Center for East Asian Garden Studies

The Huntington's Center for East Asian Garden Studies promotes innovative scholarship on the traditions of garden-making in China, Japan, and Korea. Furthering the educational mission of the Huntington's Chinese and Japanese gardens, the Center makes these traditions accessible to wide audiences through lectures, workshops, symposia, exhibitions, and performances.

Public Programs

Music in the Chinese Garden
Wednesdays, 1–3 p.m.
Enjoy traditional Chinese music every Wednesday afternoon in the Garden of Flowing Fragrance. 

Japanese Teahouse Tours
Second Monday of every month, 11:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Learn about the history of the Japanese Garden's ceremonial teahouse and the traditions behind its use. Informal tours are offered at 20-minute intervals.

An Afternoon of Pingtan
Jan. 20, 2019
An afternoon performance of traditional Chinese pingtan, a musical and oral storytelling art that originated in the Suzhou area during the Ming dynasty. Performers from the
Shanghai Pingtan Company will perform both classic scenes and new works.

Lectures and Symposiums

Border-Crossing Botanicals: The Curious History of Saffron in Japan
Jan. 22, 2019
Dr. Susan Burns, University of Chicago, explores the incorporation of saffron into Japanese pharmacology, a complex process that involved the rise of natural science and a “productive confusion” that linked saffron with other botanicals.

From the Mountains to the Garden: The Domestication of Garden Plants in China
Feb. 16, 2019
This symposium investigates the history of garden plant domestication, including horticultural techniques; the origins and distribution of important species; and the knowledge to be gained from sources ranging from literary records to DNA analysis.

A Whimsical Picture with a Grim Message: The Inshoku yōjō kagami and the Imagination of the Body in Early Modern Japan
Feb. 19, 2019
Dr. Shigehisa Kuriyama, Harvard University, discusses the Inshoku yōjō kagami (ca. 1850), a deceptive print whose style is whimsical, but message is actually grim.

Educational and School Programs

Poetry in the Chinese Garden
Taking students to a museum or garden is a wonderful way to encourage their appreciation for, and understanding of, our natural and cultural heritage. The Huntington offers field trips designed to deeply engage students in their personal learning experiences and bring their studies to life. In the "Poetry in the Chinese Garden" program, students use poetry as an entry point to the culture of Chinese gardens, immersing themselves in the garden experience. They compare Chinese and Western landscape styles, learn about the role of literature in the garden, and create and share their own two-line poems inspired by what they see.

Chinese Garden Discovery Cart 
Discovery Carts are engaging and educational mobile exhibits that offer new learning experiences to garden visitors. The Chinese cart encourages visitors to learn through culturally-themed activities involving Chinese opera masks, traditional Chinese instruments, poetry, Chinese apothecary, architecture, and Chinese tea preparation all which highlight the scholars garden.