January 27, 2017 Library to Host Events in Celebration of National Cherry Blossom Festival

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Mari Nakahara (202) 707-2990
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The Library of Congress will host Japanese Culture Day on March 25 and a panel discussion on bonsai trees on April 11, in conjunction with the National Cherry Blossom Festival, the annual celebration in Washington, D.C., of its gift of cherry trees from Japan.

Japanese Culture Day will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 25 in the Young Readers Center on the ground floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.  The event is free and open to the public; tickets are not needed.

The panel discussion, “Bonsai—Stories, Inspiration, Art: Another Special Gift of Trees from Japan,” will take place from noon to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, April 11 in the West Dining Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.  Books by panel participants will be available for sale and signing before the presentation, from 11:30 a.m. to noon.  The event is free and open to the public; tickets are not needed.

Japanese Culture Day

This program, presented by the Library’s Asian Division and the Center for the Book, introduces children and adults to Japanese culture through hands-on origami artwork creation, trying on kimonos and other activities.  Cherry Blossom princesses from the last few years will instruct children in the art of tiara-making.  At 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., the Japan-America Society of Washington, D.C., will present “Japan-in-A-Suitcase,” a program abut Japanese life and culture.  Following each of these presentations, Tsuyoshi Takemori of D.C. Yamato-juku Karate Club will demonstrate karate.  Children will find additional surprises.  Children also will have the opportunity to explore the Young Readers Center’s current and classic books.

Panel Discussion on Bonsai: Stories, Inspiration, Art

The panel discussion, presented by the Library’s Asian Division and Prints and Photographs Division, is an opportunity to learn about the 53 bonsai trees Japan gave as a Bicentennial Gift to the United States in 1976.  The trees led to the founding of the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum at the U. S. National Arboretum, which was later augmented by bonsai from China, North America and elsewhere.  Three Washington, D.C.-area authors—Ann McClellan, Stephen Voss and Sandra Moore—will share their bonsai experiences in an illustrated panel presentation, which will include images from the Prints and Photographs Division’s collections at the Library of Congress.  The panel aims to expand the public’s knowledge, awareness and understanding of these enchanting miniature trees that are living works of art.

The authors will discuss how the national collection of bonsai inspired their books.  McClellan, in “Bonsai and Penjing, Ambassadors of Peace and Beauty,” provides a comprehensive overview of the national collection.  Voss is the author of “In Training,” which features insightful photography.  Moore, in the children’s book “The Peace Trees from Hiroshima,” tells the story of Yamaki Pine, a bonsai in training since 1625.

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PR 17-011
ISSN 0731-3527