Summer Waterfall - O Taki . Photo courtesy Anderson Gardens
Anderson's Japanese Gardens
Anderson Gardens in Rockford, Illinois, is a
ten-acre formal Japanese garden complete with cascading waterfalls,
ponds, streams rock formations, winding lanes, and a tea house and
guest house built in the authentic
sukiya style. The
gardens are designed to allow guests to reflect on the tranquil
beauty of nature and to instill serenity. The gardens, which
receive 20,000 to 25,000 visitors annually, have gained an
international reputation for their superb design and maintenance.
Many guests have communicated through cards and letters their
thoughts and emotions regarding the profound impact their visits
had upon them.
The gardens were the vision of John R. Anderson,
president of Anderson Enterprises, and landscape architect Hoichi
Kurisu. After viewing the Japanese Garden in Washington Park,
Portland, Oregon, John Anderson was awestruck. He located the
garden's designer, Mr. Kurisu, and persuaded him to create a similar
landscape on a five-ace wooded lot behind his Rockford home.
Kurisu's inspiration for the garden derived from his firsthand
experience with both Japanese and American cultures. He decided not
to replicate distinct Japanese period gardens but to draw from the
essences of famous individual Japanese gardens to create the
Anderson Gardens. Kurisu's goal was to design a beautiful and
serene environment that would deeply touch visitors, who would come
away feeling refreshed, and feeling better about themselves and
Garden paths are intimate and curvaceous, bringing
the visitor to beautiful new vistas. Placed amongst authentically
pruned trees are Japanese lanterns and statuary, which were gifts
from visiting Japanese dignitaries. In 1992, John Anderson was
recognized for his outstanding work in promoting international
friendship and mutual understanding between the United States and
Japan with a commemorative silver cup from the Japanese government.
Educational programs at the Anderson Gardens cover the language,
arts, and culture of Japan, and since 1995, the gardens have hosted
Rockford's Annual Festive Celebration of Japanese Arts, which
includes formal tea ceremonies, ikebana and calligraphy
demonstrations, and bonsai displays. In 1998, Mr. and Mrs. Anderson
donated the gardens to a nonprofit organization.
Documentation includes a legacy report, photos,
slides, and newspaper article.
Originally submitted by: Donald A. Manzullo, Representative (16th District).
The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.