Sakura history

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Eliza Scidmore was late 19th century American travel writer and photographer (and contemporary of Nellie Bly) who often travelled to Japan. She suggested and organized the donation of over 2,000 cherry trees that line the avenues of Washington, DC.

She died in Geneva in 1928, but the Japanese government asked for her ashes to be interred at the Foreigners Cemetery in Yokohama. I visited her grave today. It's not a particularly interesting monument as far as they go, a polished granite sarcophagus with an inscription, but it forged an interesting connection to my life at the moment: the sakura are blooming and I've been spending lots of time in cemeteries surrounded by cherry blossoms.

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