Change

There is something about cherry blossoms ("sakura") that resonates deeply with the Japanese soul.

Last year I was in Portland, Oregon and even though there were quite a few admirers of the cherry trees planted by the waterfront, to most of the locals, it was another beautiful spring day, nothing more, nothing less. 

This year, I was back in my hometown of Tokyo, Japan during the bloom. The mood in the nation changes. News programs report on the bloom and massive crowds gather to go drinking under the trees. Temples host lantern-lit festivals. There even is a word for the act of going to see the blossoms: hanami. "Hana" means flower, and "mi" is the verb for to see.

オレゴン州ポートランドの水辺沿いには桜の木が植えられているエリアがある。

とても奇麗だけど、やっぱりなにか物足りない。

海外生活が長かったのでいつもタイミングを逃してたけど、今年は久々に日本で桜が見れた。15年ぶり。

目黒川上に吊るされる提灯の列、川に落ちて運ばれていく散った花。

この時期日本にいれてよかった。

 

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(Portland, Oregon) March 2014

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 (Tokyo, Japan) April 2015