The Spirit of Sakura

∼April 11, 2012∼

In Tokyo right now (and probably the whole country) cherry blossoms are blooming everywhere. It's has been blooming for a week now and I would say that at this time of the year the Japanese spirit is just so high and great! It's so amazing to watch how these gorgeous flowers can affect a whole country.

Everybody is so happy and they go to loads of Hanami (sakura viewing: drinking, eating etc.). I am just so touched when I see what flowers can do to Japanese people. The spirit of Sakura is everywhere. You can feel that everybody is just more happy in this time of year and for me who's from a country where you don't see this kind of spirit & culture, it touched me tremendously and I was actually kind of tearing up. I was so overwhelmed with feelings because I could just feel the Japanese spirit and the power of Sakura in the air. It was absolutely amazing to watch. Maybe I'm just easily overwhelmed or overly sensitive I don't know, but one thing is for sure is that happiness was everywhere. My happiness and excitement level was up the roof! Before coming to Japan I wasn't too particularly interested in sakura since I had no idea that the symbolism of the blossoms - I only knew sakura for it's beauty. After hearing about the symbolism of the flowers and watching people here in Japan, I can understand why everybody loves sakura. It's not just the aesthetic beauty of sakura, but its long history in Japan.

I spoke to several people about sakura and some were more interesting views than others. One thing I liked the most was a person who said that sakura season is just so poetic and the symbolism of Sakura is also so poetic. These amazing trees are everywhere in Japan! Big rows of sakura trees right next to eachother and you can't even see the sky if you were under a sakura tree and imagine that these gorgeous blossoms only last for two weeks. It's there for one moment and gone the next. It really tells the ephemeral nature of life. It's so beautiful and rich, but like everything else it will eventually fade away and die. Nothing lasts forever.

Mono no Aware tells you exactly what I mean by poetic:
Mono no aware (物の哀れ?), literally "the pathos of things", also translated as "an empathy toward things", or "a sensitivity to ephemera", is a Japanese term used to describe the awareness of impermanence (無常 mujō?), or the transience of things, and a gentle sadness (or wistfulness) at their passing.
I went to different places to see the cherry trees, but went to Nakameguro to take pictures. There is also Yogogi Park and Shinjuku Gyoen (TOKYO).

Nakameguro is really close to where I live so naturally I went there. There were so many people and vendors everywhere. Shops were selling food, alcohol and also regular people put up their own store and sold things as well. They had a gathering place where some of from the Nakameguro community has arranged like entertainment.

My favorite shot
Names of people, shops that has made an importance to Naka-meguro I believe
Loads of people @ 1PM
Traditional singing by a man and young girl
Drum performance
The arrangers of the entertainment
Before everything dissapears, I am going to different places! I hope I can make it. I'm working now so I am not sure if I can make it. I hope the sun doesn't go down to quickly or that I still have this weekend to go. Otherwise I will be kind of sad. I haven't gotten the perfect sakura shot yet because Nakameguro is just too crowded. I might go to Yoyogi Park or Shinjuku Gyoen or maybe another place. As long as there are sakura, I will go there.

Ok, bye for now! I'll be back very soon. <3 xo

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