Hakone Estate and Gardens, “Images of America” series
This book tells a little-known history of Hakone Gardens with striking photo documentation and personal narratives. It is full of stories about the people who shaped the heart and soul of Hakone. Throughout a century the garden survived nativism, a national depression, WWII anti-Japanese hysteria and threats of land redevelopment. The garden was saved for posterity by three separate non-Japanese ownerships in its first fifty years, courageous individuals who pushed back against racism and xenophobia and protected Hakone in perilous times.
Through brilliant historical photographs, you will go back in time and witness Isabel Stine’s creation of a Japanese garden in the rugged California hillside. You will witness how Charles Tilden, added enhancements to Hakone and how he and his family protected Hakone during WWII when the gardener, James Sasaki, his wife and four young children were incarcerated in Topaz Utah. You will meet the remarkable people in the last private ownership of Hakone: the partnership of two Saratoga couples and four couples who were leaders in the Chinese American community. They changed the destiny of Hakone for all time, by offering it for sale to the City of Saratoga for the benefit of the public.
The book also illuminates the stages of development of Hakone as public park and how the Foundation and City of Saratoga, with dedicated leaders, faced many challenges in establishing Hakone as a national historic place and cultural center open to all.
The book will astonish, enlighten and inspire you, giving you a profound appreciation of Hakone Gardens, and how and why it is an American treasure.