Los Angeles News
Cherry Blossom Centennial Celebration
By Robert Meyers
Nov 4, 2012 - 2:41:38 PM

LOS ANGELES”“The city of Los Angeles celebrated the 2012 Japan-U.S. Cherry Blossom Centennial on Friday with the planting of 24 Cherry Blossom trees in downtown L.A.'s Grand Park. One hundred years ago, Japan sent 3,020 cherry trees to Washington D.C. as a gift to the U.S.
Grand Park Director Lucas Rivera and Consul General of Japan Jun Niimi unveiling of commemorative plaque Photo By Robert L. Meyers

The planting of the trees in Grand Park is part of the 2012 Japan-U.S. Cherry Blossom Centennial Nationwide Tree Planting Initiative, in a joint effort by Los Angeles County and the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles.

To honor the planting of the cherry trees, a dedication ceremony was held with a joint unveiling of a commemorative plaque by L.A.’s Grand Park Director, Lucas Rivera, and Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles, Jun Niimi.

The dedication ceremony was followed by a free concert from Japanese Gospel music group Heavenese, whose lead vocalists, Marre and Kumiko, sang the National Anthems of both nations at the introduction of the Dedication Ceremonies.
Members of Japanese soul gospel band Heavenese perform at LA's Grand Park Photo by Robert L. Meyers

Heavenese is a Gospel unit consisting of over 20 artists with diverse genres and instruments. Their music highlights the beautiful Japanese tradition and culture by collaborating with the sound of the Gospel and R&B. Heavenese has mesmerized audiences in the United States with its unique, original sound and entertainment. Last year, the band held several Japan Earthquake benefit concerts in southern California, which were enjoyed by over 9,000 people in total. The band has released songs produced by Andrae Crouch, directed by Sheila E, and a debut album is to be released this fall in the U.S.

The trees were provided by American Forests.

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