Cherry Trees

Ramble under the cherry trees, during the time when Eliza Scidmore traveled in Japan (Photo: Takashima, 1897)


Yukio Ozaki, here strolling the Tidal Basin with two female companions in 1931, was mayor of Tokyo when he arranged to donate several thousand cherry trees to Washington. (Source: USDA)


Hand-colored photo from Frank Brinkley’s 10-volume “Japan” (Source: MIT “Visualizing Cultures”)


Hand-colored photograph attributed to Eliza Scidmore by the National Geographic Society, c.1913 (Source: National Geographic)


2 Responses to Cherry Trees

  1. Eiko Fukuda Gustavson

    Dear Ms. Parcell,
    I am an old friend of Sara Taber who just forwarded me the link to your website. I am also one of the great-grandchildren of Torajiro Watase who was commissioned by Mayor Ozaki to select and ship the trees on both occasions – 1911 and 1912- to Washington DC and New York. I am wondering if you might have come across any references to my ancestor in the course of your research and would be willing to share them with me. He was a Tokyo alderman, Christian educator and businessman who imported horticultural and agricultural supplies from the US to Japan through his company (now defunct) Kono-en. Might Eliza have met him and his wife Kame – both of them fluent in English as a result of their western education?

    My family would very much appreciate it if some mention of his role and contribution could be included in the National Geographic/official literature accompanying the cherry tree festival. We would be most grateful for any assistance you could provide.

    Yours sincerely,

    Eiko Gustavson
    (Great-granddaughter of Torajiro whose second son Jiro is my mother’s father)

  2. Pingback: 'Hanami' in Tokyo at Mukojima | A Great Blooming

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