Saturday, March 2, 2024

梅 Ume blossoms - Perseverance and Hope

The blossoms of 梅 Ume, Prunus mume, are the faint-fragrant harbinger of spring in Japan.
They typically bloom one after another between late January and early March
persevering the frigid cold of winter.
At this time of year, it feels like that weather gets warmer with each new bloom.
In various different places, the first bloom of Ume was the earliest in record this year.

Ume in my garden

I went to 城南宮 Jonan-gu, which was built to protect the south of Kyoto from evil spirit
 when the capital was transferred to Kyoto in 794.
On entering one of its gardens called "春の山 Spring Mountain", 
I felt like that white and pink snowflakes were drifting all around.

Almost all the Ume trees that cover all over the Spring Mountain are weeping type.
The cascading branches with blossoms as far as you can see are mesmerizing.
Under them, a pink carpet of petals spreads on the green moss.

Admired and photographed by so many visitors, the blossoms look in the pink.

The green moss is dotted with the fallen red Camellias around the edges of the Spring Mountain.

Ume blossom is the symbol of Perseverance and Hope.

Peace for Illia 
for all the suffering people from wars
 Illia Bondarenko & Ryuichi Sakamoto

Camellias are another highlight of the shrine at this time of year.

Linked to Mosaic Monday


  1. Gorgeous !
    Ume tree are beautiful...
    Never seen before...Sad that we can't buy one here...
    Camellias are beautiful too...I have 4 in my garden.
    Thanks for sharing those gorgeous photos Yoko !
    Have a shinny weekend !

  2. Wow, just beautiul! I love the Weeping UME tree, the blossoms are lovely. Beautiful collection of photos. Take care, have a happy weekend.

  3. ...this post is a feast for my eyes and my ears and I thank you.The world needs Perseverance and Hope now more than ever. I wish you peace and happiness.

  4. I love the symbolism you're brought to this post, stardust. The music is soulful and fills the heart with a mixture of sadness and hope. The accompanying blossoms show the beauty and delicacy of life.

  5. Those are spectacular! I'd love to walk among those blossoms.

  6. These photos are so pretty Yoko, they make me want to be with you to wander around the edges of Spring Mountain.

  7. Beautiful photos, Yoko.
    The symbolism of perseverance and hope embodied by the Ume blossoms is inspiring, especially in these challenging times.

    Happy Sunday!

  8. Spectacular! What a wonderful walk!

  9. Oh gosh, Yokosan... The music is so beautiful and so very sad.
    Your ume blossoms are gorgeous. We saw them in Mito but your blossoms are even more spectacular. They look spectacular like shidare-zakura.
    I was admiring the camellias while in Japan and mom told us it was admired by samurai because they fell at the height of its beauty rather than getting old and falling off.

    1. Thank you for the comment. The flower admired by samurai was Sakura (cherry blossoms). Sakura petals start to flutter to the ground even when there is hardly any breeze while they are still beautiful. Samurai particularly were fond of Skura for this nature of the blossoms, dying gracefully.
      On the other hand, Camellia was disliked in samurai culture because it blooms long even after its colors fade and drops suddenly on to the ground. While Sakura scatter in petals, Camellia drop as a single flower, which looks beheaded. I think many people would prefer to live hanging in like Camellia.

    2. There must be many different variations of flower stories. I looked up camellias and samurai and found this:
      "Japanese camellia
      The striking red camellia (tsubaki) historically symbolized a noble death among Japanese warriors and samurai. It also represents love."
      I guess there are lots of different interpretations. :-)

    3. Wait a minute. I just had a thought. Having your head chopped off is not exactly a noble death, right? Isn't it seppuku?

    4. Good point!
      Seppuku is thought to be honorable death despite the decapitated head. Because seppuku has clear rules as a ritual and a helper cuts the head at the end after a samurai conducts such a painful disembowelment for himself. Seppuku was done to atone for crimes, regain lost honor, or avoid disgraceful capture. After 1600’s, it is also associated with capital punishment for samurais. I searched on the Net.

    5. My mom has told me all about the honorable death by seppuku, but gosh.. I just can't imagine how anyone could be doing it. The pain must be unbearable. Thank you for letting me know about your reply.

  10. Your photographs show the beauty so well, I did enjoy them.

    All the best Jan

  11. Hi Yoko, nature is extraordinary, what magnificent blossoms 🌺
    I've never seen Ume trees around here.
    Fantastic photos that added color and joy to my day.
    Greetings from Maria

  12. Gracias Yoko por esta maravilla que la naturaleza nos regala, alegra y tu compartes. Son preciosas.
    Por Béjar Marzo nos trajo nieve y frío, dejó y ha vuelto a nevar.
    Buen jueves.
    Un abrazo.

  13. This impressions are wonderful. I wished I could see this real.
    Thank you so much for sharing at

    Hugs by Heidrun

  14. My father's birthday today, March 11, and a sad anniversary for Japan. I'm sending you good wishes.
    Beautiful blossoms in your photos today!

  15. I had to sigh at your photos of Ume blossoms and Camellias. It's like a beautiful fantasy world when they bloom. I have a friend who is visiting Japan in April. I imagine there will be different beautiful blossoms at that time.

  16. Happy Pi Day.... and Happy Birthday Yoko! Birthday Hugs from Canada!

  17. They are mesmerizing! I'll never stop wondering how early blossoms appear in your country, especially after visiting and learning that we live in the same time zone. Thank you for Magic, Yoko. And for violin music, sad and beautiful. Have a nice weekend.


  18. Dobra, co z serca do serca płynie
    I dużo pięknej wiosny wokół,
    Niechaj w radości czas ten minie,
    w miłości, która jak co roku
    nadzieję niesie, zieleń, kwiaty
    i słońce co wszystko rozjaśni!
    Niechaj w tym świętym, pięknym czasie,
    nie będzie smutków ani waśni,
    niech tylko dobro w nas rozkwita,
    jak wiosna, co Wielkanoc wita.

    Szczęśliwego, wspaniałego Czasu życzę Ci na te Święta i serdecznie pozdrawiam!

    Happy Easter, dear Yoko, or Happy Spring. :)


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