Cherries to Bhutan–Japan friendship

As a gesture, and to honor the unstinted bond and friendship the people of Bhutan and Japan share, the visiting delegates from Japan led by Mayor of Miharu Town, Fukushima prefecture who is in the country, will carry out a ceremonial plantation Taki-Sakura cherry trees.

Ten saplings of cherry blossom trees from the Miharu Taki-Sakura will be planted tomorrow in the proposed site at Langjophakha memorial garden and Royal botanical garden in Serbithang.

As per the press release from the ministry, such an initiative was deeply inspired by the visit of His Majesty and the Gyaltsuen to the Tsunami affected areas of Japan in November 2011.

“The starting point as a good-will gesture will be transplanting Taki-Sakura, Cherry sapling as a symbol of friendship,” said a ministry official. He added that, with the cherry plantation flagging off, the project also envisages exploring bilateral collaboration and exchange programs in supporting Agriculture, Horticulture, forestry and handicrafts.

It is said that the royal visit of His Majesty and Gyaltsuen, a couple of years ago to the Fukushima prefecture strongly impressed and emotionally moved the people of Japan. The big earthquake that year inflicted major damages to the communities of the Miharu town under Fukushima prefecture.

The people of Japan were struggling to fully recover from the damages of the big earthquake when the personal comfort during the royal visit enhanced their recovery.  Hence, such an initiative is to connect with the people of Bhutan as a return visit of the Royal visit and beyond.

Further the press release states that the project committee in Japan has already secured approval from the town’s authority to prepare special saplings from the seeds of Taki-Sakura.

Initially the proposal germinated when the discussion was held between a Japanese official Yasushi Yuge, Director, Japan-Bhutan Friendship Association and Agriculture and Forests Minister Lyonpo Pema Gyamtsho (Phd) with the government approval accorded for the same.

Based on the understanding the first visit consisting of two members Yasushi Yuge and Kenji Ono visited Bhutan from 1 Dec–10 Dec last year. As an outcome of the visit the present delegation consists of eight members to visit Bhutan from 20 Feb –01 March this year.

The team will be presenting 10 saplings from the Miharu Taki-Sakura which is  a  1,000 year old cherry blossom tree.

Cherry trees and their blossoms in Japan go by the name of Sakura and carry a great cultural meaning and significant for the people of Japan. The Japanese cherry blossom tree is not only native to this  island country rather it is indigenous to the other Asian countries as well including China, Korea and India.

The cherry blossom holds much symbolism within Japan and Japan alone has over 200 cultivators of the cherry blossom.

According to the Buddhist tradition, the breathtaking but brief beauty of the blossom symbolizes the transient nature of life.

Cherry blossoms have been prominent in Japanese art and culture since time immemorial and most Japanese schools and public buildings have cherry blossoms.


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