Wednesday, April 6, 2011
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.