Allison Ikeda

Reflection from Allison Ikeda (ELP ’13)

The end of March marks the beginning of the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC, our nation’s capitol. This spring celebration commemorates the numerous gifts of Japanese cherry trees from Japan to the United States. These trees represent an effort to enhance the growing friendship between the United States and Japan and celebrate the continued close relationship between the two nations.

These cherry blossom trees that line the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC attract thousands of tourists each year, as they are quite the sight to see in full blossom. Local Washingtonians and tourists visit this area to enjoy the festival and to take pictures of this magical site. Light pink fluffy flowers fill the branches, transforming the area into a sea of pink petals. When the wind blows these petals rain down like soft snow.

In addition to being a gorgeous site, the cherry blossom season can be a time to reflect on how these trees represent much more about the growing relations between the United States and Japan and what our future relations will be. For me, the cherry blossom season is a time to appreciate the strengthening relations between our two nations and how these relations have defined what it means to be a Japanese American. I am honored to be associated with strong and influential Japanese American organizations, like the U.S.-Japan Council, and I am proud of the strides they have made to strengthen our relations with Japan.

With a cold and miserable winter experienced nearly across the U.S., spring is to begin in March and with it, another cherry blossom season.

-Allison Ikeda