... .....SAKURA. ..

cherry blossoms

 Gokoku Shrine

One of the most beautiful and fantastic sights in Japan is a huge number of
light pink sakura in full bloom in spring.
The cherry blossom is the national flower of Japan,
and affectionately adored by the people.
After the second half of Heian period, the word 'flower' alone
often means cherry blossoms.
You will soon realize why Japanese love cherry blossom so much.

There are about 300 varieties of garden breed which were made from
wild breed like yamazakura which grow wild in the mountains.
This shows how much Japanese people love cherry blossoms

Every year the cherry-blossom-blooming-front starts from Okinawa Pref.
in the middle of March.
(somei-yoshino, one kind of cherry blossoms, is the standard
kind for the cherry-blossom front)
Then, it moves from south to north throughout Japan.
Seeing the full bloom of sakura is one of the most
exciting event in this season.
Here in Nagoya, usually it's between the last ten days of March
to the beggining of April

The school year in Japan starts in April, just at the time of
cherry blossoms starts blooming.
So, when we see the cherry blossoms, we feel that something new has started,
and so do we feel hopeful for many things

'Hanami' means an outing for viewing cherry blossoms at their best.
Some people really contemplate the blossoms, but others make merry
with drinking alcohol, having barbecue, singing songs with karaoke music etc.
under the cherry trees.
It's one of the good way to keep good relationship with co
lleagues or friends.

But then, the cherry blossom is adored partly
because of the short life of its bloom.,
which lasting for only a few days. It comes out all at once in full bloom
and will be all gone soon with a few gusts of wind

So, the cherry blossoms has become a symbol of short life.
During World War II, cherry blossoms or sakura were used to symbolize
the spirit of a true soldier who lay down his life without

any reservations to save Japan or the Emperor. Thus death of a soldier in such manner was
accordingly beautified

In another word, cherry blossom is not only associated with the beaming start
but also with the ephemerality of one's life

Hikan-zakura/Kanhi-zakura (March 14 Sakae, Nagoya)
  Kawazu-zakura (March 18 Higashiyama Park)@͒Í
Jugatsu-zakura (\)/lit. October Sakura
(Cherry blossom)@Bloom between Oct and Dec.,
and March (Bloom twice a year) Dec.20 
Oh-Kanzakura (March 6, Shirakabe-sakuranamiki)

Hanami (Sakura Viewing) and Hanami Spots

Sakura Sakura (Japanese old song)