Presented to the Town of Hope on July 27, 1991, this garden was built by local Japanese Canadians for two purposes. It was designed to commemorate the Japanese interned during World War II in the Tashme Camp, located about 20 km east of Hope on Highway 3. It was also intended to demonstrate Japanese culture to the general public. The design and construction were supervised by the Japanese Gardeners Cooperative of British Columbia.
The garden is quite small and consists of a clipped yew hedge bouding a roughly square garden space that is located on Wallace Street in the corner of the much larger Memorial Park and next to the Town Hall (325 Wallace St). Two stone sentinals guard the single gateway. Three large cherries shade the west edge of the space with a large stone and waterfall on the North side. The hedge on the north side frames a view of the mountains that surround Hope. The center of the garden is dominated by a pond. The garden is also planted with hostas, ferns, black pine and japanese maples. A small stone lantern has been erected at the north end of the pond. The inscription reads, "Erected through proceeds from the 1976 Tashme Reunion held at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. Don Mills, Toronto Ontario"
I visited in September 2000. The garden seemed a bit unkempt at the time with the pond being a bit green and vandalism clearly being a problem. However, the site is surrounded with some spectacular fir trees in the surrounding park and this lends a sense of majesty to the space. (RC)
Saihoji Temple, Kyoto
Actuality is emblem here: a walled-in garden
With its hieroglyph of the heart a lake with lotuses,
And its stones and trees a figure of ascent
From painted maze and sensuous paradise
To the Pure Land of the mind, the interior garden.
All paths wind inward to this inward mirror --
Reflecting-pool of primitive solitude --
Where the mind, quiescent, meditates its shadow,
In the garden's Heart this cipher of the heart.
Some bonze cropped bald by wisdom's scythe, to glean
In Chinese glaosses on the Sakya sage
Reality's scattered kernels, planted here
A green and less laborious commentary:
Perpetual witness of the perfect stillness.
Only the moss speaks still, a living scroll;
From the lakeshore to the hillside a silver-green
Page of continuous discourse where the foot moves
More soundlessly that thought along the paths laid
Over ten centuries ago
For the saints rehearsing sutras.
Their path unfolding in a single text,
They moved on an obscure way more quietly
Than the arhat's mantras or the lohan's prayer;
And bruised no stone, no grasses in their passing,
The ground of their desire inviolate.
Nameless, they merged into indifferent turf,
Engrossed in one impartite grace of green,
Their separate deaths lost in this single life --
Men without memory, without distinction.
Though earth assumes them like a scroll rolled up,
The path is fragrant still because they passed here.