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Landscaping America: Beyond the Japanese Garden - Timeline




U.S. officially enters Korean War.

McCarran-Walter Act makes all races eligible for naturalization and establishes a national-origins quota system for all immigrants. Many Japanese immigrants are finally able to apply for U.S. citizenship.
In Fujii v. State of California, California Supreme Court rules Alien Land Law unconstitutional.


Refugee Relief Act passes, extending refugee status to non-Europeans. Japanese victims of natural disasters are able to enter U.S. under this act. Many Japanese workers enter gardening to finance family’s move to U.S.

The “Japanese Exhibition House” opens at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. The third in “The House in the Museum Garden” series, it is chosen because the design is associated with American modernist architecture. More than 120,000 visitors view it before it is moved for permanent installation at Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park.

Maloney Bill, requiring state licensing of maintenance gardeners, introduced to California State Assembly. Though not adopted, it prompts statewide political mobilization of gardeners on both sides of issue.
Southern California Gardeners’ Federation founded, primarily to organize Japanese American gardeners in opposition to Maloney Bill.

Northern California Gardeners’ Association founded in response to Maloney Bill. It is later renamed Professional Gardeners’ Federation of Northern California.


“Sister City” movement launched by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to forge ties with communities abroad. In 2007, U.S. has more “Sister-City” relations with Japan than any other country. These relationships are often commemorated with Japanese-style gardens.
Japanese farm labor program, or tanno program, enables influx of Japanese agricultural workers to California on three-year contracts. Those workers who are able to settle permanently in the U.S. take up gardening. The program ends abruptly in 1965 when U.S. Department of Labor adopts new labor policy designed to restrict entry of Mexican migrant workers.


Nisei Hideo Sasaki from Reedley, California, begins 18-year tenure as the Chairman of the Department of Landscape Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Sasaki reflects the trend of Nisei, and later Sansei, with agriculture and gardening backgrounds moving into design professions.

The Japanese Gardeners Club founded in Vancouver, Canada. It is later renamed Vancouver Japanese Gardeners Association.
To see more photographs from the 1950's, please see:

Murakami Brothers

Based on this original

Gardening in Redondo Beach
uploaded by eishida
The men pictured here are Chiyokichi Yamanaka, Kenzo and Tom Nakawatase in Redondo Beach, California, ca. 1950. This picture was a gift to the Japanese American National Museum, from Midori … More »

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