To celebrate the huge success of the Muhibbah Dinner held on March 2, members of the Muhibbah club, from the suggestion of Japanese student Azusa Terajima, attended the annual Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C.
Japan’s national flower is the cherry blossom and Terajima wanted to see it again. All members agreed with her opinion and decided to go.
Cherry blossom festival brings sense of nostalgia
“It reminds me of graduation ceremonies in my school days. In Japan, we have a graduation ceremony in March and an entrance ceremony in April at schools. It brings back a lot of memories,” said Terajima.
A sense of nostalgia grows with the cherry blossom for the Japanese people. The beauty of falling petals is more attractive than the actual blossoms to Japanese people. They also hold the cherry blossom in high regard as they believe the cherry blossom symbolizes the ephemeral nature of life since they bloom spectacularly for only a short time. The Japanese view of life and death is similar to that of the short life of the cherry blossoms and resonates with Japan’s spiritual background. The interesting thing is that there is a cherry blossom latte in Japan Starbucks every spring.
Cherry trees were a gift from the people of Japan
However, the cherry blossom notes a somewhat sad history for Koreans. America and Japan made a secret pact known as Taft-Katsura Agreement. On July 29, 1905 Atsura Taro, the prime minister of Japan and William Howard Taft, who was the special general for the 26th American president, Theodore Roosevelt. The agreement confirmed that America would govern the Philippines as a colony and Japan could not attack the Philippines. At the time, Japan governed Korea and America recognized it and didn’t intervene between Japan and Korea. Because of this agreement, Japan planted the cherry blossoms in Washington D.C as a symbol of peace between the two countries.
Muhibbah members departed Wilson at 7:00 a.m. and enjoyed the cherry blossoms until 3:30 p.m. There was a parade performance for the cherry blossoms and a Japanese street festival where Japanese dancers and singers performed.