Washington’s Cherry Blossoms, the National Cherry Blossom Festival, and Cherry Blossoms in Japanese Culture
Library of Congress Science & Technology Resource Page—Cherry Blossoms:
Sakura: Cherry Blossoms
“Sakura: Cherry Blossom as Living Symbols of Friendship” exhibition staff leads a gallery tour while discussing the special collections that illuminate the history of Washington's landmark cherry trees, the significance of cherry blossoms in Japan, and their continuing resonance in American culture and for Washingtonians in particular. Dating from the 18th to 21st centuries, the collection highlights include exquisite watercolor drawings of original blossom varieties, Japanese color woodblock prints and books, manuscripts, and an array of photographs, cartoons, posters, and other printed ephemera.
Anne McClelland. The Cherry Blossom Festival: Sakura Celebration. New Hampshire: Bunker Hill Publishing, Inc., 2005. Also see author’s Library of Congress Center for the Book talk webcast: //www.loc.gov/today/cyberlc/feature_wdesc.php?rec=3689
Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney. Blooming Cherry Blossoms, Falling Cherry Blossoms: Symbolism of the Flower in Japanese Culture and History, webcast by 2009 Library of Congress Kluge Center Distinguished Chair for Modern Culture. //www.loc.gov/today/cyberlc/feature_wdesc.php?rec=4558
Japanese Prints and Japonisme
Katherine L. Blood, James Douglas Farquhar, Sandy Kita and Lawrence E. Marceau. The Floating World of Ukiyo-e: Shadows, Dreams, and Substance. New York: Harry N. Abrams, in Association with the Library of Congress, 2001. //www.loc.gov/exhibits/ukiyo-e
LC Asian Collections and Resources
- Asian Division Reading Room: //www.loc.gov/rr/asian
- Library of Congress Asian Division: An Illustrated Guide: //www.loc.gov/rr/asian/guide
LC Visual Collections including Stereographs
- Prints & Photographs Division Home Page: //www.loc.gov/rr/print
- Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division: An Illustrated Guide: //www.loc.gov/rr/print/guide
- Prints & Photographs Division Stereograph Collection Online (includes select bibliography): //www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/stereo
Read More About It
- Hillier, Jack Ronald. The Japanese Picture Book. New York: Abrams, 1991
- Kobayashi, Tadashi. Translated by Mark A. Harbison. Ukiyo-e: An Introduction to Japanese Woodblock Prints. Tokyo, New York, London: Kodansha International, 1997
- Lane, Richard. Images from the Floating World: The Japanese Print. New York: G.P Putnam's Sons, 1978
- Matsunosuke, Nishiyama. Translated by Gerald Groemer. Edo Culture: Daily Life and Diversions in Urban Japan, 1600–1868. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1997
- Meech, Julia and Gabriel P. Weisberg. Japonisme Comes to America: The Japanese Impact on the Graphic Arts, 1872–1925. New York: Abrams, 1990
- Ohnuki-Tierney’s published works include the book Kamikaze, Cherry Blossoms, and Nationalisms: The Militarization of Aesthetics in Japanese History. The University of Chicago Press, 2002.
- Shirane, Haruo. Japan and the Culture of the Four Seasons. New York: Columbia University Press, 2012.
Read More About It for Younger Readers
- Prepared by the Young Readers Center
- Blumberg, Rhoda. Commodore Perry in the Land of the Shogun. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books, 1985.
- Esbaum, Jill. Cherry Blossoms Say Spring. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 2012.
- Kadohata, Cynthia. Kira-kira. Waterville, Me.: Thorndike Press, 2005.
- Say, Allen. Grandfather’s Journey. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1993.
- Say, Allen. Once Under the Cherry Blossom Tree: An Old Japanese Tale. Boston: Houghton Mifflin,1974.
- Snyder, Dianne. The Boy of the Three-Year Nap. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1988.
- Welson, Yaeko Sugama. Cherry Blossoms in Twilight: Memories of a Japanese Girl. St. Louis, Mo.: Moonbridge Publications, 2007.
- Zimmerman, Andrea. Eliza’s Cherry Trees: Japan’s Gift to America. New York: Pelican, 2011.
Resources outside the Library of Congress
U.S. National Park Service Cherry Blossom Festival Site—History of the Cherry Trees:
Roland M. Jefferson and Alan E. Fusonie. The Japanese Flowering Cherry Trees of Washington, D.C.: A Living Symbol of Friendship. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1977.
National Agricultural Library Special Collection: United States National Arboretum Collection Cherry Tree Files
National Agricultural Library Special Collection: Ronald Maurice Jefferson Collection Container List
The Library of Congress presented “Cherry Blossoms as Living Symbols of Friendship” a Teacher Workshop to explore twentieth-century Japanese and United States relations in the classroom. Participants learned strategies and materials to use in their schools. The Workshop centered on the Library’s exhibition Sakura: Cherry Blossoms as Living Symbols of Friendship; where teachers learned how to make this era in history come alive for students using watercolor drawings of blossom varieties, Japanese books, and an array of photographs, posters, editorial cartoons, postcards and other printed ephemera. Among the cartoons were Clifford Berryman’s 1934 “Cherry Blossom Time in Washington,” which depicts Franklin Delano Roosevelt as the New Deal king, and a 1939 Herblock drawing about an approaching world war. The exhibition offers an opportunity to deepen understanding of Japanese cultural, intellectual, and social life.
- Thursday, March 29, 2012; 9:30 am—3 pm
- Saturday, March 31, 2012; 9:30 am—3 pm
- Saturday, April 14, 2012; 9:30 am—3 pm