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Where Asian culture meets Latin & Caribbean culture

Inter-American Development Bank President Enrique V. Iglesias and Integration and Regional Program Department Manager Nohra Rey de Marulanda inaugurated the Contemporary Japanese Garden “Contemporary Karesansui,” located on the Terrace of the new IDB conference center, on September 28. The conference center was opened earlier this year in order to accommodate IDB business meetings more efficiently while undertaking activities in association with the greater metropolitan DC community. 

During the inauguration, the Art Director Takako Baba of Japan's Gallery Chika, explained the concept of the garden. “The design of garden is modern, but inherently based on Karesansui, the Zen garden of the Zen temple developed in the Muromachi regime between the 14 th and 16 th centuries.

Karesansui is a type of garden symbolizing Japan's rich natural landscapes such as rivers, mountains, and oceans but without using water. And the gardens of the Zen temple can be any size, and in fact very small. However, as the garden represents all of nature, the only real limits are the limits of one's imagination.”

Takara Teranishi, a counselor in the IDB Office of the Executive Director for Japan, who is another key collaborator on the project, added, “Conventional Karesansui entails thousands of stones of different sizes. However, Takeo Kubota, who is a well-respected artist in architecture and modern art in Japan, used unconventional materials such as metal and plastic to transform the garden into a venue not only for meditation, but also for social gathering for those who visit the place.” 

The project was made possible by a team of dedicated collaborators--Nohra Rey de Marulanda, IDB architect Brett Copeland and Takara Teranishi, as well as Takako Baba and Takeo Kubota, who provided their expertise and time on a volunteer basis. 

The garden is open to the public during IDB-sponsored events taking place at the conference center.

Japan has been a member of the IDB since 1976 and hosted the 46 th IDB Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors in Okinawa in April 2005.