Did you know that there are 3,000 Japanese さくら (Sakura (Cherry Blossom)) trees in Washington DC, America?
Japanese Sakura in Washington, DC (photo from Yahoo! News)
Did you know that those trees were a gift of friendship to America from Japan? And that the first two trees were planted near the White House by the then American “First Lady” and wife of the Japanese Ambassador to America?
I knew all of that already and I also knew that there are Japanese-style 花見 (“Cherry Blossom Viewing” parties) in Washington DC every spring when the flowers are in bloom.
But I didn’t know that Japan gave the trees to America in March 1912. One hundred years ago this month.
And I also didn’t know that the first two trees (the ones planted by the wives of the then U.S. President and Japanese Ambassador) are still standing in the same spot the were planted in Washington DC in 1912.
So, this year’s 花見 (Cherry Blossom Viewing) in Washington DC is special because it’s the one-hundredth anniversary of the gift of the trees from Japan.
The さくら (Cherry Blossoms) are already in bloom in Washington DC because of unusually warm weather in America now.
Another event to help mark the occasion took place in New York City earlier this month.
2012 March 1-6 was called “Japan Week” in NYC.
I don’t know much about this event but from looking at their website, it appears that visitors could experience a lot of Japanese culture that week in New York.
A woman playing the "Koto" (Japanese harp-like instrument) at "Japan Week" in NYC.
I just got a new cell-phone.
I had my previous one for about seven years…so I thought it was time to replace it.
So I got myself my first “Smart phone”. It’s pretty nice…but I still learning how to use it.
I like the that I can add to my phone ! For example , I’m writing this post on my phone right now on the “WordPress” application on my phone while I’m riding the train.
Other applications that I like are the McDonald’s Japan coupons and ones for Japanese language study.
What are some Smart phone applications that you like?
In Japan , even many vending machines have “smart ” touch screens.
This is a screenshot of my cell-phone’s “WordPress” application:
I have a Sony “Android” phone. I put a photo of it in this comment.
What type of smart-phone do you use / like? Take this survey (and elaborate in the comment section):
Of course, ceremonies to commemorate the tragedy and remember the victims will be held around Japan today.
I found a video on YouTube made in November 2011, eight months after the earthquake and tsunami.
It shows scenes during the tragedy that give you an idea of how frightening it must have been.
And the video also mentions Taylor Anderson, who was an American English teacher at an elementary school in the Miyagi area. She helped save a number of school children from the tsunami but she herself, unfortunately, died in the disaster.
Some of her former students can be seen talking about her.
The video also mentions the aid workers who came to Japan from around the world and it shows how grateful the people in the Tohoku area are to them.
It’s a very emotional and touching video. I recommend watching it.
Watch it and tell me your reaction / feeling in the comment section of this post.
A little over three years ago Pepsi Japan, in collaboration with Be@rbrick, gave away Star Wars toys with purchase of Pepsi NEX.
I wrote a post about that campaign…click here to read it.
That campaign was to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the release of the first Star Wars movie in Japan.
Well, in about two weeks the new Star Wars 3-D movie will be in theaters in Japan.
In honor of that, Pepsi Japan is once again giving away Star Wars character toys with the purchase of Pepsi NEX.
This time the toys are made by Panson Works.