Everett's sister city in western Japan, Iwakuni City, has donated a portion of their famous, arched Kintai Bridge to the garden project. Wood structures salvaged from the Kintai Bridge's bi-century reconstruction project will be formed into a smaller bridge structure and placed in the NBI Japanese garden as an expression of harmony between Japan and the USA. The bridge was delivered and assembled at the garden site by a group of carpenters traveling from Iwakuni City to Everett in summer 2003. (The head carpenter is the 11th generation of the family who were specialized in construction of the Kintai Bridge that was originally built in 1673.)
Over $350,000 has been raised and pledged through private donations, grants, and other gifts for the design, construction, and maintenance of the garden. The project is managed through the NBI and evcc Foundation, with valuable assistance from the NBI garden advisory committee. Zen Landscape & Design and Sukiya Home Inc. will construct the major garden features, including a water feature and garden gate and wall. The project was opened in June 2004.
From the NBI:
Since 1987 the Nippon Business Institute Japanese Cultural and Resource Center has been a program department of Everett Community College in Everett, Washington. The primary mission of the NBI is to help "Bridge the Cultural Gap" which exists between eastern and western cultures. With our mission in mind, we promote the study of language, history, culture, social structure, economic issues, communication styles, and business protocols. We also facilitate a wide array of interactions between local businesses and Japanese companies, as well as between members of our community and their Japanese friends and associates.
The NBI Japanese Cultural and Resource Center is a new facility, providing a home, from which we are able to conduct our programs. Initial funding for the center was provided by the Commemorative Association for the Japan World Exposition (1970)along with many generous private individuals, groups, organizations and companies. Designed by architect Kazuyuki Murata, the Center's construction has occurred in two phases. Phase I construction was completed in May 1997; Phase II was completed in October 1999.
The NBI Japanese Cultural Center's amenities include: administrative offices, student computer labs which house computers capable of both Japanese and English language functions, meeting space, a demonstration kitchen, a small library of Japanese books that can be checked out, a Japanese tatami room for tea ceremony instruction, and classrooms.
The garden has been the third and final phase of the project.
When the floating bridge
Of the dream of a spring night
Was snapped, I awoke:
In the sky a bank of clouds
Was drawing away from the peak.
Fujiwara no Teika (1162-1241) Shinkokin Wakashû trans. by Donald Keene