“Given the fraught relationship between China and Japan, isn’t that a major cultural faux pas?”


“Dear PoPville,

Am I the only one that noticed Mayor Bowser is in China this week to promote Sino-DC commercial relations but is using promotional materials that highlight U.S.-Japanese friendship (ie, the cherry blossom trees)? Given the fraught relationship between China and Japan, isn’t that a major cultural faux pas?”

30 Comment

  • No. Cherry blossoms are symbolic of the city and found all over the US, eastern US anyway. Japan doesn’t have any exclusive claim to cherry trees.

  • I Dont Get It

    Oh geez, I thought maybe she was wearing a kimono or something. DC is known for its cherry blossoms–lets not overthink this.

  • Cherry blossoms are so symbolic of DC though too that I doubt anyone read into it this far.

  • Given that there is a huge and very active Chinese businesspersons association here that has a good relationship with the mayor’s office, it’s possible they looked at materials beforehand. I could be wrong, but it seems possible.

  • LOL. First we’re angry that the Mayor spends money to go to China on a junket.

    Now we’re angry that she didn’t custom design promotional materials for the junket that seems to vary from completely unimportant to of vast geopolitical significance depending on who is mad about what?

  • “These aren’t the outrages you’re looking for.”

  • The Spanish national basketball team making squinty eyes in their group photo before the Beijing olympics is a major cultural faux pas. This is a picture of a bunch of DC politicians posing in front of a picture of Washington DC.

  • Given that the cherry trees are a symbol of U.S.-Japanese friendship, this is maaaybe a minor misstep. But only a minor one. It’s not like these are promotional photos showing Muriel Bowser making a trip to the Yasukuni Shrine or something.

    • I Dont Get It

      …in a kimono swigging sake…

    • Or complemented President Xi by explaining how much she loves Moo Goo Gai Pan and asking whether his family is related to General Tso and if so can she get a copy of that chicken recipe.

  • I thought all China/Japan tension was resolved with the opening of Shanghai Tokyo in Columbia heights?

  • Why the cherry trees? What about the PANDAS?!

  • “Am I the only one that noticed . . . ”
    Yes. Yes you are.

  • You’re just a hater on the Mayor and this is just an excuse to hate even more.

  • I’d pay $10 to know what that Chinese gov rep in the picture is thinking. What an embarrassment.

  • I like it, it captures the irony that once we were allies with China in WWII fighting the Japanese. And since the war, peace, economic, and social ties grew quite strong between the US and Japan, but not as much China. Speaks to a vision of great new economic and social ties between the 2 world capitals. Chongqing and the Hump flight. Chiang Kai-shek. Zhou Enlai. Mao. Taiwan. Toyota. Springtime blossoms.

  • what is Anthony Williams doing there?

  • Enough of this pussy footing around, cap in hand. We demand treaty ports.

  • Bowser instead should have used artwork from a packet of Scooby Snax, one of China’s main exports to the District.

  • justinbc

    What you can’t see (because they’re blocking the image) is that this is a photo of the Jefferson Memorial, which is “framed” by cherry blossoms. Stop overreacting, it’s a photo of DC.

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