Introducing Spirited Stone: Lessons from Kubota’s Garden

Writers, poets, academics, and garden enthusiasts examine the legacy of nurseryman Fujitarō Kubota, whose unique gardens transformed Seattle’s landscape in the twentieth century. Kubota immigrated to the US in the early 1900s, worked as a nurseryman, and eventually bought twenty acres of clear-cut forest in southern Seattle that he shaped into a beautiful and enduring Japanese garden. Today, the public garden serves one of Washington’s most diverse zip codes.

Kubota also created a memorable garden in the Minidoka prison camp while he was incarcerated there during World War II. He served as the prison’s chief gardener. Upon his return to Seattle, he regroomed Kubota Garden, which had fallen into disrepair.

Kubota’s resilience and can-do attitude have inspired generations of gardeners in the Pacific Northwest. To Kubota, everything has spirit. Rocks and stones pulse with life, he said, and that energy is still apparent in his gardens today.

Photo by Josef Scaylea

Inside Spirited Stone:

Short stories from Charles Johnson and Jamie Ford

Poetry by Anastacia-Reneé, Elizabeth Austen, Claudia Castro Luna, Samuel Green, Shankar Narayan, and Shin Yu Pai

Essays from leading landscape architect scholars and experts on the profound impact Fujitarō Kubota had on the Pacific Northwest landscape and the ways the garden still nurtures the southern Seattle community.

Photography by Gemina Garland-Lewis, Nathan Wirth, and others.

Where to buy Spirited Stone*

Chin Music Press

Visit us in Pike Place Market

Our store is open Tuesday-Saturday 11am-5pm on the 3rd level of the Fairley Building.

Your local bookstore

Information for booksellers
Chin Music titles are distributed to the trade by the fine people at Consortium Book Sales & Distribution

* A portion of every sale of Spirited Stone goes to the Kubota Garden Foundation.

Visit Kubota Garden today!
Spirited Stone is published with generous support from the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust; Pendleton and Elisabeth Carey Miller Charitable Foundation; Furthermore: a program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund; David R. Coffin Publication Grant from Foundation for Landscape Studies; 4Culture; the Robert Chinn Foundation and the Kubota Garden Foundation.