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 < Latest News>


★July-September  2022


'Cherry' Ingram's cherry blossom legacy continues to grow.


A magnificent 'Suffolk Sakura' event took place at the White House Farm in Great Glemham, Suffolk, in July- September 2022.


The owner of the farm, Jason Gathorne-Hardy, organized exhibitions of beautiful cherry blossom paintings by a Suffolk artist Emma Green, and stunning sakura silk scarves by Jenny Nutbeem, a natural-dye artist.


Sullokf Sakura event Emmas painting

                                        Emma's painting of Matsumae 'Shizuka' (Fragrant Cloud) cherry



Suffolk Sakura event Emmas Okame

                                                                  Emma's painting of 'Okame' cherry





Both were inspired by Collingwood Ingram's love of cherry blossoms. The farm has about 60 cherry trees and Emma has been painting them as they came into blossom in the past two years. Jenny has dyed silk scarves with the flowers and leaves of these cherry trees.


                                   Suffolk Sakura event Jennys scarves

                Jenny's sakura silk scarves---they were hung in order of the trees that came into blossom at the farm. 



Jason is a descendent of the first Earl of Cranbrook, who built the former residence of ‘Cherry’ Ingram in Kent at the end of the 19th century. Two cherry trees in the residence garden, most likely planted by the Earl, ignited Ingram’s love of cherries and led him to create the world’s largest cherry garden in the 1930s and 40s.


Jason is also a cherry lover and has planted the cherry trees at the farm over the past 10 years. After discovering the family link with ‘Cherry’ Ingram, he decided to expand this serendipitous connection. He gave Emma a ‘Cherry’ Ingram blossom residency in which she started painting the blossoms. Jenny followed the cherry path by collecting the blossoms and barks, then dyed the silk scarves with them.


Suffolk Sakura event 2



A special Japan-themed opening ceremony was held on 9-10 July, with a specutacular Taiko drumming concert by the world-renowned Taiko drummer Joji Hirota and his London Taiko Drummers. The concert was sold out.


                                            Suffolk Sakura event Jojis concert

                                                 Joji Hirota and the London Taiko Drummers' concert


The exhibitions continued for nearly two months. 




Suffok Sakura event 1

                                               The event was inspired by the life of Collingwood 'Cherry' Ingram




Suffolk Sakura event

                                                        Naoko and Jason Gathorne-Hardy



 Suffolk Sakura event naoko emma jason mr ito

     At the exhibition hall,  Emma Green, Naoko, Minister Takeshi Ito from the Japanese Embassy in London and Jason Gathorne-Hardy














★April  2022


Naoko attended a cherry tree planting ceremony at Golden Grove in South Wales on April 9.  Golden Grove received cherry trees from the Sakura Cherry Tree Planting Project. The project was initiated by a group of  Japanese residents in the UK and 6,500 trees have been given to over 160 sites throughout the country. 

Naoko gave a talk about 'Cherry' Ingram in the evening.



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                                                                          'Beni-yutaka' in blossom    




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                                                                         Planting ceremony




Golden Grove 3

                                                                         Talking about the 'lasting friendship' 



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                                                                         Gifted cherry trees          




Golden Grove 10

                                                                          Golden Grove





Golden Grove 11

                                                                          At the cafeteria where the talk was held




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                                                                          Signing the 'Cherry' Ingram book








★March 30 2022


Naoko gave a talk about  ‘Cherry’ Ingram and some new developments of cherry diplomacy between Japan and the UK at RHS Wisley Gardens on March 30th. 


It was part of a special cherry blossom event which included a tour of the Gardens’ cherry trees with the curator Matt Pottage and a splendid five-course Japanese meal at the Garden’s restaurant.  The Ggardens have many different varieties of cherry trees including 'Yamazakura' 'Taihaku' 'Shirotae' , weeping cherries and the Matsumae cherries. The blossoms were at their peak and it was a lovely evening.






                                                                        'Shirotae' cherry






                                                                         Weeping cherry                                                                            




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                                                                        Curator Mat Pottage explaining about 'Accolade' cherry 





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                                                                         Naoko infront of the 80-year-old Yamazakura cherry 





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                                                                          Naoko talking about 'Cherry' Ingram 









★March18~  2022


Homecoming of 'Cherry' Ingram's cherry trees.


