The Jingu House at San Antonio’s Japanese Tea Garden

The Jingu House, a low stone brick building with a garden of purple and yellow flowers outside.

Kimi Eizo Jingu raised eight children here as the garden’s caretaker.

Photo via San Antonio Parks & Recreation

The Jingu House at San Antonio’s Japanese Tea Garden closed for renovations early this year while its new owners, the Lawson family, prepares to open a new restaurant + café in the historic building. A tea room has operated out of the house since 1926.

Kimi Eizo Jingu, a Japanese-American artist, lived in the garden with his family while running the Bamboo Room, the garden’s first tea salon. His family lived in the house following his death in 1938, but were evicted due to anti-Japanese sentiments during World War II. The garden’s name was changed to the Chinese Tea Garden.

In 1984, Mayor Henry Cisneros restored and rededicated the garden as the Japanese Tea Garden, with Kimi Eizo Jingu’s family in attendance. The garden has closed and reopened one more time since then: Mabel Enkoji Jingu, who grew up in the garden, attended the reopening ceremony in 2008.

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