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Cultural Holidays
Cultural Holidays
  1. Girls’ Day and Boys’ Day in Hawai’i
  2. Cherry Blossom Cross Current
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Four debutantes walk under the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C.
Photo Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division.
Cherry Blossom Cross Current
To the Japanese, cherry blossom trees symbolize springtime, beauty, and Japanese culture. Japanese authors, artists, and poets often express the beauty of these trees in their work. In 1904, President Taft’s wife witnessed the beauty of the Japanese cherry blossoms during a visit to Japan and yearned to beautify America’s capital with the sakura. Upon hearing this, Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo, gave President Taft and his wife over 3,000 trees as a gift from Tokyo. The trees were transplanted in 1912 along the Potomac River in Washington DC and quickly became a symbol of friendship between Japan and the USA. These splendid cherry blossom trees still bloom annually and draw thousands of visitors to Washington DC every spring. Washington DC isn’t the only location in America that enjoys the beauty of the cherry blossoms. Many states, including New York and Georgia, also hold annual cherry blossom festivities. After WWII, the United States sent clippings of the original trees back to Tokyo in order to replace the trees that were lost during the war. Almost a century after the first trees arrived in the USA, the sakura continue to symbolize a bond between Japan and the USA.
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