100 year old Japanese trees in America

25 Mar

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.

Advertisements

14 Responses to “100 year old Japanese trees in America”

  1. Hanggar PS April 25, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

    like japan so much

    Like

    • tokyo5 April 27, 2012 at 12:33 am #

      Have you visited Japan before?

      Like

      • Hanggar PS April 27, 2012 at 6:53 am #

        not yet 😦

        Like

      • tokyo5 April 27, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

        Well, you should visit, if you get a chance.

        Like

  2. Yuki March 27, 2012 at 9:04 am #

    I am not too clear on the details. But I guess somewhere in Tohoku. The plan is designed to cheer up the disaster-hit area.

    Like

    • tokyo5 March 27, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

      >somewhere in Tohoku.

      That would be a nice gesture…especially since so many trees were killed in the tsunami.

      Like

  3. Yuki March 26, 2012 at 8:41 am #

    I heard that the U.S is planning to give 3000 dogwood seedlings (ハナミズキ) to Japan in return for the cherry trees of 100 years ago. How nice!

    Like

    • tokyo5 March 26, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

      Well, I didn’t know that either. I wonder where they’ll be planted.

      Like

  4. RH March 25, 2012 at 9:53 am #

    Actually, wikipedia goes on to say the Japanese…” responded to the news by sending another larger donation of 3020 trees (the original # of trees was 2000) from a lineage taken from a famous group of trees that had been planted along the Arkawa River in Toyko.”

    I visited DC one year during the Cherry Blossom Festival and it was so beautiful. The fragrence and beauty from the trees was awesome. I wish we could go back another year, there were lots of people there from all over the world and lots of fun activities.

    Like

    • tokyo5 March 25, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

      >the Japanese…” responded to the news by sending another larger donation of 3020 trees

      I didn’t know that, either!

      >from a famous group of trees that had been planted along the Arkawa River in Toyko

      I’ve been 花見 (Cherry Blossom Viewing) there many times…those trees are beautiful!

      .>I visited DC one year during the Cherry Blossom Festival and it was so beautiful….I wish we could go back another year

      I’d like to see the Cherry Blossom festival in Washington DC,too! You should come to Japan during the Sakura season and see them here!

      Like

      • Kay's Musings March 25, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

        Just goes to show you that I didn’t read the whole Wikipedia thing. I saw a show about it on TV and they mentioned the bug infestation and how they kept it all secret, but I didn’t know about the additional gift of trees.

        Like

      • tokyo5 March 25, 2012 at 11:44 pm #

        >the additional gift of trees.

        It sounds very “Japanese”. 🙂

        Like

  5. Kay's Musings March 25, 2012 at 2:36 am #

    Did you know that the original trees were bug infested and had to be destroyed. The U.S. did not want to offend Japan so they had to burn them in secret. I believe cultivars were planted later.
    Here’s a wikipedia article about it:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Cherry_Blossom_Festival

    Like

    • tokyo5 March 25, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

      >Did you know that the original trees were bug infested and had to be destroyed.

      No, I didn’t know that.

      What types of bugs, I wonder. Were the bugs from Japan or did they get in the trees in America?

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: