Monday, April 18, 2011

Passing sakura

Sakura (cherry blossoms) bloom elegantly but hold strong to the boughs through wind, knowing soon their fate is near.  When they know the time has come, the blossoms slowly drift from the boughs. Being aware of transience of life, we appreciate of their beauty and feel both admiration and gentle sadness at their passing.

Wanting to enjoy cherry blossoms while they were still lingering, I strolled around Nara Park.  In the shower of cherry blossoms, I was standing mesmerized. 

During our drive, we heard the news of magnitude 7, level 5 aftershock following the previous night's biggest one which caused blackout again. Tohoku people must have felt scared and helpless in the continuing aftershocks.  I was somber and felt guilty even calmly appreciating pleasures.  What a difference between the stricken and the non-stricken!  This is a harsh reality, and in uncertainty maybe I could be one of the sufferers next time.

These are view of Nara City from Mt. Mikasa, though blurred in typical Yellow Dust.  Nara was a capital of Japan (710-784).  After capital was transferred to Nagaoka, then Kyoto, leaving temples, shrines, and clergies behind, Nara has survived as religious and resort site.  Now Nara City is mostly a bed town city, a laid back city, where old tradition and modernness coexist.  No building is higher than Five-storied Pagoda of Kofuku-ji Temple.  Nara as well as Kyoto avoided air raids during WWII thanks to one American senator's efforts to exclude Kyoto and Nara from air raids list.  There is no such concentration of historical and cultural assets like in and around Nara City. 

The flow of river is ceaseless and its water is never the same. 

Saho River runs through Nara City.  In Japan,there are many rivers lined up with numerous cherry trees.  People sit and enjoy the beautiful view on the river bank or walk under the canopy of cherry trees. 

Ryotaro Shiba, a Japanese author, wrote one’s identity was grown in “sato”, or one’s home or village.  The spirit of one’s home cultivated in the natural features of the region was explicit to his eyes when he intensively and extensively travelled from village to village and wrote "Kaido wo Yuku" (On Highways).   The areas stricken by four disasters (by earthquake, tsunami, nuclear crisis, and rumors) are the land of farming, fishery, and small factories supplying key parts worldwide, and is the place dear to Japanese heart. People are simple and unaffected and treasure the land inherited from their ancestors.  Despite the ongoing troubles, majority of them want to bloom again there where they were once planted..... like cherry blossoms hoping to be born again while floating to the ground.

Though there is diversity of the Japanese spirit from region to region, cherry blossoms have been at the core of Japanese cultural and aesthetic tradition as a whole.  

Sakura is everywhere:  in neighborhood, in schoolyards, between skyscrapers, along rivers,  in parks, historic temples, shrines, and castles...., at Starbucks, on my kimono, in a tea cup, and everywhere else. 

 See you next year!

Visit My World to learn more about our world.


  1. My beloved friend
    Your city Nara is wonterful !!!
    These parks Japanese is amazing!
    Offer beauty and tranquility!
    Everything will go well for the Japanese people.
    We all can happen ...
    Many greetings and friendship

  2. Stunning!! Boomer & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  3. What an incredible, breathtaking post for the day! Your photos are awesome! I love them all! I do hold all of your in my mind and heart and hope all goes well you and your country. I worked for Komatsu here in the states for a number of years and have many wonderful Japanese friends and I do feel deeply the terrifying things that have happened. Hope you have a wonderful week! Stay safe!


  4. these are breathtaking! they're so beautiful and delicate--perfection.

    stay safe!

  5. nature's beauty continues to thrill us despite the calamaties.

  6. It's like the dream! Your post is so beautiful!
    Thank you for sharing:)

  7. Each photo is so beautiful. I especially like the second and third. Blessings!

  8. I so enjoy your posts on the Sakura blossoming. They seem to represent the essence of the Japanese people and culture. I particularly love the photo of the blossoms on the bank flowing down toward water. It reminds me of a Sakura waterfall. The grazing deer are also wonderful.

  9. I am now convinced that Nara is the place to go to the next time I visit Japan. Your photos are captivating, and the texts you wrote brought me right there for a moment. Thank you for this beautiful post.
    My thoughts are with Japan and the Japanse and you are all in my prayers.
    Thank you also for visiting my other blog, Sreisaat Crafts.
    Have a great day.

    Inside Cambodia

  10. Nara is like an enchanted garden adrift in cherry blossoms. Such lovely photos, it would seem magical to stand in a shower of blossoms falling to the ground and at the same time I can understand your somber feelings, when thinking of Tohoku.

  11. Clouds upon clouds of soft blossoms floating over grazing deer make a serene picture that illustrates the duality of existence during troubled times. It would be a shame not to enjoy such beauty. I love the sounds of Nara City with its mix of ancient monuments and modest buildings that are not overly tall. Thanks as always for sharing your part of the world.

  12. Wow - these blossoms are the most magical sight I've ever seen.

    Hoping the after-shocks stop now...

  13. I've also been mesmerized a lot with ethereal flowers. They are ready to be gone, leaving fresh green leaves coming into bud. Merciless nature and merciful nature. Both are beyond human being's control but hopefully I wish I feel grateful and blessed with nature all the time.
    Especially I like the second and the third one with its thin shade of warm hue.

  14. I simply love all your beautiful photos! The cherry blossoms are incredible - something we never experience here in northern Europe! Makes me want to go to Japan in spring. I've only visited your country once but that was in the middle of summer. It was beautiful then, too, though!
    Wishing all the best to all of you in Japan!

  15. I love Sakura. Thank you for sharing your lovely world.
    My prayers and thoughts always.

  16. いつもすばらしい写真ですね。私は、水辺に落ちているのが特によいと思いました。

  17. My beloved friend
    Sorry, that will not come to your blog until the end of April, because I will travel.

  18. The cherry blossoms are so incredibly beautiful, even when the petals drop on the ground like snow. Love your photo of the deer too. :)

  19. Sakura! I love them! My sister used to send me lots and lots of pictures of them every Spring! She lives in Fuokoka! :)

    I have Our WORLD of Wintry Spring for the My World. Hope to see you at my page! :)

  20. Once again, beautiful photos. The deer grazing so peacefully is a wonderful shot. And, the river lined with blossoming trees is lovely--you take wonderful photos. My thoughts will be with you, and I hope you will remain safe and untouched by the tragic happenings in Japan. Keep safe and be filled with peace, my friend. Mickie:)

  21. The snow scene..., that is pure-white in spring season.
    JUST, the beauty itself of Japan.

  22. Such beautiful images, they have a magical quality to them.

  23. These are simply breath-taking. And your words, too are beautiful. They make me want to visit Nara. Know that others around the world are thinking of the difficulties of the Japanese people in the north. I hope they will bloom again and be able to once again feel comfortable in their part of the world.

  24. Thanks for all the great photos and "sakura" stories. I have borrowed from them shamelessly. And here's another sakura story you may be interested in, although it is not about Nara. Perhaps you can even add to the story: "Atomic-blasted cherry trees 被爆桜"

  25. Thank you for this sakura journey, Yoko! It was a big pleasure to go through all four cherry bloom posts. Beautiful pictures, very calming and elegant.

    桜は好きですね ^_^

  26. Preciosas fotos de los cerezos en flor... por aquí también tenemos cantos y poemas...



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