Group claims China to be ori­gin of cherry blos­soms

The China Post - - LOCAL -

A Chi­nese in­dus­try group has as­serted that cherry blos­soms orig­i­nated in China, a claim that will likely ran­kle Ja­pan and even South Korea.

He Zon­gru, ex­ec­u­tive chair­man of the China Cherry In­dus­try As­so­ci­a­tion, said the claim is backed up by the Sakura Taikan, an au­thor­i­ta­tive al­manac pub­lished by Ja­pan’s Bunka Pub­lish­ing Bureau in 1975.

An en­try in the Sakura Taikan in­di­cates that Ja­pan’s first cherry blos­som had ar­rived in Ja­pan from Chi­nese ter­ri­to­ries ad­ja­cent to the Hi­malaya Moun­tains dur­ing the Tang Dy­nasty more than 1,100 years ago, He was cited as say­ing by the South­ern Me­trop­o­lis Daily on Mon­day. Ja­pan has long been syn­ony­mous with cherry blos­soms and South Korean me­dia has re­peated claims in re­cent days that the Somei Yoshino, Ja­pan’s most prized cherry blos­som breed, orig­i­nated from South Korea’s Jeju Is­land.

South Korean re­ports also claimed that the tra­di­tional cus­tom of en­joy­ing the fleet­ing beauty of the blos­soms in full bloom orig­i­nated from South Korea as well rather than Ja­pan.

“We don’t want to en­gage in a war of words with Ja­pan and South Korea but sim­ply want to state a fact: many his­tor­i­cal records prove that cherry blos­soms orig­i­nated in China. As Chi­nese, we have the re­spon­si­bil­ity to make more peo­ple aware of this his­tory,” He was quoted as say­ing by the pa­per.

“Sim­ply put, we have no prob­lem with the fact that cherry blos­soms flour­ished in Ja­pan af­ter be­ing in­tro­duced from China,” He said, in­sist­ing, how­ever, that South Korea did not have any place in the ar­gu­ment.

The as­so­ci­a­tion of­fi­cial, clearly in­tent on drawing at­ten­tion to cherry blos­soms in his own coun­try, said he hoped to see China as the home of the flower fur­ther de­velop it as part of the na­tion’s soft power.

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