February 6, 2020 Library Announces Annual Cherry Blossom Festival Events

Springtime Traditions on Display with Events Scheduled for April

Press Contact: Bryonna Head (202) 707-3073
Public Contact: Mari Nakahara (202) 707-2990
Request ADA accommodations five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or ADA@loc.gov

A Breath of Fresh Spring Air Highlighting Japanese Culture and Cherry Blossoms

The Library of Congress announces two cultural events during the 2020 National Cherry Blossom Festival, an annual commemoration of Japan’s 1912 gift to the U.S. of 3,020 cherry trees. An artwork display and book launch for “Cherry Blossoms: Sakura Collections from the Library of Congress” will kick off the Library’s celebration on Thursday, April 9. The gift book visualizes the fascinating history of cherry blossoms through original works of art from the Library of Congress collections.

Japanese Culture Day will be held on Saturday, April 11. A trove of family activities, including karate demonstrations and arts and crafts indigenous to Japan, will delight children of all ages. Both events are recognized as official programs of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. The events are free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are needed. 

Fleeting Beauty, Enduring Traditions: Blossom Viewing over the Centuries
Thursday, April 9, 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
LJ 119
Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St., SE, Washington, D.C.

This evening event will feature a special display of cherry blossom-themed artwork from the Library’s collections, along with a discussion of the newly published “Cherry Blossoms: Sakura Collections from the Library of Congress."

Written by Mari Nakahara and Katherine Blood of the Library of Congress, the book explores the history of sakura, including cherry blossoms in Japanese culture, the history of Japan’s gift of cherry blossom trees and the annual celebration and legacy of cherry blossoms in Washington D.C. — all through the lens of Library’s special collections.

The discussion will highlight vintage photographs, unique watercolor drawings, exquisite woodblock prints and cleverly designed posters by both Japanese and American artists. The accompanying display will showcase original examples from these hallmark collections as well as new gifts to the Library, including National Cherry Blossom Festival posters from 1987 to the present and festival and National Conference of State Societies programs for Cherry Blossom princesses starting from 1949. The authors will also present new and ongoing cross-disciplinary research discoveries featuring signature collections in the Library's Prints & Photographs, Asian, Geography and Map, and Manuscript divisions.

Co-published with the Smithsonian Institution, the richly illustrated 86-page book will be available Tuesday, Feb. 11 in hardcover at the Library of Congress Shop, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C., https://library-of-congress-shop.myshopify.com/ and from book retailers worldwide.

Japanese Culture Day
Saturday, April 11, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Young Readers Center, LJ-G29
Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St., SE, Washington, D.C.

Sponsored by the Library of Congress, the Japan-America Society of Washington, D.C. and the National Conference of State Societies, this event will provide an exciting opportunity for children of all ages, their families and teachers to learn about Japanese culture through reading, writing and craft-making with Japanese cultural and linguistic professionals. Books related to Japan and Japanese culture will also be on display. One special highlight of the day is “Japan-In-A-Suitcase,” an inspiring program about Japanese life and culture, scheduled at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., followed by karate demonstration by Tsuyoshi Takemori from DC Yamato-juku Club.

Other activities include:

  • 2020 Cherry Blossom princesses instructing on the art of tiara-making
  • Hands-on lessons about origami artwork creation
  • Decorative Koinobori coloring
  • Kimono dress-up experience
  • Printmaking activity based on Japanese woodblock art from the Library’s collection

The National Cherry Blossom Festival is the nation’s greatest springtime celebration — every year, it attracts more than 1.5 million people. The 2020 Festival, which takes place from March 20 – April 12, includes four weeks of events featuring diverse and creative programming promoting traditional and contemporary arts and culture, natural beauty and community spirit. Visit nationalcherryblossomfestival.org or call 877.44.BLOOM for more information, or check out Facebook (CherryBlossomFestival), Twitter (@CherryBlossFest) and Instagram (@CherryBlossFest).

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States – and extensive materials from around the world – both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

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PR 20-001
2020-02-06
ISSN 0731-3527