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After ten year struggle, Japanese Club plants cherry trees

Staff Writer

Published: Monday, October 29, 2012

Updated: Monday, October 29, 2012 19:10

CT

Preface Photo

The Japanese Club plants cherry trees near the Schurz library.

A family of cherry trees now lives behind IU South Bend’s Franklin D. Schurz Library, thanks to the IUSB Japanese Club.

After years of planning and obtaining approval of the plans, the Japanese Club finally began planting cherry trees on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 10:30 A.M.

“The planning has been in for over ten years,” said Corey Beron, president of the club.

The Japanese Club gained motivation after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, which resulted in thousands of deaths and billions of dollars in damages for Japan.

“We decided we should plant the trees as sort of a memorial to them. It means a lot to the Japanese students on campus and especially to our teacher,” said Beron.

The national tree of Japan is the cherry blossom tree, or sakura tree in Japanese. According to Beron, it is often used as a commemoration and signifies a healing process after a disaster.

The advisor to the Japanese Club and senior lecturer of Japanese is Yoshiko Green. Students call her Sensei, meaning “master” or “teacher.” Green looks to the planting of the Sakura trees as the beginning of a healing process after the tsunami.

“This is going to be a healing process, so I’m so happy to be able to do this. It took a long time,” she said.

Green has been the advisor for the Japanese Club and an active part of the cherry tree planting idea since it took hold of the club ten years ago. According to Beron, the club planted the trees as much for Green as they did for the victims of the tsunami and Japanese students on campus.

“She cares about her students a lot and she’s just an all-around great person,” said Beron.

The club held fundraisers to earn enough money to buy the Cherry trees.

“We made all the money from selling chickens and selling origami. All my students worked very hard for this,” said Green.

According to Beron, the trees were provided by Dussel Farm for a manageable price. The club planted five trees with hopes of planting more in the future. Beron said he anticipates trying to get another grass area near the library approved for planting, neighboring the area they’ve already planted on. The areas next to student housing are also seen as potential planting grounds.

The cherry blossoms are expected to bloom during the first week of April. According to Green, they blossom during a very short period of time. She is looking forward to the possibility of students picnicking around the trees and being able to observe the blooming flowers.

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