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Arizona Gives Day is fast approaching and we are looking forward to all of the excitement around this major fundraising campaign. This campaign gives non-profit organizations like ours, the chance to connect others to the unique points of our mission and vision while generating resources to make them a reality.

One of our major values at the Garden is a Japanese concept called "Omotenashi". One translation of Omotenashi is:

“to treat people with respect and a good attitude: to satisfy them with a heart that does not ask for compensation".

When we act with Omotenashi at the Garden, we look for ways to anticipate your needs, doing acts of kindness where our only compensation is your happiness with our services. We hope you can feel this Omotenashi spirit when you visit our Garden from the care taken to sculpt the Garden to the service from our staff, volunteers, and leaders alike.

Multiple studies have demonstrated a number of wellness benefits related to showing kindness and generosity such as increased longevity, lower blood pressure, and improved self-esteem. These wellness indicators are not only related to physical health but contribute towards establishing a balance in mental health. The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation sums up the sentiment behind developing the habit of kindness like this:

"One can never go wrong with kindness, and there can never be too much of it. Every small act of kindness is significant. It may seem like it doesn’t accomplish much but, just like the domino effect, one act of kindness can lead to more positive outcomes."

Each of us has something valuable to contribute to the world and our efforts don’t all need to look the same. Here are some ways that you can spread kindness with the Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix.

Amazon Smile- Amazon allows users to select a non-profit to donate a portion of qualified purchases to. Enter into your web browser when shopping online or enable AmazonSmile from your settings menu when shopping in the app. Select ‘Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix Inc.’ as your charity. Make sure to always shop with AmazonSmile enabled so that your qualified orders get credited to us!

Bring a Friend – What better way to promote kindness and join in the Omotenashi spirit than by sharing the experience of our Garden with a friend or neighbor. This is a beautiful time of the year to be outside and the time is that much more treasured when it is spent with someone you care about. Reserve your tickets on our website today. Visit the garden.

Go After the Goal - You’ve no doubt heard the saying “It takes a village…”. This statement is absolutely true for our success here at the Garden. This year, our AZ Gives Day goal is set for $5,000. We continue to thrive because of the generous commitments of our friends who contribute financially to the Garden. Join us in our continued pursuit of beauty, tranquility and spreading the Japanese concept of Omotenashi with your gift today.

There is no shortage of goodness that is needed in our world. We look forward to seeing your kindness in action!

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Here at the Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix we have various types of iris and locations in the Garden, both land and water, and some are beginning to unfold already. Irises have been written about in many famous, ancient Japanese poems, as well as paintings, kimono patterns and even Noh plays.

Ariwara no Narihira composed the most famous Japanese iris themed poem while travelling and having been moved by the beauty of a Yatsuhashi bridge (an Eight–Planked Bridge of Japanese Gardens, reminiscent of RoHoEn’s main zig zag bridge across our pond), where irises were blooming around and below.

“Just as a karakoromo (Chinese robe) comfortably fits my body after wearing it a long time, I comfortably fit my wife. I however came all the way to the East, leaving her behind in Kyoto. Alas, it is heart-rending to travel so far.”

Narihira used the five syllables of the word for iris, “ka-ki-tsu-ba-ta,” at the beginning of each verse of the poem above.

Later this famous Iris poem in Tales of Ise inspired Ogata Kōrin to paint his abstract version of water and Japanese irises on folding screens. In turn, Ogata’s screens are believed to have influenced the Impressionist paintings of irises by Vincent van Gogh.

Come to the Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix - RoHoEn to enjoy our bridges and irises with these cultural threads in mind. #iris #japanese #culture #rohoen #jfgphx #japanesefriendshipgarden #japanesegardens #spring #phoenix

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