       Collingwood Ingram's cherries have returned to Japan!


The 5 cherry varieties that 'Cherry' Ingram introduced to the UK in the 1920s and 1930s and which went extinct in Japan have just returned to Japan.

The varieties are 'Daikoku', 'Asano', 'Okiku-zakura', 'Kokonoe-zakura' and Sumizome'.

A Japanese cherry expert,Takaaki Ohara at the Toyama Botanical Gardens in Japan, came to England in 2017  and visited UK cherry expert Chris Lane's nursery in Kent. Ohara identified 5 varieties that were growing at the nursery but which had disappeared in Japan. 

Ohara has since imported them from Chris's nursery with the help of Oxford University's Botanical Garden. It was not an easy job because of strict quarantine rules but Ohara successfully grafted and grew them over 2 years. They were finally planted in Toyama Botanical Gardens and are being shown to the public for the first time.

'Daikoku' was a variety that 'Cherry' Ingram had promised, during his 1926 trip, to return to Japan. Ingram is well known for having returned the beautiful 'Taihaku' to Japan in 1932. At that time, he tried to return 'Daikoku' as well, but it didn't happen.

So, after almost 100 years, Ingram's promise has finally materialised. It is a remarkable and noteworthy development.






                                   'Daikoku' at the Toyama Botanical Gardens













'Asano' 'Okiku-zakura'




Toyama Botanical Gardens is currently holding an exhibition (18 March-20 April) to show the returned varieties, as well as 10 other cherries which were developed in Europe and have been introduced to Japan at the same time as the 5 returned varieties.


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                                                           The Exhibition 






                                                              Panels about the returned varieties


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                                                               Panels about 'Cherry' Ingram





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                                                              Naoko's books are also exhibited


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                                                               Panels about Chris Lane





★17 March  2022


Naoko gave a talk about 'Cherry' Ingram to Sherborne Historical Society. 170 people came to attend.




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★March  2022


Naoko is giving a talk about ‘Cherry’ Ingram and cherry blossoms at RHS Wisley Gardens on 30 March. It is part of an exciting tour of cherry blossoms at the Gardens followed by a 5-course Japanese meal. My talk will be during the dessert and coffee. For booking, follow the link: https://www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/wisley/viewevent?EFID=3294...

---This event is fully booked.



Cherry celebration at Wisley




wisley cherry blossom resized







★February  2022

                   Cherry Ingram


• Naoko is speaking about ‘Cherry’ Ingram and the latest news of cherry blossoms in the UK and Japan at 6pm on Thursday, 24th February via zoom for the Oxfordshire Gardens Trust. 

Click here to sign up →  https://ogt.org.uk/2021/12/11/24-february-lecture-collingwood-cherry-ingram-and-the-japanese-cherry-tree/




 'Cherry' Ingram Chinese edition has been published. 


                                                 The book is now in 8 languages.


チェリーイングラム中国語版 2









★November  2021


Naoko attended the cherry tree planting ceremony at The Grange, the former residence of Collingwood ‘Cherry’ Ingram, in Benenden, Kent, on 29th November. The planting was part of the SAKURA cherry tree planting project, in which more than 6,000 cherry trees are being given from the Japanese to the British people. The planted trees are: Daikoku, Asano, Hokusai, Okame, Umineko, Collingwood Ingram, Autumn Glory and Shosar.
They are all Ingram-related trees, either cultivated, introduced to the UK or discovered in Japan by Ingram. Hokusai is the tree which first ignited Ingram’s passion for cherry blossoms when he moved into The Grange in 1919.
These trees had once blossomed at The Grange but have been absent since his death in 1981. They finally ‘returned’ home and it was moving to watch them planted.
The trees were prepared by Chris Lane, the UK cherry expert who lives in Kent.
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 Naoko presenting the SAKURA commitee’s certificate to the Managing Director of The Grange, Sarah Edwards



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                                                          Gathering for a tree planting ceremony


 Planting the tree resized

                                                         Friends of The Grange planting a tree



                                                               SAKURA plaque

                                                  The plaque presented from the project team





                                                        Chris Lane tying a tree to a cane


     Naoko and Sarah Edwards

                                                            Naoko and Sarah in the garden of THe Grange                             


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                                        A celebratory 'Cherry Cake' was prepared by The Grange




cherry cake

                                                           Chris Lane and Naoko cutting the 'Cherry Cake'













★September  2021

Naoko gave a talk at Chipping Campden Literature Festival about 'Cherry' Ingram. It was the first on-site speech in 18 months and the tickets were sold out.


