May is Asian Pacific American History Month

Seattle is the perfect place to celebrate Asian Pacific American History Month. Asian Pacific Americans have played significant roles in Seattle’s history and there is a thriving community with lots to explore including public art, museums, the Chinatown/International District and everything in between.

Lunch + Learn
Friday, May 13 | 12-1 p.m.
Bertha Knight Landes Room at City Hall 600 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104
Please join us for a special Lunch + Learn, celebrating Asian Pacific American History Month. Artists Akio Takamori, Diem Chau, and Humaira Abid will present their work and how it reflects their cultural heritage. Curated by Ruri Yampolsky, Public Art Program Director, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture. Please bring your lunch; beverages and food for thought will be provided.

Places to explore:

Chinatown/International District
Seattle’s Chinatown/International District is located southeast of Pioneer Square. The historic district built largely between 1909 and 1929 is listed in the National Historic Register of Historic Places. It is home to vibrant storefronts, restaurants, produce markets, and museums.

Parks to explore:

Hing Hay Park
423 Maynard Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104
Hing Hay Park “Park for Pleasurable Gatherings” is the International District’s primary public square and features an ornate grand pavilion that was a gift from the people of Taipei.

Kubota Garden
9817 55th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118
The Kubota Garden is a stunning 20 acre landscape blending Japanese garden concepts with native Northwest plants. It was created by Japanese American Fujitaro Kubota in 1927.

Seattle Japanese Garden, Arboretum
1075 Lake Washington Blvd E, Seattle, WA 98112
Located within the Washington Park Arboretum, this is a spectacular 3 1/2 acre formal garden designed and constructed under the supervision of world-renowned Japanese garden designer Juki Iida in 1960.

Cultural Organizations:

The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience
719 South King Street, Seattle, WA 98104
Founded in 1966, the museum was named after Wing Luke (1925-1965), the first Asian American to hold public office in the Pacific Northwest.  The Wing explores the culture, art and history of the pan-Asian Pacific American experience and is the first Smithsonian affiliate in the Pacific Northwest as well as an Affiliated Area of the National Park Service. Their mission is to connect everyone to the rich history, dynamic cultures and art of the Asian Pacific Americans through vivid storytelling and inspiring experiences.

Seattle Asian Art Museum
1400 E Prospect St, Seattle, 98112
The Seattle Asian Art Museum resides in a 1933 Art Deco building in the Olmstead-designed Volunteer Park. Their collection of Asian art includes historic and contemporary Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Korean, Southeast Asian, Himalayan, Filipino, and Vietnamese art.

Burke Museum
4331 Memorial Way NE, Seattle, WA 98195
The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, founded in 1885 is a research and collections based museum dedicated to cultural heritage and biodiversity. The museum’s long term exhibition Pacific Voices features the arts, ceremonies and stories of Asian and Asian American cultures and communities around the Pacific Rim.

Densho is a digital, public history organization. They work to preserve and share stories of Japanese Americans who were unjustly incarcerated during World War II by recording firsthand accounts, digitizing historical images and documents, and developing classroom resources. Densho’s work is nationally acclaimed with awards from the American Library Association, Society of American Archivists, Seattle Mayor’s Arts Award and the Oral History Association.

5th Avenue Theatre
1308 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101
Opened in 1926, the interior of the 5th Avenue Theatre incorporates design motifs from Imperial China’s Forbidden City, Temple of Heavenly Peace, and Summer Palace.


*Information included from the Visit Seattle’s Cultural Guide

Maple Viewing Festival at Seattle Japanese Garden Oct. 11

Maple Viewing at the Seattle Japanese Garden 2014

Experience the breathtaking sight of maple trees ablaze in the colors of fall–one of the best times of the year to visit the Seattle Japanese Garden—at the annual Maple Viewing Festival on Sunday, Oct. 11.

From 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., visitors are invited to enjoy live entertainment, create nature-inspired prints with artist April Richardson, and try Japanese calligraphy lessons with artist Midori Kono Theil. Kokon Taiko will put on an energetic drumming performance at noon. Fans of samurai swords will not want to miss the live Japanese sword demonstration by instructors of Seibu Ryu Battojustu scheduled at 1:30 p.m.

There will be free tours at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. where guides will provide the garden’s historical information and identify the different species of maple at the garden.

Children will have a chance to win a prize by participating in a maple tree scavenger hunt.

The Tateuchi Community Room will be open to visitors to see A Most Fortuitous Convergence, a stunning photography exhibit curated by Vashon Island based photographer Ray Pfortner.  The exhibit showcases the juried works of students who participated in Pfortner’s fall photography workshop at the Japanese Garden in 2013.

