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Puppet Show: “Little One-Inch”

Tiny though you be, you can still realize big dreams, including finding lasting love. So learns Issun-bōshi, diminutive hero of the charming Japanese fairytale “Little One-Inch.” 

As his name indicates, Little One-Inch’s stature is minature. But his adventures are grand, and so is his eventual bliss: he plies a rice bowl as a boat and uses a chopstick as an oar, wields a needle to valiantly defend a lovely princess against a huge ogre, and wins her grateful heart and hand in a happily-ever-after marriage.

Visit Yume at 1:00 pm on Saturday, April 4 and enjoy a puppet show about Little One-Inch staged by The Red Herring Puppets. Lisa Sturz, artistic director of the company, is an Emmy award-winning puppeteer who has worked with Walt Disney Imagineering, PBS, NBC, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. With her fellow puppeteers, she brings this centuries-old Japanese coming-of-age story to memorable, colorful life.

Seating for this special event is limited. Show tickets cost $12 for adults and $10 for children ages three to 15. They must be purchased in advance, are non-refundable, and do not include admission to the Gardens. Entry to our grounds, museum, and art gallery is free for members of Yume; non-members will be charged a separate general admission fee, payable at the door.

Event parking is available in the lot inside our main gate on 2130 North Alvernon Way and on East Justin Lane, one half block south of the Gardens. Please DO NOT park on East Hampton Place, immediately north of Yume.

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“Poetry Stones” A Butoh Performance

The avant-garde performance art called Butō, or butoh, is a product of the tumultuous post-war Japanese experience. Blending theater, improvisation, German Expressionist dance, and traditional Japanese performing arts, it inspires performers and spectators alike to examine their unconscious ideas, emotions, and energies.

Join us from 6:30 to 8:30 pm on Saturday, April 4 for “Poetry Stones.”  This exploration of form, movement, and spirit is presented by Tucson’s Funhouse Movement Theater and features Japanese-trained visiting artist Joan Laage, who has performed in butoh works from Europe to the Pacific Northwest.

In “Poetry Stones,” you’ll find butoh dancers and musicians dispersed throughout Yume, engaged in compelling, improvisational communion with the sights, sounds, and sensations of the Gardens at twilight. Prepare to be moved.

Tickets for this event cost $18 for members of Yume Japanese Gardens and $25 for non-members and are non-refundable.

Parking is available for this event in the lot inside our main gate at 2130 North Alvernon Way, in the Tucson Botanical Gardens’ parking lot, a block north of the Gardens, and on East Justin Lane, one half block south of the Gardens. Please DO NOT park on East Hampton Place, immediately north of Yume.

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Spring Enchanted Evenings

Let the magic of eventide bewitch you on a stroll through Yume after dark by the glow of lanterns and candlelight, accompanied by recorded Japanese melodies played on traditional instruments.

There will be live music and singing, too. On Thursday, March 26 and again on Saturday, March 28, talented local musicians will play evocative airs on the shakuhachi bamboo flute. And on Friday, March 27, join your fellow visitors in a sing-along of Japanese folk songs. Don’t miss it!

Date: Thursday, March 26 Time: 6:30 – 8:30 pm

Date: Friday, March 27 Time: 4:30 – 8:30 pm      

Date: Saturday, March 28 Time: 6:30 – 8:30 pm

Admission is $10 for members of Yume Gardens, $18 for non-members, and $5 for children ages three to 15. Please, call us beforehand at (520) 303-3945 to reserve your spot.

Parking is available for this event in the lot inside our main gate at 2130 North Alvernon Way and in the lot of the Tucson Botanical Garden, one block north of Yume. You may also park along East Justin Lane, one half block south of Yume.

Please note that event parking is NOT allowed on East Hampton Place, immediately north of the Gardens.

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Tea Ceremony

Join us for one of Japan’s most distinctive rituals and see why refinement and subtlety are by-words in Japanese culture. In classical kimono and following canons of etiquette established nearly 1,000 years ago, a master devoted to the art and spirituality of “The Way of Tea” (Chadō) will prepare and serve you a bowl of matcha, or powdered green tea, and a traditional Japanese sweet to nibble.

Performed with all the formality and reverence that time-honored custom decrees, our next tea ceremony takes place at two different hours on Saturday, March 21, from 10:00 to 11:00 am, and from 1:00 to 2:00 pm. The ceremony is not intended for children under the age of 15.

Seating for this highly popular event is limited, and advance ticket purchase is required. Tickets are $25 per person for non-members. The ticket price includes admission to all buildings and grounds at Yume and is non-refundable.

Tickets are $15 for members of Yume Gardens (please, call the Gardens at 520-303-3945 to reserve your spot).

Parking is available in the lot inside our main gate on North Alvernon Way and on East Justin Lane, one half block south of the Gardens. Please DO NOT park on East Hampton Place, immediately north of Yume.

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Haiku Writing Walk

Yume is pleased to announce a Haiku Writing Walk with award-winning haikuists Yukihiro Ibuki and Danny Bland.

The walk provides a memorable opportunity to observe, collect, and reflect upon perceptions and images of nature and life. These in turn furnish elements for the creation and appreciation of haiku, the iconic Japanese short poem.

