Cherry Blossom

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During the first two weeks of March the people in Washington DC go to the Tidal Basin (an inlet next to the Potomac River) to admire thousands of trees blossom at the same time during the beginning of the Spring (really cheerful, see some pics above).

It is called the National Cherry Blossom Festival, that “commemorates the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to the city of Washington, honoring the lasting friendship between the United States and Japan and celebrating the continued close relationship between our two cultures”.

This is the curious chronology of the Cherry Blossom (that you don’t find in the official website):

  • Japan gives 3,000 sakura trees as a gift to the United States in 1912 to celebrate the nations’ growing friendship.
  • Japan participates in World War I from 1914 to 1917 as one of the major Entente Powers (Great Britain, France and Russia, plus various agreements with the United States and Spain).
  • Japan attacks Pearl Harbor in a surprise military strike on the morning of Sunday, December 7, 1941, resulting in the United States becoming militarily involved in World War II.
  • United States drops atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in early August 1945 ending World War II.
  • Japan renews the gift with another 3,800 trees in 1965.

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