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Historical Biographies
Name:Kubota Fujitaro 
Added to JGarden11/2/2002 
Last Updated11/2/2002 
DescriptionKubota was a horticultural pioneer who began combining Japanese design techniques with North American materials in his Seattle display garden in 1927. The resulting site is in a spectacular setting of hills and valleys, interlaced with streams, waterfalls, ponds, bridges, and rock outcroppings with a rich array of plant material.

Kubota arrived in the U.S. from Shikoku in 1907. The Kubota Gardening Company was established in 1923 and went on to become a successful enterprise, with a garden on the Seattle University campus and the Japanese garden at the Bloedel Reserve as only two of the most famous examples.

The Kubota Garden started as a much smaller (5 acre) swampy site in the Rainier Beach neighborhood. It grew with the business to its current size. It was the family home, the business office, the nursery and a showcase for the company's techniques. A stream that naturally flowed through the site was enclosed in a pool and planted in the 1930's. The garden and home was abandoned in the 1940's when the Kubota family was forced to relocate to Camp Minidoka in Idaho, one of several Japanese internment camps during World War II. After the war, Kubota worked with his two sons, Tak and Tom to rebuild the business and expand the nursery. In the 1960's 400 tons of stone were added to the site, increasing the opportunities for new landscape features.

Kubota Fujitaro passed way in 1973 at age 94, shortly after he had been awarded with the Fifth Class Order of the Sacred Treasure by the government of Japan for his contributions to Japanese gardening in the U.S. 

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