The Portland Japanese Garden will host a lecture entitled  “The Silence of the Sengu” by guest Peter Grilli on Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. at the garden, 611 S.W. Kingston Ave.

Every 20 years, the Imperial Grand Shrines at Ise are completely destroyed and rebuilt in a process known as the “Shikinen Sengu” that symbolizes renewal and rebirth — a central theme that runs throughout Japanese culture and relates to the cycle of life in the garden itself.

Shrouded in mythology, this practice extends back in time to the eighth century, a process that has resulted in the preservation of ancient Japanese architectural and ritual forms until the present day.

Grilli, president of the Japan Society of Boston from 2000 to 2013, is one of the world’s leading experts on Japan, with particular focus on cultural affairs, film, performing arts, education, media and inter-cultural communications.

With bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Harvard University, Grilli is the author of a number of books and a film about Japanese gardens titled “Dream Windows.”

In 2003, Grilli received the Third Class Order of the Sacred Treasure from the Japanese government in recognition of his activities in cultural exchanges between Japan and the United States.

The lecture will cost $10 for members and $15 for nonmembers. Reservations are required, and space is limited. Visit or call 503-542-0280 to make a reservation.

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