The modern hustle of today’s Yamato Road makes it easy to forget that the area was once loaded with pineapple farms run by Japanese settlers.
The Morikami Gallery and Japanese Gardens, a 16-acre showcase of the society of those inhabitants and their contributions to South Florida, honored the heritage of the settlers in a 40th Anniversary celebration.
Jonathan Diaz drove from his home in Miami to attend the event, “It’s pretty amazing to have this piece of history related to Japan right here in South Florida.”
Guests enjoyed walking tours of the gardens, Japanese art exhibits, musical performances with Japanese instruments and sushi.
During the party, visitors got the chance to write down their personal memories of the museum for inclusion in a time capsule, which will be buried during a private ceremony according to Morikami marketing manager Jillian Kogan.
The museum’s humble beginnings were as a villa called “Yamato-kan” that opened in 1977. The endeavor was named after George Sukeji Morikami, the man who donated the plot of land to Palm Beach County to be preserved as an ode to his native Yamato Colony.
The Morikami gained worldwide attention in February when first lady Melania Trump and Akie Abe, wife of Japan’s prime minister, visited the grounds. The museum reported a 25 percent spike in visitors after their visit.
According to the Museum’s website, the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens operates Tuesday-Sunday: 10am-5pm, Closed Mondays and major holidays. 4000 Morikami Park Road, Delray Beach, FL 33446