BGSU Cherry Blossom Festival marks centennial of Japanese-U.S. ties

BOWLING GREEN, O.—Bowling Green State University will celebrate the Ohanami, or Cherry Blossom Festival, again this year, from 6-8:30 p.m. Saturday (April 21) in 101 Olscamp Hall. Guests can try Japanese calligraphy, origami and traditional games, and enjoy performances of taiko drums, koto music and martial arts, along with Japanese refreshments. The event is free and open to the public.

On hand will be the Consulate General of Japan from Detroit, along with BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey.

It’s been 100 years since first lady Helen Taft accepted a gift of cherry blossom trees from Japan as a token of friendship in thanks for President Taft’s support during the Russo-Japanese War of 1905. Three of BGSU’s 50 trees are direct descendants of the famous Washington, D.C., trees. The cuttings were donated to the University by the National Parks Service and U.S. National Arboretum and were nurtured at the Schedel Arboretum and Gardens in Elmore, Ohio. BGSU is the only institution in the country to be given the original cuttings.

The campus’s other 50 Yoshino cherry blossom trees were donated by BGSU alumni residing in Japan.

The festival is sponsored by the BGSU Japanese Club with support from the Asian Studies Program, the Alumni Association and the Center for Multicultural and Academic Initiatives. For more information, contact Akiko Jones at 419-372-7136 or


(Posted April 17, 2012 )

Updated: 12/02/2017 12:58AM