Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Come Together

The much awaited cherry blossoms have suddenly started to bloom everywhere! And with this comes the Hanami ("flower viewing") season.

Some people have stated that there should not be any Hanami this year as we mourn the victims of the earthquake and tsunami. As the word 'Hanami' tends to describe the mass amount of people who gather under the cherry blossoms to drink and party the night away, I can kind of understand this sentiment.

But on the other hand, some Japanese sake brewers in the disaster hit areas are actually asking people to hold Hanami and to drink sake made in Tohoku. I also heard that Hanami originally started out as a way to give thanks to nature and for life, as the cherry blossoms that bloom beautifully but fall away quickly are like a metaphor of our lives, and that we should gather with friends and family under the cherry blossoms during this season, especially now, in honor of all the victims. A chance for us to draw strength from each other to face the challenges that lay ahead.

I think I agree with the latter. I saw many families and friends enjoying the beauty of the cherry blossoms at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden and there were smiles all around. And that made me smile, too.


  1. I think you're so right Kaori! It's important, after such a tragedy, to remember the beauty of life...and these cherry blossoms are gorgeous! It is a beautiful tradition...

  2. I suppose one could say life goes on however horrible that may sound and this is a good way to keep your mind off the horror...

  3. Difficult to disagree... I can't see anything wrong with this ceremony that contemplates the blossoming of life as a way to honor the victims.

  4. And a way to honor the survivors...

  5. I’m with you.

    Perhaps because of the rules at Shinjuku Gyoen prohibiting excessively raucous behavior (bottom of the page at your link here) it is a great place to celebrate the season in a respectful yet joyous way.

    For this particular season I like the feeling of this Yo Yo Ma version of Sakura Sakura, although for strict traditionalists there is this purely Japanese version of the same piece, as well, here.

    As a kind of an offering of an elegy or requiem there is this (certain not to become standard cherry-blossom-viewing-season fare in the future, but heart felt today).

  6. Beautiful sentiments to accompany your beautiful photo, Kaori. I say YES to celebrating life in honor of those who perished and suffer.

  7. I remember enjoying sake and the cherry blossom views in Tokyo back in 1990. Cheers!

  8. I forgot to mention that if you keep going down Koshu Kaido past the entrance to the park, on the left, at the first traffic signal (across from the old park entrance gate and cottage looking building that is now an exit) there is a nice restaurant with the most fabulous vegetable juices (among other delicious items. They used to have goya pilaf. Yum). I hesitate to say that the juices are so healthy they make me feel a kind of high, but...

    Map here: A. Clickable link on map, or quicker here.

  9. These blossom flowers are indeed poetry.
    Guess, that enjoying and coming together is indeed much needed. Please have you all a good Thursday.

    daily athens

  10. 私も同じく!

    あるひとつの側面だけで物事を簡単に判断してしまうのもいけないよね。すぐさま人のnegative sideをついてcriticalになる世の中だから、人もその批判を避けたいがためにやたらと何でもかんでも自粛しているけれど、果たしてそれが何のためになっているのだろう??っていうのをしっかり考えた上で行動しなくちゃいけないんだと思いました!

  11. Beautiful - I hope we see many more photos of the glorious cherry blossoms. I don't think there's anything wrong with enjoying the festival - we should be grateful for life's blessings while we can. That doesn't imply any disrespect to those affected by this horrible disaster.

  12. Gosh, why would I have thought of you when I read this? Especially the section titled “7 Natural ways to lower radiation burden in your body” about halfway down the page. I might turn a blind eye to some of “Dr. Mao’s” self promotion, however...

    So, in brief: chlorophyl-rich foods including seaweed, kelp, blue-green algae, spirulina, and chlorella, not to mention kale, and the like; cherries, blueberries, pomegranates, yams, and sweet potatoes; 6 to 8 glasses of filtered water daily; vitamins C, E, and D; and dandelion, peppermint, and chrysanthemum.

    Wishing you the best of luck and health.

  13. Nature can be very cheering! Glad that the simple things can still bring smiles. These blossoms are beautiful.

  14. the mixed emotions that are happening in your country is understandable.
    I only hope the rest of the year will be a good one.
    as for me,
    i'm a fan of cherry blossoms, probably bec. we don't have it here and even in pictures they're just beautiful and in life,
    as hard as it is to do it,
    I say: stay positive!
    gambare! ^0^

  15. I agree with you Kaori. Enjoy!


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