History

Normandale Community College's Japanese Garden was built by the Bloomington Affiliated Garden Clubs. Plans for the garden began in 1967 when the college campus was still being developed. The garden clubs raised the funds to build the garden while the college donated two acres of land, including a portion of Green Heron Pond. The design services of Takao Watanabe, a professional garden architect from Tokyo, Japan, were critical to the success of the project.

From the groundbreaking ceremony in 1972 to the dedication ceremony in 1976, many individuals and companies donated money, time, and materials to construct the garden.

Step by step, the swampy area behind Normandale Community College was transformed into a beautiful Japanese Garden. A chronological history tells the complete story.

MIS Veterans in World War II

(U.S. Army Military Intelligence Service Language School)

Two generations ago, during World War II, about 6,000 Americans of Japanese descent served our country at Camp Savage and Fort Snelling.

"Their subsequent work translating captured documents, maps, battle plans, diaries, letters and printed materials and interrogating Japanese prisoners made them 'Our human secret weapons,' according to President Harry Truman, who commended them following the war..."

"According to General Charles Willoughby, chief of intelligence for General Douglas MacArthur, the 6,000 Nisei shortened the Pacific war by two years."

A concise history of the Japanese American WWII veterans can be viewed at this website.

Historical information regarding Military Intelligence Service (MIS) veterans in Minnesota can be viewed on this web page within the same website.

Garden Architect Takao Watanabe
^ Architect Takao Watanabe

Japanese American Veterans Plaque