Japanese Tea Gardens

The Japanese Tea Garden opened in San Antonio’s Brackenridge Park in 1918, converting an abandoned quarry into a complex of walkways, stone arch bridges, and a pagoda. In 1926, the city invited local Japanese-American artist Kimi Eizo Jingu and his family to move to the garden to maintain it and open the Bamboo Room, a cafe where light lunch and tea were served. After Jingu’s death in the late 1930s, his family continued to maintain the garden until 1942, when they were evicted as a result of anti-Japanese sentiment during World War II. A Chinese-American family then operated the facility until the 1960s, renaming it the Chinese Sunken Garden. In 1984, the park was rededicated as the Japanese Tea Garden in a ceremony attended by Jingu’s children and representatives of the Japanese government.

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The Sharon Wilkinson Collection - Daytripping (1968-9)
1960s home movie capturing Sharon Wilkinson’s adventures across the state, including HemisFair ‘68 and an...
The Peggy Shiman Collection, no. 1 - San Antonio, c. 1940s
Home movie footage of sites around San Antonio
The Driskell-Owens-Pickard Family Film Collection - Summer Vacation and Celebrations (1977-8)
Home movie footage of the Pickard family on a road trip through Central Texas and celebrating birthdays a...
The Candelari Collection - Christmas in San Antonio (1966)
Home movie footage of Lockland Air Force Base, the Japanese Tea Garden, Lone Star Brewery, and the O’Henr...
The Baylor Family Collection, no. 10 - Family Trips, 1964
Home movie scenes of the Baylor family on trips throughout Texas, including Llano, San Antonio, and Houston.
The Arch Campbell Family Films, no. 1 - Chinese Sunken Garden (Japanese Tea Garden), 1947
1947 Home movie footage of a trip to the Japanese Tea Garden in San Antonio