Japanese special feelings for cherry blossoms

Japanese modern lifestyle

Hello, it’s Yuko.
Cherry blossoms bloom earlier this year than usual, and they have already begun to bloom here and there.

As of March 24, the cherry blossoms in the neighborhood of my house are already in full bloom in the sunny areas, and the overall bloom is about half.

The cherry blossoms in my neighborhood are 20% bloom

The cherry blossoms in Kobe this year are expected to be in full bloom around March 30th (Tuesday).
By the time you read this column, you will see the cherry blossoms in full bloom. This is expected to be about a week earlier than usual.

Today, I would like to talk about the “special feelings for Sakura(cherry blossoms)” that Japanese people who love sakura think.

Sakura is the national flower of Japan

The national flowers of Japan are “chrysanthemum(Kiku)” and “cherry blossom(Sakura)”.

Chrysanthemum is also used as a coat of arms to represent the emperor and the imperial family, and is a representative flower of Japan.

The reason is that the Japanese have long been familiar with the chrysanthemum, which is also a symbol of the imperial family.

A coat of arms representing the emperor and the imperial family. The motif is a chrysanthemum.

So why is “Sakura” a national flower?

This is because the cherry blossoms represent the ancient history, personality, and way of thinking of the Japanese people, and are loved by many Japanese people.

It seems that the situation where many people wait for the flowering of one flower is a rare case even if you look around the world.

Then, what kind of cherry blossoms are loved by the Japanese people, and do they represent the ancient history and character of the Japanese people?

Why Japanese people like sakura

Here are two main reasons why Japanese people like sakura. Both are closely related to Japanese thought and life.

Japanese view of life and death

Because the way the cherry blossoms are scattered represents the Japanese view of life and death. “Impermanence” is one of the Japanese views of life and death. Impermanence means, “The world is changing. Even those who are proud of their power will not continue to prosper. There are times when they will prosper, and there are times when they will decline.”

The cherry blossoms will be scattered in about a week. Moreover, the way the cherry blossoms are scattered is very beautiful.

Many flowers are ugly, deflated, and even with a rotten odor, and die, but cherry blossoms never show such a figure. However, sakura ends with beautiful petals scattered around, and then turns into leaf cherry blossoms that seem to signal the arrival of summer.

This figure is in common with the old way of thinking of “Bushido” (Want to be beautiful without exposing an ugly figure while I am alive).

Feeling the arrival of spring

When the cherry blossoms are in bloom, it gets warmer and has a spring-like climate. Cherry blossoms are synonymous with the warm spring that everyone has been waiting for after the cold winter.

In Japan, there is a cycle of graduation in March and admission in April.

At the graduation ceremony in March, we miss the farewell while the cherry blossoms are fluttering, and at the entrance and new life in April, Japanese people superimpose the hopeful feelings of spring on the gorgeousness of the cherry blossoms.

Last year, the entrance ceremony and new semester from April stopped due to the epidemic of the new coronavirus.

At that time, there was a topic about delaying enrollment by half a year and changing to October enrollment in Japan, which is also a major in the world.

The change was postponed for various reasons, but one of the reasons is that there is some people said, “It’s not the cherry blossom season.” because of a deep connection between cherry blossoms and new life for Japanese people.

Japanese expression using “Sakura”

There are many Japanese expressions that use cherry blossoms.
Here, I will introduce expressions that you often hear. Also elegant expressions that people will notice when you use them.

Sakura saku, Sakura chiru

Sakura saku: saku means blooming.

Sakura chiru: chiru means scattering.

This expression does not just mean “cherry blossoms have bloomed” or “cherry blossoms have fallen”, but also means “Sakura saku” = to pass the exam, “Sakura chiru” = to fail the exam.

In an era when the Internet was not yet widespread, the method for local students to take an examination at a university in Tokyo and know whether or not they passed was a telegram from the university.

If the telegram says “Sakura saku”, it means that it passes, and if it says “Sakura chiru”, it means that it fails.

Sakura Nagashi / Floating cherry blossoms

Since the weather is volatile during the cherry blossom season, it often rains to scatter the petals of the cherry blossoms.

The rain is called “Sakura Nagashi”. For example, in the sense that “Today’s rain is likely to scatter the cherry blossoms,” and “Today is likely to be a cherry blossom sink,” it is a very elegant and esoteric expression.

Food using “Sakura”

Cherry blossoms are not only for watching. The Japanese cook everything on the panel!

Sakura mochi/ Cherry blossoms flavored mochi

It is sold at various places such as Japanese sweets shops, department stores, supermarkets, and convenience stores when the cherry blossoms are in bloom.

I also buy and eat every year. It is only sold at this time, so I buy it multiple times and eat it.
Sakura mochi has different shapes in Kanto and Kansai. Sakura mochi in Kansai is also known as Domyoji.

Sakura mochi in Kansai (Domyoji). The rice cake on the surface is made by roughly crushing glutinous rice, and the shape of glutinous rice remains.
Sakura mochi in the Kanto region. The feature is that the surface of Sakura mochi is wrapped in smooth rice cake.

I prefer Domyoji in Kansai. If you have never eaten it, please try it once. In addition to Japanese tea and matcha, I think black tea is also suitable. The price is about 200 to 500 yen each.

Sakura tea

Sakura tea that is made by sprinkling hot water on salted cherry blossoms.
It is often served at a congratulatory seat. The appearance of the petals opening is also very cute. The scent of salt and cherry blossoms is fluffy, and the finish is very flavorful. It is also recommended for tea parties along with Japanese sweets.

Sakura tea can be bought at confectionery material stores, tea shops, and large supermarkets for a limited time. (Of course you can also buy it on Amazon!)
The price is about 500 yen for 20 flowers, which is a reasonable price.

Feel the same way

How was it? I would be happy if I could tell you that Japanese people have a special feeling that they are a little enthusiastic about Sakura. Please go to see the beautiful cherry blossoms.


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