Cherry Blossom Centennial - Eva Varga

April 1, 2012
Locals and tourists alike flock to the tidal basin in the nation’s capitol each spring enthralled by the beautiful blossoms that celebrate our friendship with Japan. A century ago, the city of Tokyo gave 3,020 cherry trees to the city of Washington, DC. First Lady Helen Herron Taft and Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese ambassador, planted the first two trees.
the light filling the air
is so mild this spring day
only the cherry blossoms
keep falling in haste —
why is that so?

~ Ki no Tomonori

In 1927, local citizens held the first cherry blossom festival. Today, the celebration draws more than a million visitors. Because these trees are in bloom so briefly, the Japanese often see them as symbols of transience – making every blossom an invitation to celebrate life.

On March 24th of this year, the U. S. Postal Service commemorated the centennial of the gift of more than 3,000 cherry blossom trees from the city of Tokyo to the city of Washington, D.C with the Cherry Blossom Centennial stamp design. The two stamps, which are near mirror images, form the left and right halves of a panoramic view of blooming cherry trees surrounding the tidal basin. The stamp on the left depicts blossoming trees arching over two girls dressed in bright kimonos, and a family on a stroll with the Washington Monument in the background. On the second stamp, the Jefferson Memorial forms the backdrop for tourists taking in the sights under a canopy of pink blooms. Artist Paul Rogers worked with art director Phil Jordan to create the two stamp designs.

Sadly, we were not able to attend the unveiling ceremony.  We all loved the artistry of this setenet pair, however, and thus we created cherry blossoms of our own.

%d bloggers like this: