The most awaited sight in spring when you are in Japan is the amazing cherry blossoms. After the winter chills and cold winter nights, the day for the viewing and celebrations for it’s beauty called hanami finally came.
Hanami festivals celebrates the beauty of the cherry blossoms and people relax and enjoy the beauty it brings. Families and friends, gather together picnicking under the tree of the fully bloomed sakura.
|Enjoying at Karasu Park with my boy
Just as Japan’s fiscal year opens paves the way for the blossoms and wherever you turn, you can always find a cherry blossom tree, in rivers, mountains, even schools and buildings.
Why is this?
Well, we all know that sakura is Japan’s national flower.
But it is more than that. According to Wikipedia, during world war 11, the cherry blossom was used to motivate the Japanese people to stoke and militarism among the populace.
Even prior to the war, they were used in propaganda to inspire “Japanese spirit,” as in the “Song of Young Japan,” exulting in “warriors” who were “ready like the myriad cherry blossoms to scatter.” In 1932, Akiko Yosano‘s poetry urged Japanese soldiers to endure sufferings in China and compared the dead soldiers to cherry blossoms. Arguments that the plans for the Battle of Leyte Gulf, involving all Japanese ships, would expose Japan to serious danger if they failed, were countered with the plea that the Navy be permitted to “bloom as flowers of death.” The last message of the forces on Peleliu was “Sakura, Sakura” — cherry blossoms. Japanese pilots would paint them on the sides of their planes before embarking on a suicide mission, or even take branches of the trees with them on their missions. A cherry blossom painted on the side of the bomber symbolized the intensity and ephemerality of life; in this way, the aesthetic association was altered such that falling cherry petals came to represent the sacrifice of youth in suicide missions to honor the emperor. The first kamikaze unit had a subunit called Yamazakura or wild cherry blossom. The government even encouraged the people to believe that the souls of downed warriors were reincarnated in the blossoms.
In its colonial enterprises, imperial Japan often planted cherry trees as a means of “claiming occupied territory as Japanese space”.– source Wikipediadotorg