Cherry Blossom festival is about to begin. Once again, Washington DC has another tourist attraction, which not necessarily statues or monuments, Cherry Blossom Festival. This year, Cherry Blossom Festival is gain another milestone, the celebration of 100th arrival of Cherry plant to Washington DC.
According to Wikipedia, The National Cherry Blossom Festival is a spring celebration in Washington, D.C., commemorating the March 27, 1912, gift of Japanese cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to the city of Washington. Mayor Ozaki donated the trees in an effort to enhance the growing friendship between the United States and Japan and also celebrate the continued close relationship between the two nations
Look to your left, look to your right: Cherry blossom festival season is upon all of Washington. The city’s museums have added major shows to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the cherished cherry trees, Cherry Blossom Festival.
Some art that is rarely seen outside of Japan has emerged as the specialty of the shows.
The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery has already introduced us to the epic series on the lives of Buddha’s 500 disciples painted by the renowned Kano Kazunobu. “Masters of Mercy: Buddha’s Amazing Disciples” contains 56 paintings that have never before been exhibited in the United States. The show, which also includes 19 paintings on the same subjects from the Freer Gallery of Art, is on view through July 8.
The beauty and delicacy of Japanese art continues as a strong theme in another show at the Sackler and in one at the National Gallery of Art for Cherry Blossom Festival.
Beginning on Saturday, the Sackler is featuring “Hokusai: 36 Views of Mount Fuji” along with examples of other works from the artist’s famous print series. The Sackler will display 46 prints. This prime exhibition complements the paintings and screens of Hokusai already on view at the Freer.
Unprecedented is the National Gallery’s “Colorful Realm: Japanese Bird-and-Flower Paintings by Ito Jakuchu,” opening March 30. The month-long exhibit is the first time all 30 ancient scrolls by the Japanese master of nature painting will be shown in this country. The paintings, including “Peonies and Butterflies,” are on loan by the imperial household.
Combining a number of media, “Sakura: Cherry Blossoms as Living Symbols of Friendship” at the Library of Congress’s Thomas Jefferson Building opens Tuesday. The library has gone through its collections and selected 54 items that cover almost a century of drawings, photographs and books. Included are watercolors of the original trees drawn by K. Tsunoi from 1918 to 1921.
“Samurai: The Warrior Transformed” at the National Geographic Museum, which opened earlier this month, has a collection of swords and armor from the samurai. Some were gifts to Presidents Ulysses S. Grant, Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt, presented as diplomatic gestures.
The Kennedy Center is also joining the celebration of Cherry Blossom Festival. Tokyo’s Shadow Puppet Theatre Tsunobue is performing “Princess of Kaguya” for schoolchildren Thursday to Saturday. . On Friday, Bando Kotoji and six dancers will perform the traditional Kabuki dances.
And even though there is not a Cherry Blossom Festival.-specific exhibit inside, the Newseum has hung a gigantic pink banner on its exterior advertising the festival. An act of civic involvement.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival begins Tuesday and runs through April 27.
source : washingtonpost.com
The pattern we’ve been in all week, with above-normal high temperatures and isolated afternoon thunderstorms will continue not only today, but into your weekend for Cherry Blossom Festival
Highs today will return to the low to mid 80s, with a mix of sun and clouds. There is a slight chance of isolated showers and thunderstorms between 2 PM and 8 PM, so if you have outdoor plans this afternoon, be sure you’ve got a place to run inside.
No severe weather is expected, but with the warm temperatures and moderate instability, isolated strong thunderstorms are not out of the question for Cherry Blossom Festival.
Overnight lows will be in the upper 50s and low 60s, under mostly cloudy skies.
As I said, the current weather pattern does continue into the weekend. Aside from the possibility of pop-up showers and thunderstorms both Saturday and Sunday afternoons, we’ve got a beautiful weekend ahead across Middle Georgia.
Highs will be in the low to mid 80s each day, with a mix of sun and clouds.
Break out your pinkest finery and enjoy the first weekend of the Cherry Blossom Festival!
