marc peter keane
landscape architect • artist • writer
Born and raised near New York City, I graduated from Cornell University's department of landscape architecture before moving to Kyoto in the mid 1980s, which was then home for 18 years. At first I was a research fellow at Kyoto University, later worked as a landscape architect and writer, opening my own design office in downtown Kyoto (the first person in Japan to receive a working visa as a landscape architect).
My design work consists mostly of gardens — private residences, company grounds, and temple gardens — although I have also designed a park in Tokushima and historic district in Nagano. My designs reflect my background, blending Eastern and Western aesthetics and philosophies.
As a writer my work is mostly non-fiction about Japanese gardens and literary fiction on subjects related to gardens, nature and the human condition.
My artwork is all related in one way or another to gardens and nature. Ceramics, bontei tray gardens, and large-scale installations are some of the ways that has been expressed.
I am also a researcher and educator. For many years I taught in the Department of Environmental Design at the Kyoto University of Arts and Design, and presently am a fellow at Cornell University’s East Asia Program, Columbia University’s Institute for Medieval Japanese Studies, and the Research Center for Japanese Garden Art, Kyoto. I have lectured extensively throughout the United States, England, and Japan.