This two-hour workshop opens with several classic haiku read in English and Japanese, followed by an introduction to the history, structure, and characteristics of this genre of composition that first became widely popular in Japan in the 1600s. In the centuries since, it has achieved global renown as a sublime and quintessentially Japanese poetic form.

Walking thereafter through the grounds of Yume, we will pause during our stroll to read haiku placed in various locations, allowing time also for participants to gather personal images and thoughts and to compose their own haiku. Afterwards we’ll informally share and enjoy our impressions and poems.

Yukihiro Ibuki was born in Kyoto, Japan and has composed traditional haiku since high school. A member of the “Kyo-kanoko” haiku association, he has written poems honored as Outstanding Haiku at the Arizona Matsuri Haiku Expo in 2016, 2017, and 2018.

Danny Bland is a novelist, rock band road manager, and author of two volumes of poetry composed in the haiku form but distinctly untraditional in flavor: “I Apologize In Advance For The Awful Things I’m Gonna Do” and “We Shouldn’t Be Doing This.” You can read a new haiku every day on his Facebook page.

Date: Friday, March 13

Time: 1 pm – 3pm

Cost: $25 ($18 for students; please call Yume at 520-303-3945 for details.)

Space is limited. Click here to buy your ticket or call Yume to reserve your spot.

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Intro to Forest Bathing

Forest Bathingh Bamboo Yume

The healing Japanese practice of forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku, involves deeply attuning your senses to your surroundings on a forest walk so as to experience a health-restoring sense of well-being. A way to calm mind and spirit, it offers a range of research-proven benefits; among them are reduced stress, lower blood pressure, increased physical energy, and improved concentration.

In a similar vein, Dr. Lee Ann Woolery, ecologist, artist, and resident of the Sonoran Desert, has developed the practice of mindfulness drawing in nature. In two experiential workshops at Yume, she will present forest bathing and her technique of mindfulness drawing and show how to combine them to tap into the energy or “spirit” of a natural setting and to experience “flow,” a state of energized focus bestowing a sense of being at one with your environment.

Sign up for one or both workshops! No art experience is necessary. The cost is $55 for adults. Click Here to Purchase Tickets

Dates: Monday, March 2 and Wednesday, March 11.

Time: 9:00 am to Noon

For more information, visit: http://www.ecoartexpeditions.com/

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Spring Ikebana Floral Festival

Enjoy the beauty of dozens of signature floral compositions highlighting the wide breadth of flower arrangement styles in one of Japan’s most cherished art forms, during our Spring 2020 Ikebana Floral Festival.

As we do each year, we open the Gardens to the talented adepts of five different schools of Ikebana practice. The result: elegant floral displays throughout our grounds and buildings that reflect the harmony, discipline, and refinement of traditional Japanese flower arranging.

The festival runs from Thursday, February 20 through Saturday, February 29. Admission is $10 for members of Yume. Admission for non-members is $15 for adults and $5 for children ages three to 15, and includes entry to the entire Gardens, our Museum, and our Art Gallery.

Be sure to combine your visit with a walk through our permanent display of selections from our collection of more than 200 Ikebana vases and vessels – the largest in the nation. Made of ceramics, bamboo, bronze, lacquer, clay, and glass, some are more than a century old, others are contemporary; all are carefully designed to complement the Zen-like spirit of the flower arrangements they hold.

Festival parking is available in the lot inside our main gate on North Alvernon Way and on East Justin Lane, one half block south of the Gardens. Please DO NOT park on East Hampton Place, immediately north of Yume.

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Artist Reception: “Spirit of the Land – Paintings by Emily King”

“Spirit of the Land” opens in the Art Gallery on February 7, 2020, with a reception for artist Emily King from 5 to 7 pm. Because the reception is being held after business hours, Yume’s gardens and museum will NOT be open to visitors at that time.

In her work, King explores the concept of tamashii – the way that Japanese culture is moved by the spirit of a place, a sight, or a being, enabling glimpses of life through moments of wonder and awe. At times realistic, at times dreamlike, her pieces capture the world of the soul as well as the mind.

The show runs until May 1, and all paintings in the gallery are for sale.

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Girl’s Day Doll Exhibit

Japanese parents cherish their pre-teen daughters and hail their health and happiness with displays of small dolls – hina – every March 3. Ornamental only and not for play, they represent the enthroned Emperor and Empress and their attendants, garbed in the sumptuous court robes of 1,000 years ago.

These elaborate miniatures are the hallmark of Hinamatsuri, the Girl’s Day Festival. Most often arrayed on multi-tiered stands draped in red cloth, they are many times family heirlooms.

As part of the festival, girls hold parties with friends and enjoy traditional foods such as eaten by Japan’s ancient rulers and nobles. Superstition says the dolls must be stored the day after the celebration: leaving them too long on show may result in a girl’s eventual marriage being delayed. Doll displays usually end after a girl turns 10; a family will then stow away its set of hina treasure-like, awaiting the day when it can be passed down to a little girl grown into a woman with daughters of her own to honor.

Our doll set is a vintage one, more than a century old. Its Emperor and Empress have gazed regally upon multiple generations of young girls. You can gaze back, in admiration of their meticulously detailed costumes and their many retainers, on view in all their finery from February 1 to March 5.