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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tempted by the color and fragrance ...


Ume (Japanese apricot) blossoms are at last in bloom brightening up the pale wintry landscape about two weeks later than usual due to the severe cold this year. 



After hectic two weeks with emotional turbulence, I walked to Yamato Bunka-kan in my vicinity and found it was the right time for ume blossoms.  Isn't the view over the walls inviting?



Ume, which starts flowering in mid-winter, symbolizes strength, resilience, perseverance, and purity.   The aroma of the blossom and its pure white color has made it very popular with everyone since the ancient times.



There are also red and pink blossoms.




There are many buds yet to open. 


Sugawara Pond is said to be the site of the oldest dam in Japan in Nihon-shoki, the Chronicles of Japan.


 
Ume trees had been so favored by the ancient people since its entry from China. There are as many as 119 tanka poems about ume blossoms in Manyoshu Anthology compiled in the 8th century.

Ume was once called as “mume”. I suppose probably due to an euphonic change “mu” to “u” in the pronunciation, "mume" from its scientific name “prunus mume” became “ume”.


shidare-ume/weeping branches

Like sakura (cherry trees), ume come in many varieties.









Even if not so explicit like cherry blossoms, don't you feel enchanting aura?


winter-blooming iris near the pond


on the ground under the ume trees
Although air was so cold, I found spring had been already in my heart awaiting for this kind of scenery.  The season of warmth and fertility is around the corner.

Last year's ume post: Ume blossoms - harbinger of spring

- This post is linked to Our World Tuesday.  Please enter the site from the icon on the sidebar. -

50 comments:

  1. Lovely post, the blossoms are all so pretty. Thanks for sharing your gorgeous world.

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  2. Great post!
    Love to see all the beautiful blossoms.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Have a great day.
    Mette

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  3. I just love tree blossoms, it is so Japanese for us westerners. I am not surprised that so many poems were written about ume blossoms as they are glorious and advertise so well for spring time!

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  4. Oh, and what a temptation it is!
    Seeing your beautiful pictures, Yoko, I involuntarily took a deep breath, trying to feel the fragrance of these incredible flowers. Must be an exhilaration of the senses to walk among so many bloomed ume or sakura!

    And the freshness of pink... I can't imagine a better colour to express delicacy! And "delicacy" is the name I would choose for your first image; it's like a piece of heart soothing silk kimono, swinging in the full-of-spring-promises air... a tanka poem itself, that needs no words. Thank you!

    I wish you sunny, happy days ahead!

    Roxana

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  5. Hello Yoko:
    The blossom of fruit trees is, in our minds, inextricably linked with Japan. And, how glorious are these brave bursts of pink and white on the bare branches of the Prunus.

    This is a most wonderful time of year and a perfect way to escape one's earthly problems to just wander amongst these trees with wildflowers underfoot. Thank you for taking us with you!

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  6. What exquisite shots of these gorgeous blooms!

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  7. Cudownie wyglądają drzewa obsypane różowym, w różnych odcieniach, i białymi kwiatami. Wygląda jak w raju. Piękna wiosna. Pozdrawiam.*** Trees look wonderful sprinkled pink in various shades, and white flowers. It looks like paradise. Beautiful spring. Yours.

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  8. The blossom in bloom is so beautiful and the variety of colours are very pretty!
    There is a magic about Japanese gardens and the blossom trees. I always associate them with Japan.
    Cherry blossom is well know here in the UK, but I wish we had more flowering trees and public gardens.
    As always your photos are wonderful.
    Have a great week.
    Blessings,
    Jo.

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  9. you are surrounded by beauty. glorious flowers!

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  10. Oh, the Ume is so beautiful, thank you for sharing these amazing images and for telling us about it too, it's beautiful! I saw my first blossom at the weekend (U.K)it was so lovely to see! Have a great week :)

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  11. The blossoms are such hopeful signs of spring. Actually, stardust, I feel some enchantment each time I visit your site and see your photos. There is something translucent and mystical about the blossoms and I can imagine the lovely scent of fresh starts when walking among them. :)

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  12. Hi,Stardust.
    長い間待ちましたよね~~。今年は本当に梅の開花が遅かったです。先週大和文華館に行きました。風が吹いてて梅の花は揺れるし、まだ満開ではありませんでした。大和文華館は家から近いし季節の花が楽しめる憩いの散歩道でもありますね。
    Tomoko

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  13. How beautiful. I didn't know that ume was called "mume". I learned a lot about Japanese things on this blog. Lol.

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  14. Hello, my friend!
    Spring came to you?
    :)
    Wonderful images. Thank you.
    All the best for you.

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  15. It's such a beauty, Yoko! I wish I could be there.
    Thanks for sharing:)

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  16. I love plum blossoms because they have so many different colours, and because they have a lovely fragrance. The blossoms in your second photo (across the wall) look almost red!

    I wonder if the cherry blossoms will also be late this year?

    Thanks for lovely photos, also of the flowers under the trees!

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  17. just gorgeous, yoko! i hope your emotional stress is over, too. :)

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  18. Calling by as another participant in Our World Tuesday, your blossom photos are beautiful. Our Apricot blossom is just emerging also later than last year.

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  19. Hi Yoko,
    I enjoy the shape of the tree and its sweeping branches almost as much as I like the dainty Ume blossoms. The petals looks so pretty strewn on the ground, too. Glad you got to enjoy the Ume tranquility after the wedding planning and festivities.

