Sunday, April 26, 2009

Blossom My Cherry

Up Close and Perennial
Cherry Blossoms

Disclaimer: I don't claim to be an expert, but having read about sakura on wikipedia, I'm as close to one as a person can be.

The sakura, or cherry blossom tree, is a national symbol of Japan. So much that it's on the back of the 100 yen coin, and was painted on planes during WWII. Though, much like many treasured traditions, Japan's love for Sakura can be traced back to China. It is there where people first took up hanami, or flower-viewing. This tradition has since blossomed (pun intended) into a Japanese past-time.

Coincidentally, the sakura blossom in April which is not only when spring arrives but when the new school or work year begins. Therefore, celebrations such as hanami parties and sakura matsuri (festivals) are only fitting.

Many schools, public buildings, are parks across Japan are outfitted with the native tree. They first blossom in March in the warmer southern regions and continue through April/May up to Hokkaido (the northern main island). "The Cherry blossom is an omen of good fortune and is also an emblem of love, affection and represents spring. Cherry blossoms are an enduring metaphor for the fleeting nature of life, and as such are frequently depicted in art." Also, prior to WWII, Japan bestowed America with thousands of sakura trees which can be viewed in New York and Washington DC, and have rightfully so become tourist destinations. For more information on sakura please check out the 100% accurate wikipedia page.


Shemuel said...

When did you go back to Japan?

craveVSworld said...

I never left.

axnchix said...

Omg! I love cherry blossoms. I bought a painting of an abstract cherry blossom tree from an Asian guy in China Town last summer. Wish we were going during their blooming.