei gardeners, Japanese-style gardens, related businesses such as lawnmower shops and nurseries, and the communities that emerged around them.

It is through these personal stories that we hope to reveal the true nature of these communities and the people who were a part of them. Particularly in the western United States, it is easy for most Japanese Americans to find at least one individual with a connection to gardening or landscaping somewhere in their family tree, or it may be the father or grandfather of a friend or acquaintance.

Honor these individuals by including them in this collection. Share their stories and anecdotes.

Instructions to participate
If you don't already have a Discover Nikkei user account, create one, then log in. Upload your photograph, video, or audio file (visit the Contribute page for guidelines). Once you've published your contribution, email editor@DiscoverNikkei.org with a link to your item and we'll include it in the collection.

We will continue to add new stories to this collection as they are contributed, so check back for more!

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A project of the Japanese American National Museum

Major support by The Nippon Foundation