Cherry Blossoms (Sakura in Japanese) have finally bloomed and if you blink you might miss them! The delicate pink tones of the flowers give this enormous and urban city a much softer and sweeter edge even if only for fleeting moment. The blooms only last for about a week or two. Rain and wind can cut this time in half :o( We went for a walk this past weekend just to see what all the fuss is about (I had never witnessed a Cherry Blossom season) and OMG! it is all they say it is and then some! These trees are breathtaking.
Cherry Blossoms have great significance in Japanese culture. They can be found on paintings on dishes, on Kimonos’ design even on the street you come across an occasional concrete tile that has a cherry blossom flower on it. I think those denote a viewing route. Now that we live here I had to find out exactly what is it that these trees represent to the Japanese people.
Cherry Blossoms are native to China and Japan. The ones found in Washington were given to the USA by Japan as a symbol of friendship in 1912. In China the tree is associated with women’s dominance and beauty as well as the female body and sexuality.
In Japan, the meaning has evolved along the centuries. Historically, it had a more religious and philosophical meaning - they were admired and held in high regard because the short blooming season reminded them of the short cycle of life. And it was an opportunity to ponder on the transient nature of one’s life. They were also associated with Samurais who were expected to have very shot lives.
Today, however, the activities surrounding cherry blossom season are the social kind. They have come to symbolize innocence, spring and simplicity. People use Sakura season as an opportunity and get together with friends and family to eat, drink sake and be merry! These gatherings are called “hanami” and they are as popular today as they were thousands of years ago!
These trees are truly one of nature’s wonder!
More blogging to come….Tokyo is amazing and everyday I discover something new and interesting I want to share with you! Stay tune and follow this blog so you don’t miss out on any postings!
Mata-ne (See you soon)