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Japan – U.S. Cherry Tree
Centennial Celebration


Saturday, April 28, 2012

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Japan-America Society of Indiana
Honorary Consul General of Japan at Indianapolis
Consulate General of Japan at Chicago
The Embassy of Japan in the United States

Partners and Supporting Organizations:
White River State Park
The Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership
All Nippon Airways
Litchfield Landscape/Engledow Group
Earth Day Indiana


Description:  This year marks the 100th anniversary of the planting of the Japanese Cherry Trees on the Tidal Basin in Washington DC.  The trees were a gift from the Government of Japan to the United States.  Since then, the trees have matured and resulted in millions of tourists visiting Washington DC in the spring to see and celebrate the Cherry Blossom Festival.  The trees also stand as a symbol of the friendship between the two countries. The Government of Japan is commemorating the 100th anniversary by donating cherry tree saplings to selected sites across the United States creating a nationwide commemoration. 

sakuraIndianapolis Site:   The future site of the cherry tree planting in Indianapolis will be White River State Park, adjacent to downtown Indianapolis, mirroring the effect of the trees along the Potomac River in Washington D.C.   With the recent delivery of the young sapling trees, it has been determined that they will be placed in a local nursery for a three-year growth and nurturing program.  When the trees are substantial enough to be planted along the west bank of the White River, the park will rename the walkway as the “Japan – U.S. Cherry-Tree Promenade.”   The donation of the forty-five Yoshino cherry trees to Indianapolis, the state capital, is one of the largest gifts of trees for the centennial celebration, representing the represents he strong bonds of friendship between Indiana and Japan.  

The Indianapolis Centennial Celebration - Saturday, April 28:

The Japan-U.S. Cherry Tree Centennial Celebration in Indianapolis will be held Saturday, April 28th, 2012, with Japanese cultural events organized by the Japan-America Society of Indiana.  The event will take place as a partner event to the Earth Day Indiana festival.     

Consul General of Japan at Chicago Yoshifumi Okamura will speak at the Opening Ceremonies of Earth Day Indiana, followed by a dynamic performance by the Tsukasa Taiko Japanese drum group from Chicago.

A highlight of the celebration will be a public kite-flying event with the Japanese kite masters from the Sendai Kite Club visiting from Sendai, Japan. As Sendai City was one of the cities hardest hit by the 3.11 earthquake/tsunami, and because the members of the Sendai Kite Club were also involved as volunteers in the relief effort in Japan, a theme of the cherry-tree celebration will be “Lift Our Spirits.”   Japanese kites will be flown in the park and from the large, expansive bridge over the White River, with koinobori  (Japanese carp kites) displayed from the bridge.


Ambassador Fujisaki visited the White River State Park where the while his visit to Indianapolis on March 15th, 2012 .

Left to right:Dawn Tabler, Commissioner,, White River State Park, Robert Whitt, Executive Director, White River State Park, Hon, Yoshifumi Okamura, Consul General of Japan at Chicago, His Excellency Ichiro Fujisaki, Robert Reynolds, Honorary Consul General of Japan at Indianapolis.

Project Contacts:

Theresa Kulczak
Executive Director
Japan-America Society of Indiana
39 W. Jackson Place, Suite 50
Indianapolis, Indiana  46225 
(317) 635-0123

Robert H. Reynolds
Honorary Consul General of Japan at Indianapolis
Of Counsel, Barnes & Thornburg
11 S. Meridian Street
Indianapolis, Indiana  46204
(317) 231-7227