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Transcultural botany: Japanese gardens in New Zealand, 1890-1950

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Note: This seminar will start at 12.30

In the last third of the nineteenth century Japanese culture gripped the Western imagination and Japanese artworks, philosophies and artifacts became all the rage.  A most interesting New Zealand import was the ‘Japanese’ garden, as the country became fascinated with reproductions of botanical designs that included many Japanese species previously unknown to Western science.  This week in the Natural History Cabinet, Jasper Heinzen of the Cambridge University History Department examines these often whimsical reproductions and highlights the process of transculturation through New Zealand plant fancier’s importation and adaptation of Japanese botanical designs.  Were the final designs and plants utilized then Japanese, or what New Zealand gardeners thought ‘Japanese’ plants and gardens should be?  Our speaker addresses the translation of natural history between two unique cultures.

This talk is part of the Cabinet of Natural History series.

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