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  20. Your photographs are very beautiful. I joined your blog, and look forward to seeing more.

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  21. How very enchanting the sight over the wall is and your photos of individual blossoming branches make me yearn for spring to get going here too.

    There is so much beauty in Japanese nature, how much of it is natural and how much of it is the art of the gardener?

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  22. What beautiful blossoms! This would be a real treat during a walk. It's interesting that you had colder than average temps while we had warmer temps:) We had those same cold temps last year which happened during our blossom season....lost a lot of good fruit last year. This year should be different:) Thanks for sharing!

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  23. Your photos of the lovely blossoms are exquisite – the blossoms are so delicate – I wish I could smell their fragrance. There must be so many blossoms in Japan in all the lovely gardens – spring is a great time.

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  24. Beautiful, beautiful blossoms. They come in an amazing array of colours. Yes I think maybe Spring is almost here. Thank you Yoko.

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  25. Breathtaking beauty !!! Thank you so much for sharing your amazing photos.
    Have a wonderful spring, Yoko !!!

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  26. 実に多くの種類の美しい梅の開花が見られる素晴らしいお庭ですね。梅は枝振りも力強くて絵になる木だと思います。春の訪れとともに花粉に負けてしまいそうな毎日ですが、私達も防寒を怠らず梅林に出かけてみようかしらと思います。ピンク色の梅ほんとうに綺麗ですね。見せて頂けて嬉しいです。

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  27. すばらしい「日本の美」ですね。こんなに繊細に気高く、匂い立つ梅の花を表現して下さってありがとう。私もこんな風に表現できるようになりたいなあ。

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  28. Ume blossom came at a burst because of the sequence of warm days recently. I didn't know such many kind of Ume at the garden. Ume looks mist of pink or red or white from a distance. Nice capture.

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  29. Really fabulous shots, stardust!
    Your white and red Ume blossoms brighten my heart!

    お嬢様、結婚おめでとうございます!お祝いを申し上げるのが遅れてしまってごめんなさい。この一ヶ月、むちゃくちゃ忙しくて、ようやく今さっき最近の記事を拝読させていただきました。お雛様もきっと大喜びされていることでしょう!とてもステキで美しい花嫁さんですね。末永いお幸せをお祈り申し上げます。

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  30. sakura-always magic! are these pics from 2012? or from last year...snny smiles from me!

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  31. creo que lo explosivo de la primavera es lo que nos maravilla
    saludos,una fotografia muy buena

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  32. Friko - I don’t know how much is natural or depends on gardeners. I think it’s sure the collaboration of nature and gardener in general, but when it comes to the authentic Japanese gardens, gardener’s pruning techniques and specific garden care methods depending on variety are the most part.

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  33. 門の傍の紅梅の色大好きです。梅は撮り方によっていろいろ表情を変えるのですね。とてもデリケートに撮れていて素敵!

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  34. OMG, Yoko, you have presented a botanical feast for the eyes. How I'd like to be there and relish the varied scents of all these gorgeous blossoms.

    Thank you for sharing. And thank you for stopping by our new website and for your comment. It's always good to hear from you and when I do I know you have another incredibly beautiful blog post...

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  35. Utterly gorgeous and artistic! So breathtaking.

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  36. Yoko- What a gift nature shares with us. I hope the ume's characteristics of strength,resiliency, perseverance and purity brought you the balance you needed. Your images are exquisite. And a belated congratulations for your daughter and you. She was truly a lovely bride.

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  37. Beautiful blossoms--in so many lovely colors. Mickie :)

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  38. Jana – These are ume blossoms taken picture on March 8th, 2012. It was a beautiful day rirht before another cold spell.

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  39. It must be beautyfull when spring arrives in your country. Your photo's lookes like a garden fairytail.
    Have lovely weekend
    Marijke

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  40. Hello Yoko,
    Spring is definitely well on it's way in your part of the world.I sometimes forget how much further south you are,closer to the latitude of North Africa I think.The blossoms look wonderful especially the spidery trees,it must be lovely to walk beneath them.
    I see your beautiful daughter's wedding went well.Where would girls be without dolls?
    Best wishes,
    Ruby

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  41. Lovely post, Yoko! The cherry blossoms are such a delight to see. Beautiful photos, thanks for sharing :)

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  42. A breathe of fresh air, a feast for the eyes. Love you post, Yoko.

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  43. Such beautiful photos - such delicate flowers. I love the symbolism of them. I'm enjoying your spring which starts so much earlier than ours.

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  44. What amazing blossom. I cant wait for the blossom to be out in the orchard. Will call again soon. Please feel free to visit me in the orchard.

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  45. Thank you Yoko for those wonderful photos - I almost missed them - I am so glad that I didn't! :-)

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  46. Welcome spring!!!
    Your photos my dear Yoko, are fantastic!!!
    Beautiful pink color!!!
    Thank you!
    Best regards

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  47. Strength, resilience, perseverance, purity, wow, what great qualities to be associated with a white blossom. Beautiful photos, and I especially like the first one, it looks like a painting :) greetings from NY

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  48. wowwwww, lovely pics!
    You let me think to my dear Japanese friends...
    greetings from Italy

    http://teacherfromapulia.blogspot.it/

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  49. Sakura is jolly, ieeindly and an enchantress, as well...Ume...it's another story! Ume make a poet from the viewer! Ume cling to your soul, maybe just because we come out of winter with a desire to see nature rebound.

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