Japan’s Imperial Family Has Added to Hawai‘i’s Beauty With Trees They Planted

Kevin Y. Kawamoto
Special to The Hawai‘i Herald

Two trees stand just a stone’s throw away from each other in the peaceful Japanese garden behind Jefferson Hall on the grounds of the East-West Center. One tree towers over the other, although the much shorter one is hardly a shrinking violet.

The shorter tree, a Japanese Black Pine, was planted by Princess Sayako, the only daughter and youngest child of now-retired Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, during her visit to the center in September of 1999. (Sayako no longer holds the title of princess due to her marriage to a man outside of Japan’s imperial family in November 2005.) Sayako’s tree may be short, standing only a few feet off the ground, but it looks genki (healthy) and happy (if one could attribute a human emotion to a tree).

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