Monday, April 7, 2008


As you can see up yonder, I have placed a picture of a sakura tree in full bloom at the top of my blog. I have been constantly thinking about its symbolism and message since I read JM's blog and referenced it about a week ago.

Life is so and downs, hurt and healing, reflection and renewal. Karen's anniversary was this past Wednesday, and I believe this picture sums up her spirit and tenacity - things which I admire and desire:

Karen broke out her wedding dress and ran around a park with a bunch of friends taking pictures. This one is my favorite.

I referenced the sakura tree before, but I don't think I fully fleshed out my thought.

In Japan the cherry blossoms are believed to exemplify the transient nature of life, because of their short blooming times. Cherry blossoms also symbolize clouds due to their nature of blooming en masse, besides being an enduring metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life, an aspect of Japanese cultural tradition that is often associated with Buddhistic influence, and which is embodied in the concept of mono no aware, or "a sensitivity to things." The association of the sakura with mono no aware dates back to 18th-century scholar Motoori Norinaga. The transience of the blossoms, the extreme beauty and quick death, has often been associated with mortality; for this reason, sakura are richly symbolic, and have been utilized often in Japanese art, manga, anime, and film, as well as at musical performances for ambient effect. -Wikipedia

I took a class in Japanese Culture and Politics in undergrad, and I remember my impression of Japanese culture as being drastically different, and yet, simple and completely alien and beautiful. The logic of following the symbol of renewal in native botany in order to renew one's spirit and begin a new business year seems perfectly reasonable to me...rather than stating "on the second Tuesday in October," the timing is just "when the sakura bloom." Talk about sensitivity and harmony with nature.

I found quite a few color pictures of the sakura in full bloom, and I was stuck at how amazingly colorful they are. The trees are tall and often cover a sidewalk; in broad daylight they appear to turn the sky pink. I can only imagine what it must look like in person; one of these days I will have to go to Japan and experience it for myself. Perhaps I'll have my own little hanami under a tree in Shibuya, and I'll look up to a floral pink sky, reflect upon my life, and hopefully have no regrets.

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