Zen Priest Receives Honors from Government for Garden Designs

May 31, 2005

Source: The Japan Times


On May 31, 2005 The Japan Times reported, "A Buddhist priest considered to be one of the world's best Zen garden designers will receive an award from the Canadian government this week. Shunmyo Masuno, head priest at Yokohama's Kenkoji Temple, will receive the Meritorious Service Award on Friday in Ottawa, the first Japanese to receive such a distinction. He will also get an honorary doctorate Tuesday from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. They are just the latest awards the 52-year-old Zen Buddhist priest and president of Japan Landscape Consultants Ltd. has received for his innovative gardens, which blend the elements of Zen and more modern concepts... While 'ishidateso,' or priests who designed gardens, were common in the 14th and 15th centuries, Masuno is now the only priest in Japan who practices the tradition. He is being recognized by Canada for his garden at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo and the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Hull, Quebec, and his renovations to the Nitobe Memorial Garden at the University of British Columbia, where he is also an adjunct professor."