USPS and Japan Post jointly issued Gifts of Friendship, a pane of stamps featuring beautiful images of flowering dogwood and flowering cherry trees. This issuance celebrates the enduring bond between two nations on the centennial of the gift of dogwood trees from the United States to Japan in 1915.
This stamp depicts the Lincoln Memorial with vibrant cherry trees in the foreground
In a ceremony at the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C., on March 27, 1912, First Lady Helen Herron Taft and Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese ambassador, planted the first two of 3,020 flowering cherry trees gifted to the nation’s capital from the city of Tokyo.
As a show of gratitude for this generous gift, former President William Howard Taft arranged for the United States to send 50 flowering dogwood trees (Cornus florida) to Japan in 1915. These gestures of goodwill fostered a rich tradition of exchanging cherry blossom and dogwood trees that continues to this day.
In both the United States and Japan, the dogwood and cherry trees exchanged over the years bring renewed life each spring after the long winter months and showcase the natural splendor of our two countries. They are celebrated on both sides of the Pacific Ocean with annual festivals that echo the spirit of friendship. With their stunning displays of color and rich history for the U.S. and Japan, these trees remain symbols of the deep bond between our nations.