The event is free with garden admission, no advance tickets necessary. Adults, $6; Youth 6 -17, students with ID, and seniors 65 and over, $4. Children 5 and under are free.  Annual pass holders are welcome to use them to gain entry to this event.

Seattle Japanese Garden is located at 1075 Lake Washington Blvd. E.  For more information, visit the



Seniors admitted free to Seattle Japanese Garden on Respect for Elders Day

Seattle Japanese Garden will offer free admission to seniors on Sept. 14, 2015.

The Seattle Japanese Garden will celebrate Respect for Elders Day on Monday, Sept.14, 2015. In honor of this Japanese holiday, seniors age 65 and older will receive free admission to the garden from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Complementary guided tours will be available starting at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 2 p.m. on that day. All visitors are welcome to stop by the Tateuchi Community Room to enjoy complementary iced tea, as well as an art exhibit of beautiful line drawings depicting scenes from the Japanese Garden by artist Vincent Samudovsky.

The Seattle Japanese Garden is located at 1075 Lake Washington Blvd. E. For driving directions and detailed information about the garden, please visit

Explore the Japanese Garden after hours by the light of the moon

Moon Viewing, Japanese Garden,

Moon Viewing, Japanese Garden,

Enjoy the Seattle Japanese Garden after hours for the annual Moon Viewing Festival from 7-10 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 29. For one enchanting evening each year, the Japanese Garden is magically lit up with lanterns, luminaries and floating boats on the pond welcoming the arrival of the full moon in Japanese tradition.

During o-tsukimi –the Japanese word for moon viewing–the beauty of the garden is enhanced by the sweet sounds of live instrumental music afloat in the night air, inspiring both romance and poetry.

Performers include Marcia Takamura and Chigusa Kitai on koto, James Jennings on shakuhachi, Gretchen Yanover on cello, and White Swans Records artist Gary Stroutsos on bamboo flute.

The festival features a popular haiku writing contest sponsored by Haiku Northwest. Winning poems, which are awarded prizes, will be read aloud to the audience at the end of the evening.

Visitors can get a special look at the full moon through telescopes, courtesy of Seattle Astronomical Society.

The evening also includes three tsukimi-chakai Urasenke-style tea ceremonies led by Tankokai Seattle, to be held in the Shoseian Teahouse located within the garden grounds. By popular request, this year’s festival includes the option of dining by candlelight at the garden. Guests can opt to pre-purchase a deluxe bento dinner along with event admission. There will be three menu options available. Quantities are limited.

General admission tickets are $15. Admission with tea ceremony is $25. Tickets can be purchased in advance at This event has sold out prior to the event date in past years; there are no door tickets. Annual passes are not accepted for admission to this event. The Japanese Garden gates, which will close to the general public at 4 p.m. on Aug. 29, will reopen to ticket holders only at 6 p.m.

The garden is located at 1075 Lake Washington Blvd. E. For more information, please visit



Make a wish; Seattle Japanese Garden celebrates Tanabata on July 11

Mother and son explore the Seattle Japanese Garden. Photo by Amanda Sarnoski

The Seattle Japanese Garden invites the community to celebrate Tanabata from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 11. The annual Japanese festival is celebrated with magnificent colors, craft making and a tradition of writing wishes. The garden is located at 1075 Lake Washington Blvd E.

Tanabata, (Evening of the Seventh) is based on the legend of Orihime and Hikoboshi, star crossed lovers separated by the Milky Way. According to legend, each year on the evening of July 7, Orihime and Hikoboshi are allowed to reunite for one night. In Japan, Tanabata is celebrated by decorating bamboo branches with origami ornaments and tanzaku, poems or wishes written on small strips of paper.

Visitors will have the opportunity to write wishes and to create vibrant origami figures and kites with volunteers from P.A.P.E.R.  Instructors from Meito-Shodokai will teach visitors the art of Japanese calligraphy. Garden tours will be offered at 12:30 and 2 p.m.

Traditional tea ceremonies will be held at 1 and 2 p.m. in the Shoseian Tea House. A limited number of tea tickets are available at $7 a person, and can be reserved by calling the Japanese Garden ticket booth at (206) 684-4725. There is no charge to observe the tea ceremony from the courtyard.

The Tateuchi Community Room will be open for guests to enjoy complimentary iced green tea, and an art exhibit by Vincent Samudovsky, featuring elegant line drawings of scenes from the Japanese Garden.

Admission for adults is $6; students with ID, youth age 6 – 18, seniors age 65+, and disabled, $4; children age 5 and under, free.  Annual passes will be honored. For more information, please visit