'Cherry Blossoms: Sakura Collections from the Library of Congress'
Much like prognosticating Punxsutawney Phil, when horticulturists here predict peak blossom time, Washingtonians know it's spring. They're Japan's honorary ambassadors, those 3,020 cherry trees planted in 1912, the gift that keeps on giving.
With its delightful illustrations, everything from vintage posters to woodblock prints and botanical watercolors, Cherry Blossoms: Sakura Collections from the Library of Congress, celebrates the thousand year-old Japanese springtime tradition.
Published this February, just in time for 2020 festivities.
Take a look at the Tidal Basin pre-planting in 1911 and you'll see how much these trees mean to our capital city. But what do they mean for Japanese culture?
In early folklore, part of the spiritual landscape, sakura represented fertility and growth. In art and ceremony, they remain beloved by the Japanese people.
The legacy continues as each each year, thousands of visitors and residents celebrate the season with these precious petals.