Japanese Culture Week

Object Lesson Series: Celebrating the 110th Anniversary of the Cherry Blossom Gift and U.S.-Japan Friendship
Wednesday through Friday, April 6-8, 7 to 8 p.m.
Virtual event.

A series of three evening presentations will be presented by Mari Nakahara and Katherine Blood, authors of the book “Cherry Blossom: Sakura Collections from the Library of Congress” and curators in the Prints & Photographs Division. These events will not be recorded.

April 6: Object Lesson: Exploring Cherry Blossom Varieties. How many varieties of cherry blossoms can you find in your neighborhood? How do you describe their colors?

Nakahara will offer a close-up exploration of exquisite watercolor illustrations of the 1912 gift of cherry blossom trees from the city of Tokyo to Washington, D.C. to increase your visual recognition of cherry blossoms each spring.
Registration required – Click below to register.

April 7: Object Lesson: One Man’s Life Dedicated to Peace. While the 1912 gift of cherry blossom trees from the city of Tokyo to Washington, D.Cis an enduring symbol of the U.S.–Japan friendship, former Japanese Ambassador Hirosi Saito also played an important role in our friendship in the 1930s.
Nakahara will introduce the Library’s collections related to Saito, along with his efforts to promote peace in the years before the outbreak of World War II. Saito’s granddaughter Tomiko Kagei will also join the conversation. 
Registration required – Click below to register.

April 8: Object Lesson: Seasonal Appreciations in Japanese Visual Art. Jewel-toned woodblocks from the Library’s Japanese print collection reflect recurring seasonal celebrations of springtime cherry blossoms, summer fireflies, bright autumn foliage, winter snow and more.

Blood will highlight 18th century to contemporary artwork, including related, recently acquired prints, drawings and posters.
Registration required – Click below to register.

Japanese Culture Day

Saturday, April 9, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St., SE, Washington, D.C.
Time entry reservations are required. Click here to register.

Children of all ages, families and teachers can learn about Japanese culture through reading, writing and craft-making with Japanese cultural and linguistic professionals during the Library’s Japanese Culture day. Books related to Japan and Japanese culture will also be on display. Special highlights include a Japanese drum presentation by Miyako Taiko led by Mark Rooney and a karate demonstration by Tsuyoshi Takemori from D.C. Yamato-juku Club.

Drum Presentation: Outside – Neptune Plaza (west side of the Jefferson Building) if weather allows; Coolidge Auditorium in case of rain. Four performances will be presented at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Rooney will also introduce the history of the Miyako Taiko and answer questions.

Karate Demonstration: Mezzanine level of the Great Hall, Jefferson Building. Three demonstrations will be provided at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 1:30 p.m. Visitors may have opportunities to practice a basic Kata (form).

Other activities include:

  • Display and introduction of Library collections related to cherry blossoms and Japanese culture
  • Hands-on lessons about origami artwork creation
  • Kamishibai (Japanese storytelling)
  • Decorative Koinobori and Japanese woodblock print colori


What began with a gift in 1912 at the Tidal Basin is now a four-week extravaganza spanning Washington, DC, and neighboring communities in Maryland and Virginia. Click the filters on our interactive map to see all that the Festival has to offer and craft a tailored experience as you Rediscover Spring. From exciting events to convenient hotels, delectable Cherry Picks restaurants to vibrant Art in Bloom installations, and a jaw-dropping City in Bloom to joyful Petal Porches, see the Washington, DC area as you can only see it once a year!