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Valleywide Focus

Sister City Presents Gift to Japanese Garden

May 17, 1994|MAKI BECKER

The Japanese Garden has received a traditional stone lantern as a gift from Nagoya, Japan's sister city to Los Angeles.

The stone snow-viewing lantern, called a yukimi doro , was presented to the Japanese Garden, located at the Tillman Water Reclamation Plant in Van Nuys, on Saturday.

Weighing just under a ton, the lantern has been placed where it can be seen from almost everywhere in the 6 1/2-acre garden.

"It's one of the key elements," said landscape garden coordinator Gene Greene, who is an employee of the city's Bureau of Sanitation.

The lantern was donated in memory of the garden's designer, Dr. Koichi Kawana, who died 2 1/2 years ago. A native of Japan, Kawana came to the United States to teach art, architecture and Japanese culture in relation to landscaping.

Greene said that Kawana felt the garden was incomplete, and needed five more elements, one of them being an oversize snow-viewing lantern.

"I consider it a kind of personal triumph on my part," he said, explaining that he was a friend and colleague of the late designer.

One of the members of the advisory committee to the garden had been researching the acquisition of a stone lantern when officials of the city of Nagoya expressed an interest in donating one in memory of Kawana.

The dedication ceremony included a demonstration of the tea ceremony, traditional Japanese drumming and a performance on the koto , a Japanese stringed instrument.

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