|The Story of Cherry trees in Washington D.C.
Cherry blossoms are enhancing the friendship between U.S. and Japan. ( Revised on Sept.12 2010 )
In Washington D.C., the capital of the United States of America, there are famous cherry trees along the Potomac river which were a gift from Japan. Thousands of residents and visitors used to visit here on the occasion of the Cherry Blossom Festival. It became an annual week-long event at the peak of the bloom, the end of March and into April. Many events were organized and sponsored by civic groups, and one of the highlight events used to be the selection of the Cherry Blossom Princess from every state.
Please refer to the home page of the National Park Service in Washington D.C..
I am happy to inform you that the stocks of these trees were produced in Itami in 1910. The history of the cherry trees is that the scions of these trees were taken from a famous collection on the bank of the Arakawa River in Adachi Ward,Tokyo. At the request of the Tokyo government, all of the stocks of wild cherry root for grafting were prepared at Higashino village where is located in the north of Itami.
I am proud of these historical facts, that the "roots" of the cherry trees are related to our city history and wish to keep these historical assets for the next generation to wish everlasting friendship between the United States of America and Japan.
I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all members of the group "GLIMPSE" who are investigating the history of our home town.
The following articles are summary from the Japanese pages.
This is the letter which Mrs. Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore wrote to the first lady in 1909.She kept requesting her proposal over 24 years.
The White House, Washington.
Special thanks to group "GLIMPSE" forthe use of these pictures.
This picutre is a nursing field of cherry trees in front of Mr.Kubo's house. He had undertaken preparing 15,000 cherry tree stocks for grafting the scions.(Dated Oct. 1910）.
This cabin was utilized for the disinfection of hydrocyanic vapor used
to avoid the insect infestations and other diseases. Today
a community hall is in their palce.
April 8, the day after Mrs. Taft's letter of April 7, Dr. Jokichi Takamine, the Japanese chemist famous as the discoverer of adrenaline and takadiastase, was in Washington with Mr. Midzuno, Japanese consul in New York and when told that Washington was to have Japanese cherry trees planted along the Speedway, asked whether First Lady Taft would accept a donation of an additional 2,000 trees to fill out the area. Mr. Midzuno thought it was a fine idea and suggested that the trees be given in the name of the city of Tokyo. Dr. Takamine and Mr. Midzuno met with First Lady Taft, who accepted the offer of the 2,000 trees.
August 30, the Japanese Embassy informed the Department of State that the
City of Tokyo intended to donate 2,000 cherry trees to the United States
to be planted along the Potomac River.
From the website of National Park Service The description of following articles was quoted from http://www.nps.gov/cherry/cherry-blossom-history.htm pages.
Dr. Takamine again donated the costs for the trees, whose number had now
increased to 3,020. The scions for these trees were taken in December 1910 from
the famous collection on the bank of the Arakawa River in Adachi Ward, a suburb
of Tokyo, and grafted on specially selected understock produced in Itami City,
1912: February 14, 3,020 cherry trees of 12 varieties were shipped from Yokohama on board the S.S. Awa Maru, bound for Seattle. Upon arrival, they were transferred to insulated freight cars for the shipment to Washington.
March 26: 3,020 cherry trees arrive in Washington, DC. The trees were comprised of the following varieties:
(The Gyoiko were all planted on the White House Grounds)
In 1915 a delegation from the U.S. presented 40 dogwood trees to Tokyo city in return for the 3000 cherry trees. The 80th anniversary of the goodwill plants was held in 1996.
This is a news paper article(Japan times March 8 1996) .
In celebration of the 80th anniversary of the arrival of goodwill plants from the U.S., Tokyo will host a two-day festival next month to promote the significance of the role the gifts had in enhancing amicable bilateral relations, organizers said March 8.
The American Dogwood 80th Anniversary
Festival will be sponsored by the festival committee, along with the Ozaki
Yukio Memorial Foundation, the Japan Cherry Blossom Association and the
Japan-America Society. It will take place at Kensei Kinen hall in Tokyo's
Nagata-cho district on April 26 and 27.
The original 20 young dogwood trees were brought to Itami by the members of the group "GLIMPSE" in appreciation for those cherry trees.
Special thanks to the Tokyohorticulture high school for the presentation of the original trees.
On February 20th planting ceremony of a dogwood tree was held with honoured of the presence of Mr.Frederic Maerkle, consul general of the United States of America at the "OGINO" elementary school where is in the"Higashino" village.