Festival talk RESIZED



Chipping Campden talk RESIZED



Chiippign Mabpden festival RESIZED




★August  2021


Spain's newly appointed culture and sports minister, Miquel Iceta, calls the 'Cherry' Ingram book (the Spanish edition)  'a story of great sensitivity ' and  'a book he liked very much for those who want to delve into it this summer'.

to read the article, click  https://www.eldiario.es/cultura/iceta-ministro-pasara-verano-prendido-haikus-tina-turner_1_8193652.html



  Spanish minister

                                         Culture and sports minister Miquel Iceta





★May  2021


•Naoko appeared on BBC2's 'Great British Railway Journeys' on 18 May.


Naoko showed the programme host, Michael Portillo, the former home of Collingwood ‘Cherry’ Ingram in Benenden, Kent. She told Michael the achievements of Ingram and how he returend the 'Taihaku' variety to Japan in 1932 from his garden.   


Screenshot 20210519 093642 BBC iPlayer




 Screenshot 20210519 093757 BBC iPlayer




Screenshot 20210519 093649 BBC iPlayer










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                         Naoko and Michael in front of the original 'Taihaku' tree at The Grange.


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 great Journey resized








 The Spanish edition is out.  


                                         Spanish cover                naoko portrait resized


The Spanish edition of 'Cherry' Ingram was pubished on 12 May by Editorial Anagrama in Barcelona. 






★April  2021


•Naoko was interviewed by America's NPR (National Public Radio) , which was aired on 5 April in their popular 'All Things Considered' program. 

In the interview, Naoko talked about the influence of climate change on cherry blossoms.  

In Kyoto this year, cherry trees bloomed at their earliest in 1,200 years and it was said that this was the result of global warming.

But it's not that simple. Global warming will delay the blooming of the blossoms in the long term, and this is already happpening in southern Japan.  


click here to listen



cherry blossom resized





•On 7 April 2021, Naoko gave a zoom talk for a sold-out fundraising event organized by The Grange in Benenden, Kent. The Grange is the former residence of Collingwood 'Cherry' Ingram. It is now a care home for adults with learning difficulties. Over 100 people joined in the event.


Naoko talked about how Collingwood Ingram built his cherry garden at The Grange in the 1920s, as well as history of The Grange and how Ingram's cherries continue to inspire and connect people to the present.



an evening






zoom talk Ingram














                                     zoom taihaku resized





 •There will be more zoom talks in April. 



  14 April   7:30pm for Women's Institute. (In English)

  •23 April   3pm  for Japan Association in the UK. (In Japanese) 

                                                   https://bit.ly/3uFsYrC      https://bit.ly/3d8IRBc






★March  2021


Taihaku returns to Funatsu family.


After 95 years, a Taihaku cherry tree which is the offspring of a cherry tree at 'Cherry' Ingram's garden in Kent, has been planted in the Tokyo garden of the great grandson of Japan’s most renowned cherry expert, Seisaku  Funatsu.  


Collingwood Ingram had met Funatsu in 1926 and vowed to return the Taihaku tree to Japan, where it was extinct. Funatsu died before the tree was returned in 1932 to Kyoto.


So Keiichi Higuchi, a cherry researcher and friend of the Funatsu family, has now planted an offspring of the Kyoto tree in the garden of Funatsu’s great grandson. Finally, the Funatsu family can enjoy Japans great white cherry. 





舩津家に太白植樹 resized 2021.3.5


                  Keiichi HIguchi , left, and Hideko Funatsu, the wife od the great grandson of Seisaku Funatsu, planting the offspring of 'Taihaku'. 
















The original Taihaku tree at The Grange, the former residence of Collingwood Ingram, in Benendenm Kent 








CI colour photo old age resised










Collingwood Ingram 


                                                                                                                                                          Seisaku Funatsu in 1926










★January  2021

The Polish edition of 'Cherry' Ingram has been released.