Source : www.41nbc.com
On March 27, 1912, Helen Taft, the wife of President William Howard Taft, and Viscountess Iwa Chinda, who was married to the Japanese ambassador to the United States, planted two cherry blossom trees in West Potomac Park, a green space on the banks of the Potomac River not far from the National Mall. It is a start of Cherry Blossom Festival.
The next month, more trees were planted along the Tidal Basin and into Rock Creek Park, the vast urban park that stretches through the capital. Eighteen cherry trees were soon planted on the White House grounds.
This year, Washington will mark the 100th anniversary of those trees, some of which still exist, though most of the originals have died and been replaced. Their blossoming is celebrated annually with the National Cherry Blossom Festival, which is timed for late March, when the blooms are at their peak. This year the festival runs from March 20 to April 27. The peak, when 70 percent of the trees are covered in blossoms, is forecast for March 20-23.
But while the capital celebrates the centennial of the cherry blossom trees (they do not bear fruit), in fact the push to bring the delicate blossoms to Washington began much earlier of Cherry Blossom Festival.
A journalist and a government bureaucrat deserve the credit for what has become one of the signature aspects of the U.S. capital.
The journalist, Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore, was the first to sing the praises of the blossom of the sakura trees that she’d found in Tokyo. In 1885, she suggested to the U.S. Army superintendent of the Office of Public Buildings and Grounds that the trees be brought to the U.S. capital and planted. She repeated that suggestion to successive superintendents for years, without success.
The bureaucrat was David Fairchild, who would become a world renown botanist for his work in the Department of Agriculture’s Section of Foreign Seed and Plant Introduction, which dispatched “plant explorers” around the world to find new species to add diversity to the American landscape for Cherry Blossom Festival.
An avid botanist from his youth in Michigan and Kansas, Fairchild joined the section in 1889. In a career that lasted until 1933, he introduced more than 75,000 plants to the United States, including various species of oranges, mangos, dates, cotton and bamboo.
On a trip in 1902, he landed in Japan. Like Scidmore, he was smitten by the cherry blossom trees of Tokyo, with their small pink blossoms.
As a member of the Office of Plant Inspection, he had more luck raising the blossoms’ profile. Thus so Cherry Blossom Festival.
In 1905, he ordered 75 flowering cherry trees for his home “In The Woods” in Chevy Chase, Md., just outside the District of Columbia boundary. He was testing if they would live in the different climate.
They flourished. The “drooping” weeping cherry trees were particularly hardy.
In 1907 he ordered 450 more trees and gave 150 to District of Columbia schoolboys to plant on Arbor Day in 1908. The remainder were planted around his Chevy Chase neighborhood.
According to a Department of Agriculture booklet from 1977, the Arbor Day event sparked interest in planting cherry trees in the area near the Tidal Basin and West Potomac Park, where some of Washington’s best known memorials, including those to Franklin D. Roosevelt and Martin Luther King Jr., would rise.
It was Scidmore, however, who wrote to first lady Helen Taft, who’d also visited Japan, and sparked interest in planting the trees.
In November 1909, a gift of 2,000 cherry trees arrived from Japan, and diplomatic disaster struck. The trees had scale, root galls and wood-boring insects. After a thorough examination, they were burned, along with their packing material of bamboo.
Tokyo’s mayor offered to replace them. He made sure, through rigorous inspections, that the new trees were pest free. Two years later, in late January 1912, 6,000 bamboo-wrapped cherry blossom trees sailed aboard a steamer to Seattle – 3,020 to Washington, the rest to New York. The humble start of Cherry Blossom Festival.
That led to the March 27 planting.
In 1915, the U.S. reciprocated, sending Japan a shipment of pink dogwood trees and seeds. They flourished in Japan.
Fairchild continued to introduce new plants. The Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden outside Miami is named for him. He was part of the National Geographic Society and in 1938 was presented with the Meyer Medal for “distinguished services in plant introduction.”
Scidmore, also a member of the National Geographic Society, traveled extensively all her life. After she died, her ashes were buried in Japan at the request of its government for her extensive coverage of Asia. She is remembered for her National Geographic coverage of the 1896 tidal wave that followed a massive earthquake. It was the first use of the word “tsunami.”
Source : kansascity.com
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