I don’t normally post over the weekend, but I wanted to share a picture of the cherry blossoms we have in town.
I lived in Okinawa a few years growing up. One of my favorite memories was the annual cherry blossom festival. Cherry blossom in Japanese is SAKURA. It’s one of those things, since I was so young when I lived there, that’s just part of my vocabulary. When I was older I learned of the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C. These trees in D.C. were a gift from the Japanese and a sign of the friendship between the US and Japan.
I always equated “cherry blossom” with Japan. Imagine my surprise when I moved to Germany and saw these pink trees one spring day. Even then I was in denial that these were cherry blossoms. I think I even told my husband that these are really similar to the cherry blossoms we saw in Okinawa’s Sakura festivals. I eventually learned that cherry blossom trees exist both outside of Japan and outside of Washington D.C. Japan often gifts cherry blossom trees to other countries and cities.
I wonder now, what brought these cherry blossoms to this small section of my town in Germany. Was it also a gift? Dusseldorf Germany has the largest Japanese expat population in Germany and is a bit south of where I live. Did someone from Dusseldorf transport them over here? I like to think that my closest cherry blossom street was also a gift from a passing Japanese business person. Perhaps they knew that these trees would bring someone right back to their childhood and the Sakura festivals. Whatever or whoever brought them here, domo arrigato.