Polish cover resized







★November 2020 

This beautiful ‘Sakura Quilt’ just arrived from Naoko's friend in the U.S.  She said that her friend in Hawaii was inspired by Naoko's book, ‘The Sakura Obsession,’ to make this. She created a kimono-shaped quilt from pieces of textile that she had bought in Japan which contained images of cherry blossoms. It's an absolutely lovely piece of art !










★October 2020 

'THE SAKURA OBSESSION' , the American version of 'Cherry' Ingram, The Englishman Who Saved Japan's Blossoms, has been given the CBHL's 'Award of Excellence in History' as part of its 2020 annual literature awards.        https://www.cbhl.net/award-winners

 The Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries (CBHL) is an international  professional organization in the field of botanical and horticultural information services.

The literature award is given to the author and publisher of a work that makes 'a significant contribution to the literature of botany or horticulture'.



American paperback cover




----Other awards and citations given to the 'Cherry' Ingram (The Sakura Obsession) book --- 


The Nihon Essayist Club Award  2016  (for the original Japanese version)

BBC Radio4: ‘Book of the Week’, March 2019

The Sunday Times: Best Gardening Books, 2019

NPR's Science Friday: Best Science Books, 2019

The Irish Times: Best Gardening Books, 2019 

PopMatters: Best Non-Fiction Books, 2019

The Daily Mail: Best Books for Nature Lovers, Christmas 2019

Woodland Trust: Best Books of the Year, 2019






★June 2020

Naoko Abe will be giving a Zoom talk about 'Cherry' Ingram on Saturday 13 June 2020 at 4pm (London time).  The talk is part of the Alde Valley Spring Festival in Suffolk, UK. It is free of charge but please sign up by emailing :  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


  Naokos talk




★March 2020

Naoko participated in a cherry planting ceremony at the Earl of Cranbrook's estate in Great Glemham, Suffolk


The cherry planting ceremony was held at the White House Farm, the residence of Jason Gathorne-Hardy, eldest son of the 5th Earl of Cranbrook, on 6 March 2020.

The 1st Earl of Cranbrook built The Grange, the former home of  Collingwood 'Cherry' Ingram, in Benenden, Kent, in the late 19th century.  Ingram was fascinated by the two mature cherry trees in the garden, which ignited his passion for cherry blossoms. He later named the trees 'Hokusai' after the famous Japanese wood print artist.

Jason Gathorne-Hardy, who had already planted 50 cherry trees in his garden, found out about the family links to 'Cherry' Ingram through the 'Cherry' Ingram book. He then decided to plant more trees to celebrate his discovery and to mark the 100th anniversary of Ingram's encounter with the Hokusai trees at The Grange.



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                                         The Earl of Cranbrook, left, and Jason, planting a 'Hokusai' tree.




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                                              Naoko and husband Paul planting Ingram's creation, 'Kursar'





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            Peter Ingram and Heather Bowyer, Ingram's grandchildren, planting 'Taihaku', the variety saved by Ingram.                                                     






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                                           The Gathorne-Hardy family, the Ingram family, Naoko and some local residents







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Jason Gathorne-Hardy, the Earl of Cranbrook, and Naoko                Heather, Peter, Naoko and the Earl of Cranbrook







                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Naoko Jason and Peter resized                                                               

                                             Naoko, Jason and Peter Ingram with 'Okame', Ingram's creation





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                                     Naoko and the Earl of Cranbrook at a cherry blossom supper








 ★March 2020

Naoko's article 'A BLOSSOMING OBSESSION' was published in the Kew Magazine's spring 2020 edition. It explores the history of Kew Gardens' cherry trees and reveals the 60-year relationship that Collingwood 'Cherry' Ingram had with the Gardens. 

click here to read the article




Kew Cover    


        Kew magazine2





★March 2020

The Dutch edition of 'Cherry' Ingram 'SAKURA', was published in March 2020 by Thomas Rap.






'Sakura' was in the Netherland's top 10 best-seller list for several weeks in the spring. It became a "sales success" after a "substantial 5-star review in NRC Handelsblad," the nation's newspaper of record, according to de Volkskrant.





The Italian edition of 'Cherry' Ingram, 'PASSIONE SAKURA', was published in March 2020 by Bollati Boringhieri.



Italian Cover







                                                 PASSIONE SAKURA





The German edition, 'Hanami', also came out in March 2020.

 German cover




The Spanish and Polish editions will be published in the autumn 2020.  The Chinese edition is being translated from the Japanese original and will be published in 2021.





