Spring in Washington brings cherry blossoms. The Mayor of Tokyo, Yukio Ozaki gave the first trees to the city in March 1912. For Mayor Ozaki, the trees were a gift to celebrate a continued close relationship between the U.S. and Japan. When Japan became an enemy in WWII, the festival was cancelled (1942-1947). The cherry blossom (sakura in Japanese) even became a nationalist symbol in Japan. Years after the war, in 1965, Japan gave an additional gift of 3,800 trees to America. Today, the National Cherry Blossom Festival has become a major tourist destination—with more than a million visitors each year. This is a fascinating example of PD—a Japanese gift that continues to be an attraction for families in America. Really, what better than pretty pink blossoms to reach Japan’s audiences in the United States? The festival is largely coordinated by the Japanese embassy and celebrates Japanese culture. It is is an excellent example of forward-thinking PD. Well done Mayor Ozaki.
Click here to read yesterday's Post article on the festival.