April 29, 2004
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.- The Journal of Japanese Gardening has ranked Yushien Garden, nestled between Webster Center and Kirby Theater at Amherst College, one of the top Japanese gardens in the nation. Designed by Shin Abe, Yushien placed sixteenth on this year's list.

Opened in 2001, Yushien, roughly translated as "Garden of Friendship," is a contemplative garden in the Japanese style that celebrates the strong historical ties between Amherst College and Doshisha University in Japan, founded as a small Christian school in Kyoto in 1875 by Joseph Hardy Neesima, an 1870 graduate of Amherst.

There are more than 300 public Japanese gardens in North America; the annual survey seeks "gardens displaying intimate traits such as subtlety, natural beauty, moderation, and human scale," according to the Journal.

The top ranking in the Journal this year went to Anderson Gardens in Rockford, Ill.