'Cherry' Ingram paperbacks are out in the UK.

CHERRY Ingram paperback cover design                                  



 The U.S. paperback, 'The Sakura Obsession', was published in February 2020.

American paperback cover








Naoko  gave a lecture for the Surrey Garden Trust in Ashtead on 25 January as part of their winter lecture series.



Ashtead3 resized




Ashtead resized











'Cherry' Ingram was named as one of the Sunday Times 'Books of the Year'.




Sunday Times book of the year


                        Sunday Times Book of the year2

('The Culture',  November 24,)

It was one of the Books of the Year 2019.




'Cherry' Ingram was chosen as one of the best books of the year 2019 by the Woodland Trust, the UK's largest woodland conservation charity.


         Woodlands Awards





After winning the prestigious Nihon Essayist Club Award in Japan in June 2016, Naoko Abe's book'Cherry' Ingram: The Englishman Who Saved Japan's Blossomswas published in the UK on 21 March 2019.


                                        cherry ingram cover                   https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cherry-Ingram-Englishman-Japans-Blossoms/dp/1784742023



The book was selected as The BBC Radio 4 Book of the Weekfrom March 18th - 22nd and has received global recognition fromThe EconomistThe SpectatorThe GuardianThe Washington PostThe Financial TimesThe Wall Street Journal and many more.

View all the reviews here.



The US version, The Sakura Obsession, was released a few days later. 

The Sakura Obsession                             

                                        https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sakura-Obsession-Incredible-Hunter-                                                                      Blossoms/dp/1524733571/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_14_t_0/259-3677632-6052223?                                                    _encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=B73NZPKWKZGEBNAR0QN8






Events Calendar

View all of Naoko's events here





•Naoko gave a lecture at the AGM of the Japanese Garden Society on 16 November in London.



2019.11.16 lecture at Japanese Garden Society


The photo on the screen is Ingram in old age and his dog Noddy, whom he bought after he lost his wife, Florence. People always love this photo.





Japanese Garden Society2






•Naoko gave a talk about 'Cherry' Ingram at the Ways With Words Festival at Dartington Hall in Devon on 10 July.  It was a beautiful summer day.


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               The Hall is a medieval estate and in the 1930s was converted into a cultural hub in south-west  England. 



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 There is a very old Taihaku cherry tree in the garden. It is suspected that the tree might have come from 'Cherry' Ingram's garden in Benenden.





•Naoko gave a talk at two venues in the beautiful Kent countryside.  



@Benenden School      28th June, Benenden, Kent  ---the home of 'Cherry' Ingram


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Naoko talked in the  marquee set up in the Benenden School's garden on a beautufully sunny Friday afternoon.  Many local people came to hear the talk including Peter Kellett on the right, and  his wife Sylvia to his left. Peter knew Collingwood Ingram very well. He owns a nursery in the area and helped Ingram graft his cherries.  To the left of Naoko is Charlotte Humphery who was Naoko's editor at Chatto & Windus for the 'Cherry' Ingram book.





@Wealden Literary Festival     30th June, Boldshaves Garden, Woodchurch, Kent 



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Naoko talked in the Garden Tent on Sunday morning, it was another beautiful day . About 100 people came to hear the talk. They were a very attentive and welcoming audience with lots of questions about Collingwood Ingram and cherry blossoms.  To Naoko's left is Peregrine Massey, the owner and the designer of  Bolshaves Garden.





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 Wealden Festival


Book signing after the talk. Quite a few people were the locals who had heard about C. Ingram and his cherries in Benenden.


   Boldshaves Garden with Sonia


                                     With a friend Sonia who came all the way from Dubai to Wealden.  




•Naoko and her husband Paul visited Charlotte and Donald Molesworth who live next to The Grange, the former residence of Collingwood Ingram in Benenden. They live in a house which used to be Ingram's gardner's  cottage. They are both gardeners and helped restore Ingram's garden in the 1980s.


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                                                          Charlotte and Donald


 They  converted the former 'potting shed' of  C. Ingram into a self-catered holiday let.


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                                    You can read the 'Cherry' Ingram book while staying in the 'Potting Shed'.   

                                  Check the website :  https://bit.ly/2Xmkt3M







Naoko was interviewed by Miranda Mills for her lovely podcast  'Tea and  Tattle' .

