Since the Japan House is part of the larger International House, it will serve as a premier reception and education facility. The Japan House is a symbol of the university’s commitment to international education and friendship among people from all over the world.
Bringing Japanese Culture to Northwest Florida
From Dream to Reality
The Japan House would not exist without a public-private partnership. The first impetus for this project came in the form of a major gift from our friend and partner, Dr. Kunihiko Ukifune, of the Jikei College Group. The State of Florida provided matching funding to his gift and others from several benefactors Major contributions and in-kind gifts were also received from the town of Hagiwara, Japan; Mr. Roger Howsmon on behalf of Miko Howsmon for her contributions to the university and local Japanese community; Mr. Tsuneji Taguchi; the Northwest Florida Japan-America Society and a grant awarded from the Commemorative Organization for the Japan World Exposition (’70).
The Japan House and gardens majestically welcome you at the University of West Florida’s main entrance. Bamboo flooring covers the walk area of the 1,200 square-feet Japan House. The authentic tearoom features a seven and 1/2 foot-tall donated Japanese red pine post, a removable in-floor fireplace and a mizuya, or floor sink for cleaning tea bowls. In the multipurpose room, two 19 1/2 foot-tall posts, made of trees from the Hida region, shipped over from Pensacola’s sister city, Hagiwara, sit on round, green granite basins and extend upward. The ceiling is made of woven shaved and planked sugi (cedar), and one room features a wall of delicate shoji screens that slide to allow a view of the Miko Howsmon Japanese Garden.