Japanese Tea Garden

Japanese Tea Garden (HM2FLJ)

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N 37° 46.215', W 122° 28.137'

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World Villages

In the winter of 1894 the California Midwinter Exposition arrived in Golden Gate Park. Some of the most popular attractions at the fair were exhibits of people from around the world; Native Americans, Egyptians, Aleutians, Hawaiians, Turks, South Sea Islanders, Chinese, and Japanese all had their own village. Each village had elements unique to that region of the world, which included traditional dress, architecture, crafts, entertainment, and food. Interestingly, the first fortune cookie sold in the United States was at the Japanese Village during the fair.

An advocate for the Exposition was an Australian named George Turner Marsh (Marsh hailed from Richmond, Australia and is credited with naming the area surrounding his home on 13th Avenue, The Richmond). Before coming to San Francisco, Marsh had lived for many years in Japan, and was interested in traditional Japanese gardens. Marsh, who spoke Japanese fluently, brought materials and hired craftsmen directly from Japan to help create the Japanese Village. One of these craftsmen was Makoto Hagiwara, who along with Marsh was largely responsible for the design and construction of the Japanese village.

Makoto Hagiwara's vision for the village was to create a rural style garden, using the "Hill and Water" landscape concept to fit into the Japanese Village atmosphere.

At the end of the exposition, Hagiwara was put in charge of the Japanese Tea Garden, and his family became residents of Golden Gate Park. In 1909, Hagiwara constructed a large 17-room house in today's Sunken Garden area for his family and for newly arrived immigrants from Japan, who offered their services as gardeners in exchange for free board while they studied to become citizens.

Lantern of Peace
The early days of World War II were especially dark for San Franciscans of Japanese ancestry. In the period following outbreak of war, entire families were uprooted from their homes in San Francisco and evacuated inland to internment camps. Among these were the descendents of Makoto Hagiwara. During this period of hysteria, the Japanese Tea Garden was renamed the Oriental Tea Garden. However, it was eventually reinstated as the Japanese Tea Garden in 1952 with new exhibits and a 9,000 pound Lantern of Peace. Today the Japanese Tea Garden continues to be one of the most celebrated and visited sites in Golden Gate Park and is the oldest Japanese Garden in the United States.
Placed BySan Francisco Recreation & Parks
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, April 14th, 2019 at 2:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)10S E 546770 N 4180457
Decimal Degrees37.77025000, -122.46895000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 46.215', W 122° 28.137'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 46' 12.9" N, 122° 28' 8.22" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
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