In 1965, as its 50th anniversary gift to the City of Buffalo, the Rotary Club of Buffalo arranged for the planting of 179 cherry trees on “Rotary Lane,” which runs between Mirror Lake in Delaware Park and the Buffalo History Museum. Installed as well were a Torii (the welcome gate of the Shinot Shrine) and a stone lantern, a replica of Kotoji Toro, Japan’s famed lantern from our sister-city of Kanazawa which represents “a place of beauty, a bridge and gateway to a new understanding of brotherhood.”
The Japanese Garden in Delaware Park was conceived in 1970, five years after the Rotary Club of Buffalo’s donation of the cherry trees on “Rotary Lane.” In April 2012, a commemoration of the Rotary’s 50th anniversary was held with a sacred tea ceremony performed by Atsuko Mitchell in the Japanese Garden and a “Peace Dinner” celebration.
Buffalo Rotary and Buffalo Sunrise Rotary sponsored the dinner celebration. Dr. Takako Michii, a member of Buffalo Sunrise Rotary, acted as mistress of ceremonies at both events. She had been the driving force from the beginning and for the 50th Anniversary events. The Olmsted Parks Conservancy had accepted a grant check for improvements to a welcoming area of the park from Buffalo Rotary at its March meeting.