Did you know?: Cherry blossom history

by Shoji Kudaka
Stripes Okinawa

Cherry blossoms are a symbol of renewal and hope. Hanami gathering are said to have started at the Imperial Palace as early as 794 AD. In 1910, as a symbol of friendship and goodwill, Japan sent 2,000 trees to Washington D.C. but inspectors from the Dept. of Agriculture found the trees full of insects and disease, meaning the trees would have to be destroyed. In 1912, the Tokyo mayor at the time sent about 3,000 more trees, which were accepted. In 1965, 3,900 more trees were sent from Japan. To this day, the “Yoshino” hybrid trees still line the Tidal Basin, National Mall and Potomac waterfront.

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