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CJS Thursday Lecture Series | Applying Japanese Garden Principles to Create Healing Spaces

Hoichi Kurisu, President, Principal Designer, and Founder, Kurisu LLC & Michiko Kurisu, Project Coordinator and Public Relations, Kurisu LLC
Thursday, February 2, 2023
12:00-1:30 PM
Room 1010 Weiser Hall Map
If you wish to attend via Zoom, please register at

This presentation will provide a look at how the ancient art of Japanese gardens is transforming how we consider solutions to some of society’s most persistent problems. Hoichi and Michiko Kurisu will share healing garden projects that demonstrate the power of nature to transform individual and collective wellbeing. Projects include gardens inside a maximum-security prison, healthcare facilities, and wastewater treatment wetlands.

Having studied landscape design and construction under Kenzo Ogata in Tokyo, Japan, Hoichi Kurisu was appointed Landscape Director for the Garden Society of Japan (Nihon Teien Kyokai) (1968–1972), during which time he supervised construction of the Portland Japanese Garden.

In 1972, he founded Kurisu International, Inc., which has since designed and built a number of public gardens including the Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford, Illinois, Roji-en Japanese Garden at the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens in Delray Beach, Florida, the Richard and Helen DeVos Japanese garden at the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and the Healing Garden for Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital, in Lebanon, Oregon, which was the winner of a 2006 “Healthcare Environment Award for Landscape Design.” Kurisu firmly believes that encounters with nature are essential to mental, physical, and spiritual equilibrium. Each of his designs addresses a unique social purpose and reinforces a quality of humanity. By harmonizing light and shade, water and rock, and space with the senses, the Japanese gardens of Hoichi Kurisu restore peace of mind, physical health, and help to cultivate strong and compassionate communities.

A professional photographer and artist, Michiko Kurisu first began working with Kurisu International in 1999–2001 to document the construction of the Morikami Japanese Gardens in South Florida in what was intended as a brief stint with her father’s company. One thing led to the next, and over twenty years later, Michiko has worked closely with Kurisu on all major projects to help define the therapeutic, healing qualities of Japanese gardens and to develop awareness of the role Japanese gardens can play in our individual and collective wellbeing. Based in South Florida, Michiko is the co-founder and director of a community garden and food forest in Delray Beach whose mission is cultivating resilience in plants, people, and the community.

This lecture is made possible with the generous support of the U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant.

If there is anything we can do to make this event accessible to you, please contact us. Please be aware that advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the university to arrange.
Building: Weiser Hall
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: Asia, Horticulture, japan, Japanese Studies
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Center for Japanese Studies, International Institute, Asian Languages and Cultures

International Institute Programming

The International Institute’s centers sponsor numerous conferences, lectures, exhibits, and cultural performances throughout the year. These events are designed to educate the university community and the public about global issues and inspire discussion and dialogue. 

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