FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - October 17, 2007


Chris Komai - - 213-830-5648


The Japanese American National Museum announced that it has extended the exhibition run for Landscaping American: Beyond the Japanese Garden through January 6, 2008. The exhibition, which opened June 17, was originally set to close on October 21, 2007.

Landscaping America explores the history and influence of Japanese-style gardens and Japanese American gardeners on the American landscape. It also describes how Japanese Americans used their historic connection to agriculture and their cultural heritage to become the foremost interpreters of Japanese-style gardens while adapting to the local horticulture. Of equal significance is the vital role Japanese Americans in the gardening industry played in the building of their communities.

"The Japanese American National Museum is pleased it can extend the showing of Landscaping America until January 6, 2008," explained John Esaki, who oversees programs at the National Museum. "The response from our visitors who have viewed the exhibition has been extremely positive and enthusiastic. Since many Japanese Americans were involved in the gardening industry, they and their families see part of their own lives depicted in Landscaping America. By extending the exhibition through the holidays, even more families will have the opportunity to share a story that is core to our Japanese American history."

The exhibition design is a collaborative effort between Japanese American Cultural and Community Center artistic director Hirokazu Kosaka and the National Museum’s art director Clement Hanami. Other features include Guide By Cell, which enables visitors to uses their cell phones to hear more information about the exhibition, including commentary from gardeners and their families. Also, the National Museum’s Frank H. Watase Media Arts Center will premiere a new short video, Mamo’s Weeds, conceived and written by award-winning mystery writer Naomi Hirahara.

Landscaping America: Beyond the Japanese Garden is made possible, in part, by its Presenting Sponsor: The Annenberg Foundation. Generous support was also provided by The Aratani Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and The Boeing Company. Public programs are sponsored, in part, by the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles. Media sponsors include the Los Angeles Downtown News, KKJZ-88.1 FM, LA18 KSCI-TV, and The Rafu Shimpo. Organizational partners for this project are the California Garden and Landscape History Society; the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center (JACCC); the Los Angeles Conservancy; Pacific Coast Chapter, California Landscape Contractors Association; and Southern California Gardeners’ Federation.

The extended run also allows for more exhibition-related public programs. The National Museum is also working with other organizations on reciprocal membership programs, allowing Museum members to attend special program for free or with discounts. More information will be made available soon.

The last day of the exhibition on Sunday, January 6, 2008, will be the National Museum’s traditional Oshogatsu: New Year’s Day Family Festival as well.