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Beautifully Blooming

Photo by Maiya Gessling
The North American Post

Paul Atkins, associate professor of Japanese and Department Chair of Asian Languages and Literature, Chado Urasenke Tankokai Seattle and local calligrapher Shizu Usami were featured on Tuesday at a cherry blossom viewing and celebration at the University of Washington.

The trees were hung with calligraphy and students and teachers congregated in the Quad to listen to Atkins’ remarks on cherry blossoms in Japanese waka poetry and to watch a tea ceremony demonstration.

“We see the cherry blossoms not only with our eyes, but with our minds. Poetry gives us a cultural lens through which to view them,” said Atkins.

The cherry flowers have bloomed, particularly yoshino trees, around the Pacific Northwest. The cherry blossoms can also be seen in Portland, including dozens of trees along the Willamette River near the Japaense American Historical Plaza.

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The North American Post is a community newspaper that celebrates Japanese culture in the Greater Seattle area. Founded by 1st generation Japanese-Americans in 1902, the publication is one of the oldest minority-owned newspapers in the region. Today, with bilingual articles in English and Japanese, the publication connects readers with diverse cultural backgrounds to Seattle’s Japanese community. Our articles include local news, event calendars, restaurant reviews, Japanese cooking recipes, community interviews, and more.