Tag Archives: Sakura

Cherry Blossoms in Northern Japan

Photo property of newinnippon.

The cherry blossom have arrived in Misawa Japan. I’m so glad to be home in Japan once again and just in time for spring! Here is a beautiful poem by C. Richard Miles that describes my feelings better than I ever could…

Photo property of newinnippon.

Cherry Blossom
The cherry blossom’s out to brighten city streets
And daffodils all shout that spring is here to greet
The trees, about to burst in bud and leaf and bloom,
That bring us all relief from winter’s hateful gloom.
The cherry blossom’s out and scattered in a drift
All down the busy road, a welcome petalled gift
Resembling winter snow, all soft and white and light
But not so cruel and cold, this cheerful, happy sight.
The cherry blossom’s out, so simple clean and pure
Before it starts to fall upon the road’s rough floor
But even in the crush of traffic’s trundling wheels
Its bloom brings us a blush of beauty, which appeals.
The cherry blossom’s out and floats upon the breeze
Which toys with every branch upon the cherry trees
In cheerful playfulness on this soft, spring-like day
An early splash of white before the buds of May. 


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First Cherry Blossom Sighting


Since we first arrived in Japan, I have been fascinated by the cherry blossom or sakura. The five petal cherry blossom is seen everywhere in classical and pop cultural throughout Japan. Cherry blossom viewing is so popular a past time that the national weather service of Japan provides a blossom tracker so that people will know where the blossom are blooming and on what date. The viewing parties usually involve sake, food, and friends. No wonder the idea is catching on around the world! Cherry blossom viewing festivals are held in the USA in Washington, DC and also in Macon, Georgia. Because cherry blossoms have short blooming times and are fragile, the japanese have used to symbolize the transience of life and as a reminder to celebrate the beauty found in the moment.

Today we were walking through a park in Hachinohe, I spotted the first cherry blossoms we have seen this spring. There was a group of children playing around the tree, attempting to climb on the branches. Two little girls clutched a few small branches from the trees, admiring the beautiful white petals. As we approached the tree, one of the little girls ran up to me and began to introduce herself in japanese. I introduced my husband and myself and realized that I had just ran out of japanese conversational phrases. No matter. Although there was a language barrier and an age difference of about thirty years, we were both drawn to the beauty of the cherry blossom tree and both enjoyed the first signs of spring.

Ono no Komachi: The hue of the cherry (9th C. CE)

The hue of the blossom
fades too quickly from sight
all for nothing
this body of mine grows old —
spring rain ceaselessly falling.

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