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Support the 2017 Annual Appeal

The Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia has been working overtime this year to complete our merger while providing excellent Japanese art, business, and culture programs.

We adopted a new mission:  JASGP inspires mutual curiosity, understanding, and collaboration between Japan and the Philadelphia region.

and a new vision: Vibrant connections / Philadelphia Japan / Connecting our worlds.

This November and December, we ask you to make a financial gift to strengthen the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia and to support Shofuso Japanese House and Garden.

In 2017, we unified our financial and auditing procedures, completed a rebranding project, implemented a dynamic new business model for seasonal visitors services staff, completed our 2018-2020 strategic plan, and finished a $75,000 roof preservation project for Shofuso Japanese House and Garden in October with Japanese craftsmen. We support Philadelphia’s partnership city relationship with Kobe, Japan and connect Japanese businesses with our local network.

During this time, we continued our existing full programming calendar and served over 65,000 people as visitors to Shofuso, attendees at the Cherry Blossom Festival and Obon Festival, and participation in additional programs.

Your support is a vote of confidence in our organization. We need people like you to help us fulfill JASGP’s great potential for connecting Japan and the Philadelphia region through Japanese art, business, and culture. Click here to support our annual appeal.

On behalf of the staff and board of JASGP, I thank you for your continued support and welcome your input and participation.

Sincerely,

kimandrewssignature

 

 

Kim Andrews

Executive Director, Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia

Truth (shin)  Goodness (zen)  Beauty (bi)

These traditional Japanese values are represented by the melding of history and culture at Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, a traditional-style Japanese house and garden that reflects the history of Japanese culture in Philadelphia, from the 1876 Centennial Exposition to the installation of its contemporary paintings in 2007. Shofuso was built in Japan in 1953 using traditional techniques and materials and exhibited in the courtyard at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It was moved to Philadelphia in 1958, to the site of several previous Japanese structures and gardens dating to the 1876 Centennial Exposition.

The grounds on which the Japanese House now stands have contained a Japanese structure and landscaping almost continuously since 1876, when the Japanese Bazaar and Dwelling were in the area.  From 1905 until a fire in 1955, the site was occupied by a 14th century  Japanese Buddhist temple gate.  This gate had been brought to the United States for the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exhibition in St. Louis, MO and donated by the Japanese consul.

Shofuso in its present incarnation was built in Nagoya, Japan in 1953, using traditional materials and techniques, exhibited at MoMA as part of “The House in the Museum Garden” series, and moved to the temple gate site in Philadelphia when the exhibition closed.

Three traditional types of Japanese gardens comprise our 1.2 acre site: a hill-and-pond style garden which is intended to be viewed from the veranda; a tsubo-niwa, or courtyard garden in the style of an urban 17th century Kyoto garden; and a roji, or tea garden, which is a rustic path to our tea house.

The Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia, a private nonprofit organization, has merged with the Friends of the Japanese House and Garden, which administered, operated, funded, and preserved the city-owned site since 1982. In 1999, FJHG raised $1.2 million to replace the hinoki bark roof, the only one of its kind outside Japan, and in 2007, FJHG installed new fusuma murals created by contemporary Japanese artist, Hiroshi Senju.  The murals, titled Waterfall, replaced those destroyed by vandals in the 1970s.

In 2012, FJHG partnered with the City of Philadelphia and renovated the 1876 Sakura Pavilion, two of four remaining buildings from the 1876 Centennial Exposition. The Sakura Pavilion project won the 2012 History In Pennsylvania Stewardship Award and now provides year-round space for programming, classes, meetings, events, receptions, and exhibitions.  The historic Sakura Pavilion anchors Shofuso in Philadelphia’s history in a new way and confirms Shofuso as the embodiment of friendship between Japan and the United States.

About the Japanese House

Shofuso Japanese House and Garden is a traditional-style Japanese house and nationally-ranked garden in West Fairmount Park that reflects the history of Japanese culture in Philadelphia, from the 1876 Centennial Exposition to the installation of its contemporary paintings in 2007. Shofuso hosts 30,000 visitors each year from more than 20 different countries.