Planting of Cherry Trees at Gillette Castle State Park
At the turn of the century 20th century, Japan was emerging from centuries of self-imposed isolation and reaching out to the world around it to develop enduring and powerful international friendships. This is symbolized by the lives of two Japanese brothers, both are pioneers in their own right. They both traveled in America as young men, and while the elder, Yukio, returned to Japan to become the mayor of Tokyo and an influential government official, the younger, Yukitaka, stayed in America becoming the secretary to a world-famous American actor, William Gillette. Even though he remained in Japan, Yukio used his power and influence to foster friendship between America and Japan, best symbolized by his gift of the now-famous Washington DC Cherry Trees.
By planting 22 Japanese cherry trees directly descended from those given by Yukio to Washington DC at Yukitaka's resting place and at his American home in Gillette Castle State Park, we would like to symbolically complete the story of these two brothers and commemorate the lives of these pioneers in international understanding.
The state park is one of the loved gathering places for all ages in the area. The cherry will announce the arrival of spring year after year, symbolizing and reaffirming the lasting friendship between Japan and the United States of America.
The money will cover the cost of cherry trees, shipping from Japan, quarantine at the US Custom, shipping to the location, and large equipment rental for planting.