Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Blossom of Smiles

As the cherry blossoms gradually blow away with the wind here in Shinjuku...the buds are starting to bloom in the coastal areas that were affected by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

I wonder what the people in the Tohoku area will feel when they see the cherry blossoms brightly decorate the trees around them. Will they feel the loss of family and friends who are no longer with them? Or will the beauty of the blossoms put a smile on their faces?

I have blogger friend, Dimitri, who took wonderful photos of the cherry blossoms in Osaka, Japan, which is where he currently lives. And I would really like to introduce him to you all here because he is actually also working on a big project called "Project Biwa" to help support the earthquake and tsunami relief efforts. (Some of you may not know, but Lake Biwa is Japan's largest lake!)

Dimitri is currently training to bicycle over 300 km (approx. 185 miles) around Lake Biwa, while documenting the beauty of the region. He writes on his blog, "I live in a beautiful region, and if I can convince one tourist to come here, the benefits to the Japanese economy will be larger than what I will ever be able to donate. And if the pictures can also bring a smile to someone in Japan, it will be even better."

Dimitri has set a goal to raise $1,000 towards GlobalGiving and also plans to make a book of collective photos of his bicycle-thon, giving all proceeds to charity. He is training often and I hope you'll stop by his blog (here) to comment or support his fundraising efforts. I'm sure it will put a smile on his face if you do!


  1. I like Dimitri's pictures, he has some interesting goals and his reasoning about tourism is quite sound. Good luck to him!

  2. Lovely shot, I have always wanted to see the cherry blossoms. I hope the fund-raiding goes well.

  3. I wouldn’t believe the bittersweet emotional pain this season will wreak upon some of the people in Tohoku who have lost loved ones. For several years my girlfriend (not Ms. Chinois) and I would walk along the area of Kanda River not so far from my neighborhood. I would always pause and admire with astonishment one scraggly little cherry tree at the edge of a vacant lot. Why this tree? It had three different colors of blossoms—pale pink, pink, and red, like this. One spring I found myself there alone knowing that as a couple we were over, although nothing had been said or done. Tears started to uncontrollably leak from my eyes. My heart was shredded in agony. The loss. The emptiness. The utter extinction of past good times transformed into a harsh aloneness. Even the tree itself was soon gone—uprooted and replaced by a public housing development. And this for a girlfriend. I would not like to feel the pain of those who have lost family of whom blossoming cherry trees bring remembrance. But time heals all wounds (to a degree). And I can write this without an iota of a sniffle; and look at that photo. It could almost be the same tree. Beautiful, isn’t it?

  4. Great entry of yours. May time and life become as beautiful as your photography for you all.

    Please have a good Thursday.

  5. Pretty, pretty picture. (Have sent what I can to help. Our local public radio stations have a fund drive, which I think is lovely.)

  6. Great project!!!

  7. Thank you all for your comments, and many thanks again to Kaori for spreading the word.
    This is much appreciated!

  8. Good luck to Dimitri on the project.

  9. Hi everyone! Thank you for all your comments. The cherry blossom season is coming to an end but the other signs of spring are popping up all around and has many of us in a cheerful mood! Hoping we can pass that on to the areas effected by the earthquake and tsunami :-)

    And thank you for all your comments for Dimitri's big project! I've very much looking forward to the book of his photos and hoping he is able to meet his goals without any troubles or injuries!

  10. Great photo!
    Lovely flowering.

  11. beautiful sakuras. ^0^
    i'd be sure to visit dimitri's blog sometime...


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