Saturday, October 23, 2010

Under a Sakura Tree

A cherry blossom is the name for the flower of cherry trees known as Sakura. They will go to parks, shrines and temples with family and friends and hold a "flower viewing party" known as HANAMI. Hanami festivals celebrate the beauty of Sakura, and for many, it is a chance to relax and enjoy the beautiful view.

Cherry blossom is an omen of good fortune and is also an emblem of love, affection and represents spring. Cherry blossoms are an enduring metaphor for the fleeting nature of life, and as such are frequently depicted in art.Cherry blossoms are richly symbolic, and have been utilized often in Japanese art, manga, anime, and film, as well as at musical performances for ambient effect.the extreme beauty and quick death, has often been associated with mortality.

In its colonial enterprises, imperial Japan often planted cherry trees as a means of "claiming occupied territory as Japanese space".During World War II, the cherry blossom was used to motivate the Japanese people, to stoke nationalism and militarism among the populace.

Japan gave 3,000 sakura as a gift to the United States in 1912 to celebrate the nations' then-growing friendship. The sakura trees continue to be a popular tourist attraction (and the subject of the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival) when they reach full bloom in early spring.

Cherry blossoms and leaves are edible and both are used as food ingredients in Japan. The blossoms are pickled in salt and umezu and used for coaxing out flavor in wagashi or anpan. Salt-pickled blossoms in hot water is called sakurayu and drunk at festive events like weddings in place of green tea. Leaves, mostly Oshima cherry because of the softness, are also pickled in salted water and used for sakuramochi. Since the leaves contain coumarin, however, it is not recommend to eat them in great quantity.

There are many legends about the cherry tree in Japan, for example the Old Man and the Cherry Tree and the tale of the Cherry Tree of the Milk Nurse O-Sode, furthermore blossoming cherry trees were not only a sign to begin the rice planting season but also linked to divination of the forthcoming harvest. With Shinto beliefs in the spirits or kami inhabiting and embracing all facets of the natural world it is unsurprising that the celebration of Hanami became so popular among the Japanese people.

Although not much I can say about Sakura Flowers, the beauty itself speaks louder...

Top of all,I wish I can be under a Sakura tree when all the flowers falls on me.... *Speechless*

1 comment:

  1. wow!! i didn't know u interested bout' sakura lehh...