Home Culture Portland and Sapporo Celebrate 65 Years as Sister Cities

Portland and Sapporo Celebrate 65 Years as Sister Cities

By Will Lerner
NAP Contributor

Currently, the Portland Japanese Garden is debuting its first new art exhibition of 2024. Titled “Vision of Place,” this show features stunning photography from Portland’s sister city of Sapporo.

In 1959, Portland and Sapporo entered one of the earliest and most meaningful sister city relationships between the U.S. and Japan in the aftermath of World War II. Sapporo and its people were highly instrumental in the founding of the Portland Japanese Garden. Their generosity can be seen throughout the G garden, most notably through the impressive 18-foot and two-ton Sapporo Pagoda Lantern.

Vision of Place will feature two different exhibits that capture the beauty of this part of northern Japan.

▪️ Shashin: Photographic Frontiers of Hokkaido

In our the Pavilion Gallery, guests will see work from The North Finder, a Hokkaido-based group of photographers. Their mission is to “raise the image of Hokkaido through photography and help people to know Hokkaido more deeply.” The work of 23 photographers will present the diversity of natural environments, with distinctive seasons, and notable sites from the perspective of the people who live there. This will be the first-ever show held in the United States.

▪️ Quiet Reflections of Hokkaido Winter: Photography by Sandra Chandler

Connecting the perspective of Hokkaido with Portland is an exhibition by local artist Sandra Chandler. It is being shown in the Jordan Schnitzer Japanese Arts Learning Center of the garden. Chandler is a passionate photographer and longtime supporter of the Portland Japanese Garden, and serves as the organization’s Foundation Board of Trustees Chair. Traveling the world using her designer’s eye, Chandler’s photography will showcase the serene winter landscape of Japan’s northernmost island.
Vision of Place will be on display in the Pavilion Gallery and Jordan Schnitzer Japanese Arts Learning Center in at the Portland Japanese Garden until June 10th.

About the Portland Japanese Garden

The Portland Japanese Garden is a nonprofit organization founded in 1963 as a place for cross-cultural understanding following World War II. A hallmark in the City of Portland and the state of Oregon, the garden was founded on the ideals of peace and mutual understanding between people and cultures. The Portland Japanese Garden is considered the most authentic Japanese garden outside of Japan and among the foremost Japanese cultural organizations in the world.

About Japan Institute

Japan Institute was established in 2022 as a global cultural initiative of the Portland Japanese Garden. This sibling organization is the programmatic arm of the Portland Japanese Garden. It allows us to share and expand our cultural programs more broadly around the world. It also deepens international partnerships and continues engaging diverse people in shared experiences and conversations about peace, beauty, and connection through nature. Japan Institute consists of three centers: Global Center for Culture and Art, International Exchange Forum, and International Japanese Garden Training Center.

The Portland Japanese Garden and Japan Institute share the mission: Inspiring Harmony & Peace.