Dr. Takamine dedicated much of his life to promoting and strengthening friendship between the people and nations of America and Japan.
There exists no greater symbol of this endeavor than the glorious burst of pink blossom that crowns the cherry trees which line the tidal basin each spring, in what is now known as the Sakura Park in Washington DC. 2012 marks the centenary of this gesture of goodwill, a gift from Jokichi Takamine’s good friend, the Mayor of Tokyo, Yakio Ozaki, to be planted in the then Potomac Park.
The donation was carefully chosen as Sakura (or cherry blossoms) are such an integral part of Japanese culture that they are often considered the country’s unofficial flower. Today, a hundred years later they draw immense crowds every year to witness their blaze of colour, an everlasting testimony to Jokichi Takamine’s quest to cement Japanese and American friendship.
This year also celebrates the centennial of the foundation of the Nippon Club, another significant contribution to the amity between the two nations.
The club, founded on the initiative of Dr. Takamine and certainly one of the first of its kind, hosts a multitude of events such as art exhibitions, business workshops, sports tournaments and many others and all for the purpose of reinforcing American-Japanese relations.
Finally, perhaps the words of the slogan promoting the centenary of the Nippon club, best summarize the guiding spirit of Jokichi Takamine and would surely have gained his approval; “Creating harmony for 100 years”.