Educator Open House: Japanese Heritage Shōya House

Learn how to connect the 300-year-old Japanese Heritage Shōya House to the content in your K–12 classroom.

K–12 educators will step back in time to 18th-century Japan when exploring the Japanese Heritage Shōya House during this half-day Educator Open House. The event will feature Robert Hori, the associate director of cultural programs at The Huntington, speaking about living sustainability with nature and providing insights into the historical time period. Architect and photographer John Diefenbach will discuss the architectural features of the house. Educators will have time to ask questions, discover ways to incorporate the content into their classrooms, and connect with peers over lunch. Afterward, educators will have the opportunity to visit the Japanese Heritage Shōya House on their own.

Program Schedule

9:45 a.m. - Check-in opens at front entrance

10 a.m. - Introduction with Education staff

10:15 a.m. - Robert Hori, associate director of cultural programs at The Huntington

10:45 a.m. - Q&A with Robert Hori

11 a.m. - John Diefenbach, architect and photographer

11:30 a.m. - Q&A with John Diefenbach

11:45 a.m. - Curriculum Connections with Education staff

12:15 p.m. - Lunch

12:45 p.m. - Time on your own to explore the Japanese Heritage Shōya House

Lunch and admission to The Huntington included in program cost.

Speaker Bios

Robert Hori is the associate director of cultural programs at The Huntington. For the past seven years, he oversaw the relocation of an 18th-century residence and garden from Marugame, Japan, to a 2-acre site at The Huntington. He oversees programming for The Huntington’s Botanical Gardens with a special emphasis on the Japanese Garden and Japanese garden arts, including landscape design, tea ceremonies, flower arranging, stone viewing, and bonsai. He organizes lectures and cultural experiences for the public, and he has curated such exhibitions as “Nuestro Mundo” (showcasing artwork created by young artists in response to the historical exhibition “Visual Voyages: Images of Latin American Nature from Columbus to Darwin”), “Out of the Woods: Celebrating Trees in Public Gardens,” “flORIlegium: Folded Transformations from the Natural World by Robert J. Lang,” “Gifts from Japan: A Horticultural Tale Told through Botanical Art,” and “Ice and Stone.” Prior to The Huntington, he was the program director at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center in Los Angeles, where he produced national tours of The Grand Kabuki, Bunraku, the national puppet theater of Japan; Nomura Kyogen; and contemporary programs, including the butoh master Ohno Kazuo.

John Diefenbach graduated with a bachelor’s in architecture from Columbia University and is a licensed architect in California and Japan. His professional career includes 15 years managing large projects for Kaiser Hospitals, Walt Disney Imagineering, and the Rouse Company. Diefenbach also spent 20 years in Japan managing an American design and facility management office. After retiring from architecture, he started a second career as a photographer. Diefenbach has photographed construction projects and their context for Lockheed Martin in support of the U.S. State Department and military in unstable areas worldwide, Disney in China, and the Japanese Heritage Shōya House at The Huntington, among other projects.

For questions about this program, email Kristin Brisbois.