          Listen to Naoko talk about 'Cherry' Ingram. ----- click here to listen    


Tea and Tattle






•Naoko gave a talk and booksigning at the Garden Museum in London and another one at John Sandoe bookstore in Chelsea.





                                                                                                                                               June 4 @ Garden Museum


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                                             Talking to the audience of about 60 people at the Garden Museum 




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                Answering questions with the other speakers, Chris Lane in the middle and Jamie Compton at the far right.





Garden museum talk

                                                              Book signing after the talk.






                             June6 @John SANDOE BOOKSTORE

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                                                  Talking to a small group of very engaging people at the bookstore.










•Naoko did a book signing at John Sandoe's bookstand at the Chelsea Flower Show on May 23.


Naoko will be speaking about 'Cherry' Ingram at John Sandoe bookshop in London on 6th June.



Naoko at Chelsea Flower Show





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•Naoko planted a young cherry tree, a variety called Collingwood Ingram', at Pembroke Lodge in RIchmond Park on April 30.


Naoko is a member of the Sakura Cherry Tree Project Committee, a group of Japanese residents in the UK that is donating more than 5,000 cherry trees to the Britith people. Eighty sites throughout the UK will receive the trees this year and next. 


Richmond Park is one of the 80 sites. On April 30,  the Royal Parks invited the committee members to the park.


This event marked the beginning of the cherry tree planting in the park.



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Naoko planting the 'Collingwood Ingram' tree. This variety was developed in Belgium in Ingram's honour. Behind her is Simon Richards, head of Richmond Park,


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The Comittee members with Simon Richards and Jo Scrivener, assistant park manager, second from the left.  To Naoko's left is Sandy Sano, head of the Committee.









Naoko toured the US in April 2019



Naoko talked to an audience of about 80 people at the Japan Foundation in Los Angeles on  April 18.                     




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She also talked to a small group at a Japanese garden in Glendale on April 21, Easter Sunday.

click here for details



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                              The teahouse was recently renovated by the Japan Foundation.





Naoko was interviewed by Ira Flatow of NPR (National Public Radio) on April 12 in New York for the 'Science Friday' show.


NPR show with Ira Flatow

                                               With Ira Flatow in the NPR studion in New York.

            Here is a link to the interview and an excerpt from the book








Okame at Brooklyn Garden  



                 Okame at B.Botanical Garden


Okame cherry was in full blossom in Brooklyn Botanic Garden. This is a variety C. Ingram created 




 Brooklyin Botanical Garden

                                   'The Sakura Obsession' on disply at Brooklyn Botanic Garden



Naoko gave a talk at the US National Arboretum in Washington DC on April 15.


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                                Naoko talked to about 50 people--the arboretum staff and others from the US Library of Congress and the Smithsonian.




Naoko's talk at a Aye Write Festival in Glasgow


2019.3.24 Aye Write Festival 縮小版






To celebrate the publication of 'Cherry' Ingram, a book launch party was held at London Review Bookshop in Bloomsbury, London on March 26th.


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                                          'Cherry' Ingram books  at the launch.



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           Naoko gave a speech."This book came into the world with so many people's support", she said.



                                                 Launch crowd 2

                                                          Over 100 people attended the launch.

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                       Quite a few members of the Ingram family came to the launch party.



 Another  book launch event was held at The Daiwa Foundation in London on 22 March.


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     Naoko spoke to a sold-out crowd of 140 guests about Ingram's life.

 Photos provided by the Daiwa Foundation.



Just before the publication on March 11, Naoko gave a talk to an audience of about 70 people at Words by the Water festival in Lake District.



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Naoko gave a lecture to a sold-out Japan Society audience on 16th April, 2018, about Collingwood Ingram. The event was held at the Swedenborg Society in London. Click here for more details. 


Naoko talked about how Collingwood Ingram fell in love with Japanese cherry blossoms and went to Japan at the beginning of the 20th century to collect different varieties. Ingram's cherry collection in his garden in Benenden, Kent, was the world's largest at the time. Naoko also discussed the history of cherry blossoms in Japan and how the blossoms were used ideologically by the military government in the 1930s and during World War II. 


Thirty-two members of the Ingram family, mostly grandchildren and great grandchildren of Collingwood Ingram and his older brother, Herbert, attended the lecture. 





