March 26, 2015
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I have never heard of any other culture that give that much reverence to a certain flower, plant, or tree like how the Japanese adored the cherry trees and its blooms. Only in Japan where viewing of a certain flower is being done countrywide. They even coined a term for it – hanami. As far as I know, viewing of cherry blossoms in certain spots of other countries was introduced, if not influenced by the Japanese.
Appreciation of the cherry blossoms is like a festival that entails a picnic, party or a quiet reflection of its positive symbolic meaning. Only in Japan where the blooming forecast of cherry trees is a major news item. That is how much they look forward to its annual beauty, and for it to be short-lived makes the level of anticipation very high. Moreover, their love for cherry blossoms is deep enough for it to be a constant subject in poetry, arts, food, and in almost every aspect of their lives. They even regard it as valuable enough to be offered as gift to other nations, a national pride. With this, I can never doubt the significance of the cherry tree to them.
The Japanese love for their cherry blossoms spread to visitors of their country
I’m inclined to think that the Japanese are deep people. Who would have thought of planting cherry trees in great numbers at most parks, temples, and public roads as part of urban planning. The foresight to beautify the cities at spring because everybody feels so much joy viewing the cherry blossoms makes them quite a profound culture.
Cherry blossoms on a sidewalk floor tile in Tsuchiura
One of the roadside poster stand on cherry tree varieties
Another cherry tree variety in this stand
Outside this school in Taito-ko was where I spotted those cherry tree poster stands during my morning run