Yushien (meaning 'garden of friendship') was opened on September 23, 2002 to celebrate the strong historical ties between Amherst College and Doshisha University in Kyoto. Doshisha is a small Christian college founded in 1875 by Joseph Hardy Neesima, an 1870 graduate of Amherst. Student exchange programs between the two institutions are some of the oldest between Japan and the United States.
The garden is located in a secluded site behind the Kirby Theater and was built with $250,000 of gifts from Amherst alumni and friends. The design is by Shinichiro Abe of Zen Associates. The garden features a 500-year-old stone lantern given to the College by alum Eiro Yamashita; a small fountain; a stone path; boulders taken from the woods of nearby Shelburne and Conway; and a sophisticated planting design that is designed to flourish with regular pruning and maintenance.
The champion behind creation of the garden is Ray A. Moore, professor of history and Asian languages and civilizations.
Without a speck of dust's being raised,
the mountains tower up;
without a single drop's falling,
the streams plunge into the valley.