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Prange Promo Spring

Posted: Mar 08, 2019

Out-of-date Warning This news post is more than three months old and may contain out-of-date information.

A spring celebration of U.S.-Japan Friendship

As spring is coming up, the National Park Services has started “Bloom Watch” for more than 3,000 cherry trees around the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. Do you know that these trees were a gift from Japan? The Japanese government arranged a donation of the nation’s symbolic flower in 1912 to enhance its growing friendship with the United States. The National Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates the continued close relationship between the United States and Japan since then.  

Like many Washingtonians, a number of U.S. military and civilian personnel enjoyed cherry blossoms during their service to the Occupation Forces in Japan (1945-1952) as shown with these photographs. They were taken by Mary Koehler, a stenographer of the Natural Resource Section of the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP). She was impressed with the beauty of the peak bloom of cherry trees, stating that “In April, the cherry blossoms, all too briefly, make the countryside an enchanted fairly land.”

The exhibit, “Crossing the Divide: An American Dream Made in Occupied Japan, 1945-1952” illuminates U.S. military and civilian personnel’s lived experiences during their service in Occupied Japan. Please visit the Maryland Room Gallery in the Hornbake Library North. The exhibit is open till July 2019.