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                  Naoko shows a slide of The Grange,  the former residence of Collingwood  Ingram in Benenden, Kent





 The Ingrams and Naoko 16.04.2018

                                              Naoko and the members of the Ingram family after the lecture.








 ‘Cherry Ingram’ will be published in English!


After winning the prestigious Nihon Essayist Club Award in Japan in June 2016, Naoko Abe's book 'Cherry' Ingram: The English Saviour of Japan's Cherry Blossoms, will now be  published in English. 

The English version will be an adaptation of the original book, including a lot of new material.  It will be published by Chatto and Windus, an English  imprint of Penguin Random House, in spring 2019. 

It will also be translated into German, Italian, Spanish and Polish.

The original  "'Cherry' Ingram: The English Saviour of Japan’s Cherry Blossoms", was published in Japanese in March 2016, by Iwanami Shoten, one of Japan's largest and most respected publishers.  

It won  the Nihon Essayist Club Award, a major non-fiction award in Japan.

---The award ceremony was held on 29 June, 2016 at the Japan Press Centre in Tokyo.




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Naoko Abe gave a speech about  'Cherry Ingram'  at the Japan National Press Club on 28 June 2016.





                        You can watch and listen to the speech on You Tube     → click here                    

                                                                  (The speech is in Japanese) 




•  The first edition of  'Cherry Ingram' has sold out and the second is now on sale.



•  'Cherry Ingram' was broadcast in Japan.

NHK, the Japanese equivalent of the BBC,  aired Naoko's book 'Cherry Ingram ' as well as Ingram's former home in Benenden, Kent and  the Taihaku cherry in full blossom  on 11 May on their BS1 channel in the programme  'Overseas report 2016'.  The Taihaku shown is the original cherry that Ingram returned  to Japan in the 1930s....   link



Naoko Abe tells the story of a self-educated Englishman whose passion for the Japanese cherry blossom saved hundreds of unique and rare varieties of this iconic flower from extinction. Based on 'Cherry' Ingram's diaries, original documents and scores of interviews, the book follows the life of a plant hunter extraordinaire and the enormous impact that his pioneering work has had on cherry blossom cultures around the world.

Collingwood Ingram also known as 'Cherry Ingram'

Naoko Abe takes the reader from Ingram's first sojourn in Japan in 1902 to an historic speech in Tokyo in 1926 exorting Japanese royalty and industry leaders to save the dying blossoms at a time of rapid modernization and westernization. Her environmental detective story describes for the first time how the blossoms survived and examines the flowers' political and cultural heritage throughout the 20th century, including their role in Japanese militarism during World War II, and the evolution of a cloned cherry that's become the global symbol of modern Japan.


Extracts from 5 reviews


(Naoko Abe's) non-fiction book depicts an Englishman who loved cherry blossoms more than we Japanese -- and gave us a stark warning (about their uncertain future). We can only appreciate the ‘Taihaku' -- the Great White cherry’ -- these days thanks to Collingwood Ingram. --- The Mainichi Shimbun (download)


This great work puts the life of the cherry saviour Collingwood Ingram into perspective。It uncovers historic facts about how modernization affected Japan and how distorted and controlled views about the ‘sakura’ were imposed on the Japanese during the war. ---  The Tokyo Shimbun (download)


A formidable book, extraordinarily well-researched, with a thick philosophical backbone that sends a powerful message ----Natsuki Ikezawa, The Shukan Bunshun (download) 


An outstanding non-fiction book that depicts the history spanning more than 100 years of sakura keepers who devoted their lives to preserving cherry blossoms in Japan and beyond --- Mr. Partner magazine (download)


Ms. Abe highlights the lament of Japan's most distinguished 'sakuramori' ('cherry blossom keeper') when he met 'Cherry' Ingram in Tokyo in 1926: "This is the cherry tree my great grandfather painted more than 130 years ago. This most beautiful variety seems to have gone extinct. I can’t find it anywhere".  --- The Asahi Shimbun (download)


 The British newspaper 'Courier' wrote about  'Cherry Ingram'  on Friday 20 May .

   ' Famous  Oriental blooms stem from Sussex survivor'

As the year's cherry blossom season in Japan flutters to an end, the story of the  Benenden expert whose passion for the flowers saved hundreds of varieties from  extinction....link




                            ......  continue to