Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens earns its namesake from Sukeji "George" Morikami, a Japanese immigrant who farmed in Palm Beach County, Florida, for over 65 years. Sukeji immigrated from Miyazu (Kyoto Prefecture) Japan at the age of 19 to join the Yamato Colony, a Japanese farming community located in Boca Raton. Several hardships, including blight, prevented the Yamato Colony from prosperity and the colony eventually disbanded during World War II.

Though many from the small farming colony returned to Japan, Sukeji remained in Florida and eventually found his prosperity. Following World War II, Sukeji purchased land and farmed it for several more decades. A few years prior to his death, Sukeji donated his 200 acres of farmland to Palm Beach County and upon it, Morikami Museum was built to honor the late Morikami and the Yamato Colony.

To honor and commemorate the connection between South Florida and Japan, Delray Beach was named a sister city to Miyazu, Japan in 1977.