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Tojo Memorial Garden collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RITArc-0141

Scope and Contents

The Tojo Memorial Garden collection consists of materials related to the memorial created at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in honor of Yasuji Tojo. The collection includes correspondence, administrative records, memorabilia, research materials, photographs, clippings, and other related items.

The correspondence covers a variety of topics such as Yasuji's death and the construction of the memorial. There are several pieces of correspondence from Yasuji's parents, as well as the Institute and its professors.

The administrative records are related to the construction of the memorial garden. There are also copies of programs, invitations, and speeches from the dedication ceremony in 1975 and research on Japanese gardens.

The collection contains several photographs. Some of these images are of Yasuji, while others were taken by the former student. Similarly there is a visualization of the garden in the collection created by Hans J. Barschel in 1965.

Copies of the original landscape architecural drawings show the design and names of all the plantings.

Finally, the collection includes clippings related to Yasuji and the garden, as well as several miscellaneous items such as an announcement for an exhibit that was held in 2005.


  • Creation: 1962-1993
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1964 - 1976

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

Yasuji Tohjo was an international student at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) during the early 1960s. Originally from Suginami (an area of Tokyo), Japan, Yasuji studied photography and planned to join his family's photography business in Japan after graduation. While at RIT, he was known as a dedicated student and played on both the varsity soccer and tennis teams. Yasuji was returning from a trip to Washington, DC when he was involved in a fatal car accident in June 1964.

In 1968, the Rochester Institute of Technology relocated from the city of Rochester to a new campus in the suburbs of Henrietta. The new campus included plans for an International Garden. In 1965, Yasuji's parents announced that they would donate a granite lantern to the garden in honor of their son. The Yasuji Tohjo Memorial Lantern was hand-carved out of granite and was to serve as the focal point of the garden. It was sent to the university in 1966.

Yasuji's fellow students on the soccer and tennis teams planted cherry trees on the new campus in honor of their friend. These trees served as the starting point for the Japanese garden. In addition to the trees and lantern, the garden included an authentic replica of a 16th century tea house. In 1975, the garden was dedicated in memory of Yasuji and renamed the Tojo Memorial Garden. At Yasuji's parent's request, the garden was dedicated as a "living memorial to eternal youth."


1.38 Linear Feet (1 document box, 1 folder, 1 roll )




Materials related to the Tojo Memorial Garden at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and its history. The garden was created in memory of Yasuji Tohjo, a Japanese student at RIT that died in a tragic car accident in 1964. The collection includes correspondence, administrative records, memorabilia, research materials, photographs, clippings, darwings, and other related items.


Materials are loosely divided into the following series: Correspondence, Business records, Dedication ceremony materials, photographs, Japanese garden research, Clippings, reproductions of the original landscape architectural drawings of the garden, a drawing of a proposed garden, and other materials. The correspondence is divided between two folders with materials being arranged chronologically within each folder. One folder contains correspondence donated by H. J. Barchsel while the other holds the rest of the correspondence in the collection. A letter from Yasuji's mother is located in the first folder of correspondence.

Physical Location

C.S. North, Shelf 225

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 07:112

Portions of the collection were a gift from Hans Joachim Barschel, a former professor of design at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

The letter dated July 20, 1964 from Mikika Tojo to Angel Pilato was a gift from Angel Pilato, donated in 2007.

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Lara Nicosia in March 2011.

Tojo Memorial Garden collection
RIT Archives
Lara Nicosia
30 March 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA