WASHINGTON, D.C. –  On October 30th, The Japan-America Society of Washington DC and Representatives of the National Cherry Blossom Festival brought two new cherry blossom trees to the Palisades Branch of the District of Columbia Public Library.

The Japan-America Society and the National Cherry Blossom Festival seek to not only continue the legacy of the U.S.-Japan friendship but also to spread the gift of trees to local schools and libraries. For this specific event, they completed this task with participation from the 4th grade students of the Our Lady of Victory School in Washington, D.C.

The Our Lady of Victory School is a participating school in the Japan-America Society’s educational outreach program, Japan-in-a-Suitcase, having shared a recent visit at the library earlier this month. When asked questions by National Cherry Blossom Festival President, Diana Mayhew, the students were very excited to demonstrate their shared knowledge of Japan learned through Japan-in-a-Suitcase including facts about the culture, location and even exactly how many islands made up the country. The students then assisted in the planting of the trees, which they eagerly named ‘Bob’ and ‘Blossom’.

In addition to the trees, JASWDC’s Executive Director, Marc Hitzig graciously presented the library and the Our Lady of Victory School with two new books donated on behalf of the Society— one, detailing the history of the cherry blossom trees in Washington D.C. and how they arrived, and the other, detailing the Tohoku Earthquake in Japan which occurred on March 11th, 2011.

Prior to the Palisades Library, other planting locations have been at Mt. Pleasant Library (DC), Amidon Bowen Elementary School (DC), Capitol Heights Elementary School (MD), and the Arlington Career Center (VA).

About Japan-in-a-Suitcase

Japan-in-a-Suitcase is the Japan-America Society of Washington DC’s educational outreach program that brings Japan to classrooms in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area. The program visits over 40 schools, libraries, and organizations every year and reaches out to about 2000 students to introduce them to the language, culture, and customs of Japan and interest them in the world beyond our shores.

About the Japan-America Society

The Japan-America Society of Washington DC is a 501(c)(3) educational and cultural non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening the relationship between Japan and the U.S. at the grassroots public diplomacy level. Our programming aims to bring Japanese and American people closer together in the Nation’s Capital area.

Press Contacts

For more information, please contact Director of Community Outreach & Strategic Communications Melissa Tolentino at [email protected]