Every year, Hanamizuki (花水木), Dogwood, or Bathmat florida, comes to bloom in response to the stillness after cherry blossom front passes over with floral blizzard. This year, cherry trees bloomed much earlier than usual, so did dogwoods accordingly, and the season of dogwood blossoms, which usually last through the Golden Week, has already passed its peak.
Flowering dogwood is a symbolic tree of friendship between the United States and Japan. Seedlings of white dogwood was presented to Tokyo from Washington DC in 1915 in return of 3000 cherry tree saplings presented by Tokyo Mayer to Washington DC back in 1912. And in 2012, 100 years after the gift of cherry trees to Washington, 3000 dogwoods were presented to Japanese People from American People.
Dogwood is native to North America. Since it looks like Japanese Yamaboshi, Benthamidia japonica, it is also called America Yamaboshi in Japan.
|Yamaboushi, native to Japan, via Wikimediacommon|
|"Dogwood holds its hands out boosting up the sky."|
Total number of cherry trees is by far more numerous than dogwood trees all over Japan, but in my vicinity, almost every home seems to have one or two dogwoods in the garden. It is such a popular tree as an ornamental tree in the residential area, park, school campus, or public facilities.
I enjoyed walking through the dogwood flowers and other plants in season at Umami Hills Park last Sunday.
|Camellia is almost over.|
|Dandelions, white clovers, and other grasses of unknown names, cover the slopes of burial mounds.|
|Dwarf azaleas are almost in full bloom.|
|layers of pink and white blossoms|
|Sky-blue flowers, Nemophila, look smiling while looking up at the sky.|
|Does this shape look like frog, cat, or heart?|
I felt like that my heart was filled with fresh green essence.
Dogwood blossoms in this post are all past the peak and petals are hurt by the rain storm of the previous night, but still they retain beauty of its own stage, don't they?
The song "Hanamizuki" by Hitoto Yo was written as a requiem right after the September 11 terrorist incident. No matter when or where the tragedy happens, the pain and agony of losing someone is something any one can relate to. The original lyrics sung at the live was very long including direct references to September 11 but Hitoto Yo editted it down to the shorter and abstruct when she recorded it.
The song is about the love of the father killed by the incident to his very young daughter. He wants that his sacrifice will lead to the peace of the world, the wave of anger, revenge, regret, and sadness will stop foever, and his daughter will saty positive and live long and happy with her loved ones.
English translation by Brian Stewart & Takako Sakuma, here
cf: "Water's edge" in the lyrics is the Sanzu River, a legendary river between Life and Death.