Enjoying at Karasu Park with my boy
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 its beauty called hanami finally came. Me and my boy feasting our eyes with the cherry blossoms.
Hanami festivals celebrate 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
Wow! It was an interesting read about the cherry blossoms. Thanks for sharing.
You're very much welcome. Thank you for comin' over. 🙂
I have not seen cherry blossom in person before. These are you beautiful. I would love to watch them bloom.
Hi, pictures are yes, but they are more beautiful in raw. Thanks for the visit ☺️
I never knew that the falling cherry blossoms were symbolic of the scarifies made during the war. Although I am always fascinated by the cherry blossoms in their full bloom. They look so beautiful , covering the whole tree in their soft baby pink velvet
I didn’t know that cherry blossoms have a much deeper meaning in Japan, it is sure nice to know the historical background of it, and how they relate it with soldiers’ death and sacrifices. I haven’t seen the cherry blossoms in person yet and I’m hoping to see them in April in South Korea. I wonder if the South Koreans have a special meaning for their own cherry blossoms.
Cherry blossoms in full bloom are really a sight to behold. This is so true after a long, cold and lonely winter spell. The flowers kind of inspire and lift up one’s spirits by merely having a glimpse of them. I’m not aware though that the flowers were used by Japan as a tool to boost patriotic spirits amongst its soldiers.
That is why it is an iconic symbol in Japan. Thanks for the visit.
Since years that I hear people planning trips to Japan during the Cherry blossoms. I have never known the history behind these Sakura… interesting
Interesting piece of history. loved your account of it.
I just always felt enchanted with cherry blossom trees but never kind of researched to know the deeper details about the same. Thanks to your post, I am know enlightened with its true meaning and I really wish i can see cherry blossom in full bloom one in my life.
You sure can, one day. Thank you for visiting 🙂
nice article dear keep it up
I lived in Japan for one year in 1987. I distinctly remember how beautiful the cherry blossoms were! Thank you for bringing that memory back for me.
Wow, so glad of that lovely comment from you, Veronica! Thank you for visiting the site and sharing your thoughts 🙂
I would love to visit Japan in the near future. And from your fantastic post, I can see that spring would definitely an amazing time to visit. Thanks for sharing.
My pleasure. Thank you for the compliment and for visiting.
This is one of the many reasons why a lot of people visits Japan. To see real cherry blossoms in real life is a dream and I’ll see them someday, coz I believe dreams do come true hehe.
We will miss this this year because of the pandemic. Our plans were on hold!
I’m jealous , it’s my dream to feast with Cherry Blossoms, haha. Can’t wait to travel normally again to see some Cherry Blossoms.
Thank you for sharing the story and the deeper meaning of cherry blossoms in Japan. Visiting Japan and perhaps making it to see the cherry blossoms is definitely what I hope to do some day.
oh wow, i’ve always thought of Japan when it comes to cherry blossoms, but didn’t know it was a symbol during the wars.
Oh how I love to see those cherry blossoms soon. by the way thanks for sharing the deeper meaning or symbol of it!
Me myself was able to join a Hanami when I stayed in Japan for a year and I was really amazed how people can enjoy the park with the just themselves under the beautiful sakura. I miss it so much and would love to go back soon!
I haven’t seen cherry blossoms when we visited in summer of 2019 but we did enjoy a few trees here in NSW. They are so adorable and yeah only last for 2 weeks. Hope we can visit Japan again!
I’ve love to visit Japan during the blossom season, but I’m worried that it will be too busy. Though saying that I’d have loads of beautiful photos. What time of year is the quietest for tourists?
Hi Lindsay! Weekdays are recommended, just like what I am doing to avoid the crowds/people. Also, for pandemic proof travel, I am doing virtual guides, paid live for my followers:)
Thanks so much for sharing! I like learning about the symbols we see often and sometimes take advantage of!