Get out your allergy meds and cameras because the cherry blossoms are blooming in Downtown Portland! Which also makes it the perfect time to introduce our new favorite Carry Bag, Sapporo!
Sapporo is the 5th largest city in Japan, and is the capital city of Hokkaido Prefecture and Ishikari Subprefecture. Sapporo hosts a 7-day long Snow Festival that showcases around 400 huge snow statues and ice sculptures, which draws over 2 million visitors each year!
So why Sapporo for our newest Carry Bag? The cherry blossoms are more than just a pretty face that pops by the Portland waterfront each spring. They are a reminder of our complex history, and the establishment of a special 62-year long sister city relationship between Portland, OR and Sapporo, Japan that began in 1959.
In 1990 the Japanese Grain Importers Association gifted 100 cherry trees to Portland in remembrance and honor for the Japanese Americans who were imprisoned in US concentration camps during World War II. More than 3,600 Japanese Americans were made to leave their homes in Portland, forced to go to an internment camp set up at the Portland Assembly Center. The cherry trees are a part of the Japanese American Historical Plaza located where Portland’s Japantown once stood. The historical plaza serves to tell the story of Japanese Americans in Oregon, so that we remember, so that we learn from our history, and so that we can grow.
Thank you, Sapporo, for the gift of remembrance and for the gift of growth. 🌸