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Welcome to Education at the Hammond!

Calligraphy written by Hirose Tanso.jpeg

Description of the Calligraphy: Calligraphy written by Hirose Tansō (1782-1856) Japanese educator and writer.  In 1817, he established a school called Kangien (咸宜園) in his home, Hita City of present-day Oita prefecture.


The school motto, written in the calligraphy above, states: 鋭きも鈍きも 共に捨て難し 錐と槌とに使い分けなば - surudokimo nibukimo tomoni sutegatashi kiri to tsuchi to ni tsukahiwakenaba - and is translated as: don’t abandon either the sharp or dull; the drill and the hammer cannot be used one apart from the other.


Hirose Tansō trained men of talent.  Over 3,000 students including Confucian scholars, Buddhist clergy (among them 2 nuns), doctors of traditional Chinese medicine and those studying Western European medicine, politicians, administrators, traders, farmers, and samurai traveled from all parts of Japan to study with Hirose Tansō over his 50-year career.


In 2020, through the generosity of the Japan Foundation, the Hammond was able to begin creating a series of lesson plans on various aspects of Japanese culture for teachers without a background in the field to download and use. These are fully articulated and offer an introduction, step-by-step instruction in the classroom, and additional references. Enjoy our inaugural materials, one on tea bowls and one on the Moon Viewing Festival. We look forward to adding additional programs.

In 2021, we began offering Japanese and Asian culture short courses at no cost to all who are interested in the topics. Our first course focused on Comparative Asian Religions was presented February to April.

In 2023, we will launch our in-service teacher training classes. The Hammond Museum is chartered by the New York State Department of Education. We plan to partner with a college or university to be able to offer credit to those taking the courses.

We will continue to expand our programs for students to visit the Hammond and learn about Garden Arts and Environment in our Japanese Stroll Garden and  the art we have on view in the galleries.


Here is a list of our educational pages, each with a link to the page and a short description.

Building a Japanese Garden: Landscape and Universe

Article by Lara Netting. Lara describes the development of what is known today as the Hammond Museum and Japanese Stroll Garden in North Salem, New York. In 1957, Natalie Hammond bought a property in North Salem, NY, where she planned to build her new Japanese garden. These were popular in the 1950s, as the United States rebuilt its friendship with Japan after World War II. Natalie Hammond had traveled to Japan and believed a garden like those she’d visited would be a peaceful escape from the busy city and suburbs. 

Japanese Tea Ceremony

Yasuko Hara and Zensho Martin Hara base this introduction to the Japanese Tea Ceremony on the program hosted at the Hammond Museum and Japanese Stroll Garden in North Salem, New York held on September 26, 2020. These materials include an introduction to the Japanese tea ceremony, an introduction to the Hammond Museum's 54th Annual Moon Viewing Program, one part of which is the Tea Ceremony, Background of Zen Buddhism, Observation of a Tea Ceremony, The Way of Tea, and the Tea Ceremony ritual outlined.

Lesson Plan: Ceramic Tea Bowl

Using the Tea Bowl Lesson Plan, students will learn about the Tea Ceremony and the utensils used particularly tea bowls. Each student will craft one’s own ceramic tea bowl in the ceramics studio.  In making the bowl, students will experience the aesthetics of imperfection, transience, and incompleteness (wabi-sabi) of Zen Buddhism.  After the bowls are complete, students will come to the Ryu Sui Kai Japanese Tea Room at the Hammond Museum and Japanese Stroll Garden to participate in a Tea Ceremony using one’s own bowl.  Students will also stroll through the Garden.  These experiences will be valuable experiences in Japanese aesthetics. 

The Moon Viewing Tradition

Visit the 54th Annual Moon Viewing Concert page

The origins of the Moon Viewing Tradition were related to various ancient ancestral commemorations practiced throughout the Far East, including India and China. In Japan, it became known as the traditional Buddhist observance called OBON. This Japanese Buddhist holiday was observed once a year in the light of the full autumn moon around August and September honoring the memory of all ancestors with prayers, offerings, music, and celebration.

Lesson Plan: Moon Viewing (Tanabata Festivals)

Using the Moon Viewing Lesson Plan, students will view related visual materials and discuss the fundamentals of the Moon Viewing Festival and Tanabata Festivals, both of which are related to the sky. Students will choose between basing an illustration of their own upon images seen of the Moon Viewing or the Tanabata Festivals.  This lesson plan was created with generous funding by the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership for the Hammond Museum and Japanese Stroll Garden by Dr. Eve Eisenstadt, District Arts Coordinator at Scarsdale Schools, and Adjunct of Art History at Parsons School of Design, New York, November 2020.

This educational section has been made possible through

the generosity of the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership

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