BRIT Opens 'Kochi Makino: An Amazing Botanical Garden in Japan' Today
Beginning today, September 7, BRIT will present Kochi Makino: An Amazing Botanical Garden in Japan, an exhibition tracing the strategic growth of one of Japan's premier botanical gardens. The exhibit is free to the public and will provide audiences with an interesting view of how the Makino Botanical Garden transformed itself from flower garden into an internationally respected botanical research organization during the last decade.
Visitors will be introduced to Makino through a brief history and will learn how Makino botanists collect, document, and preserve plant knowledge. Two special sections will highlight Makino's international and medicinal plant research activities showing its herbarium, library, and laboratories. The exhibit includes plant specimens, plant photos, rare books, and other memorabilia. Also shown is a portion of Makino's collection of 16th and 17th Century botanical illustrations.
The exhibit will be on view in BRIT's Exhibit Hall through November 30, 2013.
"Kochi Makino gives BRIT an opportunity to showcase how its sister herbarium located halfway around the world has achieved its research goals under the direction of Dr. Tetsuo Koyama," said Dr. S.H. Sohmer, BRIT's president and director. "Makino distinguishes its operations as being one of only a few research botanical gardens in Japan."
The garden's research is currently focusing on the plant studies in Myanmar both in the areas of basic taxonomy and medicinal plants. Paralleling the Myanmar research, the Garden carries out investigations of local (Kochi) flora with emphasis on rare or endangered plants and their conservation.
For its international and local research initiatives, the Makino Botanical Garden was recognized as a statutory research institute by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture and Science in 2003.
Opened to the public in April 1958, the Makino Botanical Garden is characterized by slopes and dells and with over 3,000 species of plants on display. In 1999, the grounds were significantly enlarged and the Museum of Plant and People was inaugurated, strengthening the garden's role in education. At the same time, Professor Dr. Tetsuo Koyama, (former senior curator and director of Asian botany at the New York Botanical Garden), joined the staff of Kochi Makino as director.
Since then, it has increased its research portfolio by establishing bilateral agreements with institutions in Myanmar, the Solomon Islands, Thailand, China, USA, and Canada in order to undertake scientific research overseas and build on its knowledge of economic plants.