China (The president of Chinese cherry blossom association/Botanical society) has recently weighed in the cherry blossom dispute by saying that cherry blossoms came from China to Japan and Korea does not even feature in the dispute.
First of all, I was not even aware that there was a dispute over the origin of a particular species of cherry blossom/벚꽃/桜 between Korea and Japan.
Apparently there is.
The species in question is King Cherry 왕벚나무 (Prunus yedoensis var. nudiflora) with its natural habitat/place of origin still in Jejudo, Korea (the only natural habitat found in the world), and the similarity it has with the Somei Yoshino (Prunus × yedoensis) which is the Japanese Yoshino cherry that is believed to be produced from crossing the two separate Japanese species of Prunus subhirtella var. ascendens (Edo higan) and Prunus lannesiana (Oshima zakura).
The JTBC report makes it somewhat clear for me. It’s whether these two species are the same or whether the Japanese one could somehow trace its origin back to include the Korean one, or distinct (I mean they have the same species name, only difference being the Yoshino cherry has the x in between) which is the question. Juvenile as always, I know, but it’s become more of a question since the Nagoya Protocol was established in 2011, with respect to paying royalty to the country of origin of the genetic material.
The funny thing about this is that this is just what just about sums up the characters played by these three countries on everything.
Japan : is the best in packaging, propagating and turning into its own many many things which sometimes (and sometimes not) originates from China and Korea, and often many things just get buried in history, likes to believe that everything just sprang out of Japan the island nation out of spontaneous generation (people, culture, craft etc) with no influence/migration from outside to contaminate them.
Korea : always late into the game, it gave away and did not look after its own properly, busy fighting among themselves, only to find out too late, that a lot of things originated from Korea and comes across as a jealous crybaby who likes to claim many good things in Japan came from Korea.
China : Everything came from China. Everything. The two countries are just being silly. They remind me of the hilarious clip of “everything comes of India” from the BBC comedy series Goodness Gracious Me. “Is the Pope Punjabi?”
It’s really sad.
I don’t know why these three Asian countries bicker so much over such trivial things.