Japan House 1998-2018

Japan House Celebrates 20 Years!

Join us as we celebrate our 20th Anniversary at our current location within the Arboretum where Japan House opened its doors to its permanent facility on June 18, 1998. On this website, we will look back at the stories and people of the past 20 years that got us here, and look forward to our 20th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, September 8, 2018, and our biggest Matsuri yet on Sunday, September, 2018. Click these links to learn more about all of our other programs, gardens, and general information.

Jennifer Gunji-Ballsrud

Director’s Statement on 20th Anniversary

I have such anticipation for what is to come in 2018!

Although Japan House has been a part of the University of Illinois since the mid-1960’s, our current facility is turning TWENTY! I couldn’t be happier to honor our anniversary with joyful commemoration and ample festivities.

As a person who has a great admiration and respect for dogs, 2018 is the Year of the Dog according to the Chinese and Japanese Zodiac calendars. This very auspicious year also marks the start of the 20th anniversary of Japan House!

Read Full Statement

Rich in History

Rich in history

The roots of Japan House go back to 1964, when Shozo Sato, then artist-in-residence at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts and now Professor Emeritus in the School of Art and Design, began a series of courses focusing on the art and culture of Japan.

Eventually, he was allowed to renovate an old Victorian house to teach classes. Amazingly enough, he managed to turn that Victorian house into a Japanese environment which was known as Japan House. He continued to teach classes and began the tradition of Open Houses and welcoming in the whole community.

For years, it was a center for the study of Japanese arts and aesthetics, but eventually the house had to make way for redevelopment of the campus.

Read Our History

Japan House Sponsors

Check out our sponsors

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency