Toshinan

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Toshinan (meaning "the house where those gathered can light a wick [of understanding] in each other’s hearts") is a Japanese-style tea house constructed in the Japanese Gardens of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens by Kazunori Tago in 1993. Tago, an acclaimed miyadaiku (temple carpenter) from Maibashi, Japan, used imported construction materials and traditional tools and techniques to build the structure. The materials were a gift from the citizens of Maibashi. The Shades Valley Council of Garden Clubs and the Gardens of Inverness contributed to the project, as well.

The tea house is patterned after the Sukiya style, developed in the 16th century. Tago also constructed a yoritsuki (waiting hut) near the tea house. Botanical Gardens gardeners landscaped the surrounding area, which is fenced off from the public except for scheduled events.

On July 3, 2017 the toshinan hosted the signing of a Sister City agreement with the Mayor of Maebashi, Japan.

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