Dogwood tree planting ceremony
elementary school on February 20th 1999 9:00
School children and Mr.F.Maerkle.
At the lunch time, commemoration party held at Itami Daiich Hotel, and we had an opportunity to hear the keynote speech of "Cherry trees in Washington D.C." from Consul general.
All of the attendants were surprised and enlighted to hear his speech in fluent Japanese. We wish to become more deepen our good relationship between the U.S. and Japan and we would like to insist strongly to all American people in accordance with historical facts of our home town that these original tree stocks were shipped from Itami..
here, Refer to the following description (Quoted from History of
the Cherry trees - National Park Service in Washington D.C.)
However, we would like to insist on the historical facts to all peopleabout the cherry trees .
Please keep in mind
that theCherry trees at Washington D.C. did
not grafted on wild cherry rootstock, In
fact those treesgrafted on our raised
planting stocks from Itami .
This document was written by Professor Y.Kumagaya, horticulturist of the Imperial Horticultural Station of Okitsu as a report draft for "General report of nursing seeding for sending to the United States of America". This is a one of the obviious proof items that our city Itami was a birth place of root stock of the cherry trees.(Clik for enlarge)
I have already obtained a blief copy of book "National Arboretum Contribution No.4 U.S.Department of Agriculture, The Japanese Flowering Cherry Trees of Washington D.C.".
However I could not find the name of our city, there is a phrase of the description which was written in simply only as "in February 1911 they were grafted to specially selected understock......".
In cosequently, I had a mail from NPS(National Park Service) for my requesting at the web page of "the history of Cherry trees in Washington D.C." that the understock of cherry trees were prepared at our city.
behalf of all people of Itami, I would like to express my sincere gratitude
to all persons who kindly added the phrase at the history page in website.
Special thanks to Mr.Robert
DeFeo and Mr.Gopaul Noojibail in NACC/NPS.
I am very pleased to introduce you the article of offical website of National Park Service, U.S.Department of the Interior which is titlled "History of the Cherry Trees in Washington, D.C."(click to refer the website) , I quoted it as follows:
On the occasion of 90th anniversary of the friendship gift of cherry trees in 1912, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all concerned persons of National Park Service, National Capital Region, for my requesting of adding the information at your website.
And the inherited goodwill dogwood trees of the symbol of our relationship in Itami will beloved of all residents.
We, all residents of Itami
are proud of such a significant achievements of our predecessors and
Planting ceremony of home-coming cherry tree !!
Full bloom of Home-coming cherry tree
In the beautiful spring season of flowering cherry trees on April 2005, although we have rather belated full bloom period than ordinary year due to the unstable cold weather goes back from March in Japan.
However we are happy to inform you that the home coming cherry tree which was planted in Zuga-ike(pond) park bloomed since 2years ago.
All of the cherry trees in the park reflected on the surface of water at Zuga-ike park.
I am pleased to inform you that I have found the book, "The Cherry Blossom Festival-Sakura Celebration " (Author:Ms.Ann McClellan) at the website of National Cherry Blossom Festival 2005.
As I promptly subscribed to this book by Internet order from Japan and I am exciting to find the article of another viewing locations of Japnaese Flowering Cherry trees in the US.
Ｆｏｒ more details:refer to "TouristArt.com"http://www.touristart.com/CherryBlossom/Book.htm
Selected Viewing Locations in the U.S.For Japanese Flowering Cherry Trees
Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, Jamaica Plain,Massachusetts
Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn, New York
Brookside Gardens, Silver Spring, Maryland
The Cornell Plantations, Ithaca, New York
Filoli Center, Woodside, California
The Holden Arboretum, Kirtland, Ohio
Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical
Gardens, San Marino, California
Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
Missouri Botanical Garden, Saint Louis, Missouri
Morris Arboretum and Gardens of the University of
Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, Illinois
The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York
The Botanic Garden of Smith College, Northampton,
San Francisco Botanical Gardens, San Francisco, California
Tyler Arboretum, Media, Pennsylvania
U.S. National Arboretum, Washington, D.C.
Washington Park Arboretum, Seattle, Washington
Selected Cherry Blossom Festivals Around the U.S.
Brooklyn, New York Cupertino, California
Denver, Colorado Honolulu, Hawaii
Macon, Georgia Monterey Park, California
Pasadena, California Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
San Francisco, California Seattle, Washington
Other festivals celebrate fruit-bearing cherry trees, such as the National Cherry Festival, Traverse City, Michigan, held each July.
I am looking forward to your comments