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Post Script

November 20, 1994

From Karl Schoenberger ("In Search of Mr. Kato," Oct. 9), regarding the enigmatic landscape architect credited with designing the Japanese garden in Sierra Madre in 1916:

An intriguing clue about Kato's existence surfaced in early October, just after the article had gone to press. Kuniko Brown, wife and research assistant to USC art history scholar Kendall Brown, was browsing through the collection at the Japanese Community Pioneer Center Library in Little Tokyo when she picked up an old book in Japanese titled "Zoengaku Hanron" ("Introduction to Landscape Architecture"). To her surprise, she came across a reference to a certain Tokutaro Kato, named as one of two prominent Japanese landscapers active in the "southern Pacific coast" of the United States in the 1920s.

The book, written by essayist Keiji Uehara and published in Japan in 1924, also mentions several private Japanese gardens built in "Shiera Madure" (Sierra Madre) and elsewhere in the Pasadena area but does not link any of these specifically to Kato. The Browns followed up on this lead by consulting old city directories in English and Japanese to see if they could find any further trace of the gardener. Nothing has surfaced so far, and the identity of Sierra Madre's Kato, even if his first name was Tokutaro, remains a mystery.

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