At onsemi, we value the diverse perspectives that our global workforce brings each day as we build a better future through intelligent technology. We remain committed to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and continue to celebrate and reflect upon the unique cultures and backgrounds that our people represent.
Throughout the year, we are exploring the significance of local traditions and holidays, and how onsemi employees from around the world celebrate them. In these blogs, we hope to enlighten, inspire and educate on the different cultures we work with every day, as well as foster a sense of community and belonging at onsemi.
Cherry Blossom History
Well-known for its beauty, Japan’s springtime brings a magical sight to life as the cherry blossoms, or sakura in Japanese, begin to bloom. The flowers are closely linked to the history and culture of Japan and in the past, the blooming of cherry blossoms indicated harvest. Now, they have become a symbol of hope and renewal, and are one of Japan’s most iconic symbols of nature. Across Japan’s main islands, sakura transform the landscape between March and early May. After blooming, the delicate white and pink flowers begin floating gently to the ground.
Many people will hold “flower-watching parties”, known as hanami, to celebrate the annual spectacle. While there are trees throughout Japan, there are some locations that provide incredible viewing spots, and many Japanese have picnics under the cherry blossoms to enjoy their beauty.
The flowers are also connected with the beginning of the new school year in Japan. In April, with cherry blossoms in full bloom, the new academic year begins and symbolizes happiness and celebration. As students of all ages start a new year full of promise, they are greeted with stunning white and pink blooms.
This time of year is also celebrated outside of Japan with cherry blossom trees being gifted around the world as a sign of friendship and collaboration. There are many locations that you can visit for cherry blossom viewing in the United States or around the world, including South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vancouver (Canada), London (England) and Scotland.
In Japan, cherry blossoms signify a time of beauty and new beginnings. Let’s look at how several of our onsemi colleagues in Japan traditionally celebrate this time of year.
Atsushi Koga, Total Rewards & Human Resources Operations Manager/Gunma Site Human Resources Manager, has been with onsemi for 14 years. Koga was a member of the 1999 Japan national rugby team and has very fond memories of playing with his team. The Japan national rugby team, referred to as the “brave blossoms,” wears the cherry blossom as its emblem.
“My favorite memory was when my teammates and I had a hanami under cherry blossoms near where we played,” said Koga. “10 teammates came out with their families to celebrate, and we enjoyed a nice barbecue with refreshing drinks together.”
Atsushi Koga and his daughter walking under cherry blossom trees.
Satoko Yasumoto currently serves as the Human Resources Business Partner for Japan Sales, Marketing and ISG, Site Human Resources for Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Gifu, and is a member of the Women’s Empowerment (WE) Steering Committee in Japan. During its regular WE meetings, the committee recently shared photos of symbolic spots around Japan such as Irugi Jinja Shrine near onsemi’s Tokyo office or Tsurugajo Castle in Aizu.
Irugi Jinja Shrine near onsemi’s Tokyo office.
“Hanami is a significant and important opportunity for people of different generations, genders and nationalities to meet, talk and get to know each other,” said Yasumoto.
Cherry blossom is more than a flower to Yasumoto and the people of Japan; it is also a symbol that connects people.
Hiroshi Nagai, Human Resources Representative and Aizu Site Human Resources Manager, has been with onsemi for 12 years. During cherry blossom season, he enjoys walking through various viewing spots for sakura and even enjoying a meal under the trees.
“Cherry blossoms make the Japanese feel the warm and pleasant arrival of spring,” said Nagai. “Many schools in Japan have cherry blossom trees planted on school grounds, which act as a symbol of school entrance ceremonies, so parents can feel the growth of their children.”
Tsurugajo Castle in Aizu
Nagai is fortunate to live near Aizuwakamatsu City, home to the famous Tsurugajo Castle, where the annual cherry blossom festival gets visited by tourists and Japanese nationals alike.
Visit the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion page to learn more about DEI at onsemi.