Monday, June 9, 2008

Sakura

Haruno_Sakura

No not the pink haired girl from Naruto. But I bet you have seen one or two in anime.

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The Sakura I am referring to is the beautiful Cherry Blossom Tree. Japan has a wide variety of sakura with over 200 cultivars to be found. Japanese Meteorological Agency track the sakuras front(zensen) (picture seen below) as it moves north with the warmer weather. The blossoming begins in Okinawa in January and normally reaches Kyoto and Tokyo by the beginning of April.

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Hanami festivals are held to celebrate the beauty of the sakura. Hanami literally means flower viewing. Hanami festivals have been held in Japan for many many centuries. The sakuras blooming is something that is very symbolic to some. As it is seen as representing life and death. With their sudden arrival, beauty, and their with their quick departure. As the full bloom only lasts for about a week before the petals begin to fall.

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Imperial Japan often planted cherry trees as a means of claiming occupied territory as a Japanese space.

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A few popular spots to view the Sakuras in bloom.

Tokyo: Ueno Park, Shinjuku Gyoen, Chidorigafuchi, Sumida Park, Aoyama Cemetery, Koishikawa Botanical Garden, Inokashira Park

Yokohama: Kamonyama Park, Sankeien

Kamakura: Dankazura

Nagoya: Nagoya Castle

Kyoto: Maruyama Park, Philosopher's Trail, Heian Shrine, Arashiyama, Kamogawa, Daigoji Temple, Hirano Shrine, Okazaki Canal

Osaka: Osaka Castle Park, Osaka Mint Bureau

Yoshino: Yoshinoyama

Himeji: Himeji Castle

Tohoku: Kakunodate, Hirosaki Castle

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Here are a few more picture of Sakuras in anime.

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This is only a small taste of how the Sakura is held in Japanese culture. As with most of the things that hold value in Japanese culture. There is a long and colorful history to be told.

I can only hope my small entries in this blog will make you want to find out more. So that you may find a bit of facts and history you will hold as a fond memory.

6 comments:

dusty-valentine said...

Cherry Blossom's are beautiful. I grew up in D.C. and there are a bunch of them there (gifts from the Japanese a Long time ago). There's a cherry blossom festival/parade every year and people from all over the country come to see it- you should go sometime. nice pics, Knox!

KnoxSe7eN said...

Yeah I read something about them being gifts. I think they gave them as gifts twice. They need to give me some. I love the japanese Cherry Trees. I have only been to D.C. once and its a good drive from here. There are a few other places here in the US that have Sakuras on display. I wonder if you can buy small ones at any green house type places? We have Dogwood trees around here. They are pretty but I prefer the Sakuras.

Thanks Dusty or Alice hmmm I dont know what to call you :) lol

Sandbar said...

Hi Adam,
That was another awe-inspiring post. And as always very informative. I'm gonna have to lift my game - your blog makes min e look, what's the word? Crap. lol
One of my favourite anime movies of all time is 5 Centimeters Per Second, and cherry blossom trees (or Sakura as I've now learned), always remind me of that movie. They are so beautiful, and I wish they were here in Australia instead of boring eucalyptus trees. And the koalas would look soo cute draped in pink flowers. Nice one!

KnoxSe7eN said...

SandBar> Thanks man but dont kid yourself. Your blog is great. Yours is more personal which is better than these regurgitated facts I post lol. I have yet to watch 5 Centimeters Per Second but I need too. Well atleast Koala bears dont eat you. The bears here do lol. And yes I know Koalas are not real bears. I wish we had Sakuras here too.

NomadicWriter said...

late comment! lol, you forgot to add Sakura from cardcaptors! lmao.
but other than that cherry blossom/Sakura Tree's are just beautiful, I want to see one, one day.

KnoxSe7eN said...

I too want to see them in person. I want to go to Japan at some point.....I have a HUGE fear of flying so we will see how that pans out. I think they are very very romantic. *sigh* It would make a great moment to be amongst the sakuras in full bloom with the one you love.