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Yousuf KARSH | Yukio Ozaki

KARSH, Yousuf
Armenia 1908 – United States of America 2002
1925 Canada
Yukio Ozaki 1950
gelatin silver photograph
printed image 50.1 (h) x 40.2 (w) cm
Purchased 1973
NGA 1974.396.88
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‘At blossom time in Washington, I think of the former Mayor of Tokyo who gave the cherry trees to the United States sixty-three years ago in friendship and faith.’ (Karsh)

Yukio Ozaki was a liberal politician who was elected 25 times to the Japanese Diet, serving in that body from its inception in 1890 to 1953. He was Mayor of Tokyo from 1903 to 1912. In 1905 Ozaki sent 3000 cherry trees to Washington, DC., which adorn the city in springtime with cherry blossom. During the 1930s, as an independent politician, he criticised the growing influence of the Japanese military and advocated the vote for women. He was imprisoned during both world wars. Hailed as a political hero after World War II, he was involved in anti-war and pro-democratic activities until his death. The Ozaki Memorial Hall beside the JapaneseDietBuilding in Tokyo stands in recognition of his contributions to constitutional government.

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