Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Sakura sakura

Sakura season has come at last! How exciting!

Sakura means "cherry blossoms." In Japan, when we refer to sakura, it means blossoms of cherry trees which grow only for flowers, not fruits.
(Actually, most Japanese haven't ever seen the blossoms of fruits trees. Me either. )

Every year, Japanese can hardly wait for seeing sakura; newspapers and TV news programs start to report sakura blooming in late March.
You may wonder why Japanese like cherry blossom viewing so much. What are often mentioned as reasons for it are:

Japanese find "graciousness" in sakura, which blooms gorgeously for only a short period and after that get scatterd rapidly. They consider that this nature of sakura leads to long-valued samurai attitude, where samurai(=warriors in feudal Japan) are supposed to live in splendor and die gracefully (by harakiri, belly-cutting suiside).

Sakura comes after Japan's harsh winter where it snows a lot for months. The sudden visit of those brilliant blossoms symbolizes the start of spring and makes people all the more delighted.

...and so on.

However, the truth is that, Japanese love sakura because they love it! Need no reasons! :)

OK, so much for the lecture. Let's enjoy it.

(I took these photos on 27th this month at Kyoto Gyoen, which surrounds the Old Imperial Palace, Kyoto)

Sakura season is still going on...!


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