Cherry blossoms have finally erupted all over campus. I took my camera to class today, and the battery died before I even took my first picture, so the lovely photo on the left isn’t mine.
I heard from one of my co-workers that some folks in Korea are trying to discourage cherry blossom festivals (very popular events this time of year!) because when the Japanese occupied Korea, they uprooted all traces of Korea’s national flower, the Rose-of-Sharon. In an effort to demoralize Koreans, the Japanese replaced the Rose-of-Sharon with cherry trees. As a result, some Koreans equate the blossoms with the Japanese occupation, and don’t think it’s a cause for celebration. I tried to find some information about the story in the English newspaper here, but haven’t found anything of that nature yet. No matter what the origins of the trees in this country, they are still lovely and I’ll continue to enjoy them as long as they’re in bloom.