Cherry blossom wars: Japan, South Korea or China?

 

 

 

Visitors walk under cherry blossom trees in a park in Tokyo, on March 20, 2015.

Photo by Ma Ping

 

Photo taken on March 30, 2015 shows blooming cherry trees in Tokyo.   Photo by Ma Ping

 

 

 

 

 

BEIJING  |  2015-03-30 19:21:45

 

Cherry blossom wars

Japan, South Korea or China?

 

By Feng Zhilei

 

 

Did Japan’s hallowed cherry trees actually originate from South Korea?

“The beloved someiyoshino variety of cherry trees isn’t really from Japan, but actually from South Korea’s Jeju Island,” reported a South Korean newspaper.

“Japanese cherry trees are actually Jeju’s royal cherry trees. Japanese just took them and cultivated them,” said the Daily Sports.

Dr. Takeshi Kinoshita, a Teikyo University professor who specializes in botany, questioned why South Korea made similar claims almost every year when the blossom came into bloom, the Japan Times reported.

The professor writes on his website that no scholars recognized someiyoshino trees originating on Jeju and this is apparently a distorted interpretation. He explains that someiyoshino trees are a species created by crossbreeding oshimazakura and edohigan cherry trees and oshimazakura aren’t native to Jeju.

Meanwhile, a group in China has weighed into the debate, saying it was first found on Chinese soil.

He Zongru, chairman of the China Cherry Industry Association, said this fact has been recognized by a Japanese scholarly book, saying that cherry trees were first imported from the Himalayan Mountains in China during the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907).

Zhang Zuoshuang, an official at the Botanical Society of China, was quoted as saying that among the 150 types of wildly-grown cherry blossoms around the world, more than 50 could be found in China.

Dr. Takeshi Kinoshita at the China Cherry Blossom Association said: “To put it simply, cherry blossoms originated in China and prospered in Japan. None of this is Korea’s business.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tourists take photos of cherry trees at the Yuyuantan Park in Beijing on March 19, 2015.

Photo by Li Jundong

 

Visitors take selfie in front of a cherry blossom tree in a park in Jinan, capital of east China’s

Shandong Province, on March 26, 2015.   Photo by Xu Suhui

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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