Japanese Garden Moon & More

The Behind the Shoji art show and sale is a summertime rite of passage.

By Kristin Belz August 2, 2013 Published in the August 2013 issue of Portland Monthly

The Behind the Shoji Art Show & Sale includes the work of 35 artists and craftspeople, many of them local. Some will attend to demonstrate their artistic methods.

Image: Kristin Belz

High summer begets late summer, which begets autumn – even though summer just started. Certain rituals and ceremonies help us through the change of weather, light and season. The Portland Japanese Garden's annual Behind the Shoji Art Show and Sale is a most excellent way to appreciate the transition from summer into fall.

Each year the Behind the Shoji show features a gorgeous variety of art and craft inspired by the country and culture of Japan – and/or inspired by a Japanese aesthetic, loosely but lovingly defined. Ceramics, sculpture, printmaking, jewelry, and textiles created by more than 35 artists are on display (and for sale) in the Garden Pavilion through September 8, 2013.

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Moonviewing at the Japanese Garden, is September 18-20.

This year's show also ushers in the high season of this 50th anniversary year for the garden, with more special events to come. Moonviewing is the next big thing on the calendar, September 18-20. The public is welcome to gather on the eastern courtyard of the Japanese Garden Pavilion to watch the full autumn moon rise over the skyline of Portland. Bad moon rising? No, seeing the full autumn moon rise is supposed to bring good luck.

Celadon Water Lily dish by Nana Kuo, on display (and for sale) at the Behind the Shoji exhibit.

The ritual of moonviewing is called O-Tsukimi, celebrated with the full moon each autumn. At Portland's Japanese Garden, the traditional festival includes a tea ceremony (candle-lit), live music, and a glass of sake or tea in which to reflect that full moon and capture the good luck. Poetry is also a part of the ceremony. The garden grounds are open and lighted by lanterns.

Behind the Shoji

Admission is free with garden admission. 
Extended summer hours at the garden are in effect through October: Tuesday-Sunday 9 am – 7 pm; Monday regular garden hours, noon – 7 pm.


September 18-20, from 7 to 9 pm.
Tickets are $25 for members, $35 for non-members.
Reservations are required, and open August 20 at 8 am.

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