Award of Merit
Sadafumi Uchiyama, Garden Curator of Portland Japanese Garden, is a third-generation Japanese gardener and landscape architect. His family has been involved in gardening since 1909 in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. His training started at a very early age, first under his grandfather, father, and uncles, and later with his elder brother.
Since his arrival in the US in 1988, Uchiyama received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Landscape Architecture from the University of Illinois at Champaign- Urbana. Traditional apprenticeship in Japanese gardening combined with the formal training in Western landscape architecture has allowed Uchiyama to design and build a unique and wide range of private and public landscape projects. Two of his representative projects include the renovation of Osaka Garden (the site of the Japanese Government at the 1893 Columbia Exposition) at Jackson Park in Chicago and the renovation of Shofu-en Garden at Denver Botanic Gardens.
He was instrumental in the development and establishment of the North American Japanese Garden Association (NAJGA) beginning in 2009 and has been a Charter Member of the NAJGA Board and its Editorial Board since July 2011. As evidence of his dedication to giving back to the community, Uchiyama has taught landscape design courses and lectured on Japanese gardening at colleges and public gardens in various parts of the country. He has published in the Journal of Japanese Gardening, Garden Design and Fine Gardening as well as locally in Oregon Home and Inspired House, and also served as mentor and teacher to countless students of landscape architecture and other related disciplines.
In 2018, Uchiyama received a prestigious Garden Design Award from the Garden Society of Japan for his work on the Garden’s new expansion — the first time such an award has been given for a project outside of Japan. He also won numerous awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects and other professional societies for his 2017 Cultural Crossing project at Portland Japanese Garden.
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