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UW to celebrate Sakura-kai Cherry Blossom Festival Wednesday

Credit: KING
Cherry blossoms at UW

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It’s springtime in Seattle - and that means the arrival of cherry blossoms at the University of Washington. As these budding trees take a hold of campus, bloom by bloom, their meaning also holds deep significance.

In Japanese culture, cherry blossoms, also known as Sakura, represent the cycle of life, death, and rebirth, according to the UW Daily. The cherry trees on campus are a symbol of the history between the UW and Japan.

In 1912, then-Tokyo Mayor Yukio Ozaki donated cherry trees to various cities in the U.S. to mark the friendship between the United States and Japan. Thirty-four trees were planted in Seattle's Washington Park Arboretum; later, 31 of the trees were relocated to the UW and are now planted in the Quad.

To celebrate the culture behind the cherry blossoms, the UW's Asian Languages & Literature will host Sakura-Kai Wednesday, March 29, at 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m. in the Quad at the UW campus.

Under the blooming cherry trees, attendees will be able to watch a variety of demonstrations, such as Japanese calligraphy by local calligrapher Shizu Usami, a tea ceremony by members of the Urasenke School, and listen to an explanation of Japanese Waka poetry by Professor Paul S. Atkins.

All of the demonstrators have studied and immersed themselves in Japanese culture, and will share their in-depth knowledge and appreciation for the culture.

A preview of the event flyer can be found on the University of Washington’s Asian Languages & Literature website. In the event of rain, the event will instead meet in the 2M Seminar Room of the East Asia Library on the third floor of Gowen Hall.