The Kubota Garden, Seattle

“Fujitaro Kubota was born in 1879, in Kochi Prefecture on the island of Shikoku, Japan. He immigrated to America in 1907 and established his home. In 1927 he acquired this land in order to make a large garden. With his own hands he cleared the land, dug several ponds and cut the trees to build the garden. Mr. Kubota studied landscaping, suffered hard work and put great effort into this project. The garden was finally completed in 1962 and in that year this memorial stone was erected. It was the eighty-third year of Fujitaro Kubota.”

…from an inscription at the garden.

Unusual pines are a special feature of  the  garden.

Small ponds and streams are everywhere.

A Japanese Maple catches late afternoon light beside a pond.

An aster blossom was plucked from its stem and dropped into a puddle of water in a depression on one of the many stones in the garden. They’re said to be left by the last glacier, 12,000 years ago.

– this water, of  indeterminate age, rests on ancient rock and holds a blossom only days old. Time stretches across eons…

…miniature cyclamens are hidden along the paths, and a bride walks by…it’s a beautiful day for pictures.


  1. Wow, it is a really powerful story about one man’s life.
    I did not know of him, but it sounds unbelievable.
    Especially the time period he was in… To do anything at that time, it might be tougher than now. Great achievement!

    I love the photograph of the water stream. (3rd one from the top)
    The color of the water surface turn from green to blue to green to yellow…. looks really gorgeous.


  2. Thank you – my favorite, too. Mr. Kubota must have had enormous energy – and what the inscription doesn’t talk about is the period of WWII, when he & his family, like all Japanese residents here in Seattle, were forcibly sent to a detention camp in Idaho. He returned to find things overgrown, but I guess he just got right back to work. This link describes what happened to the Japanese here ——–


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