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Welcome to Isamu Taniguchi Park!

Mueller’s 10th named park, Isamu Taniguchi Park, is now officially open to the public (the other 9 are: Lake Park, Mary Elizabeth Branch Park, John Gaines Park, Ella Wooten Park, Jesse Andrews Park, Paggi Square, Northwest Greenway, Southwest Greenway, and Southeast Greenway)!

The park was named after Isamu Taniguchi (1898-1992), a Japanese immigrant who moved to the U.S. as a teenager, and retired to Austin in 1967. Out of gratitude for his sons’ education at The University of Texas at Austin, Mr. Taniguchi offered to create a Japanese garden for the City of Austin. With three acres in the Zilker Botanical Garden, Mr. Taniguchi created the Isamu Taniguchi Oriental Garden over an 18-month period with no more than one assistant at a time. With all plants and material donated from local nurseries, the gardens feature a series of ponds that spell “Austin” when viewed from the air, a 12-foot waterfall, a teahouse, a Half Moon bridge, a lotus pond with a miniature island, and extensive Japanese landscaping.

Image of some of the plantings at Taniguchi Park

A beautiful Japanese-style garden in Mueller’s final residential section.

The new park space is bordered by Taniguchi, Chennault, Margarita, & Sorin streets, and features a community table for larger meal gatherings. It also features an open lawn for picnics and a covered space with a terrace and restrooms that overlook the park.

Park rendering by the master planner.

Architectural drawing of Taniguchi Park

More about Isamu Taniguchi: Isamu Taniguchi was born in Osaka, Japan, in 1898 and immigrated to the U.S. in 1914. Due to an anti-immigrant law in California prohibiting him from owning land, Taniguchi created a life for his family near Stockton, spending 20+ years farming and managing a local farming cooperative. At the start of WWII, he and his family were imprisoned without charges at a South Texas facility while his older son, Alan, was in college. While incarcerated, Taniguchi spent time planting and maintaining gardens. Following his family’s release after the war, they settled with other Japanese farmers in the Rio Grande Valley, where his vegetable and cotton farm grew until he retired. The family moved to Austin where his son Alan was a professor and then dean of architecture at UT. His son helped him connect with the Parks & Recreation Department, which set aside three acres in Zilker Park for him to create without a contract, salary, or written plan an authentic public Japanese garden dedicated to peace. Mr. Taniguchi passed from a stroke in 1992.

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