Home > Japanese Culture > Sakura, the fugacious but splendid symbol in spring

Sakura, the fugacious but splendid symbol in spring

All students in Japan start their term in April. Recruits open the doors of the companies employing them in April. April is the threshold to another period in Japan. Nothing can be more associated with this season than cherry blossoms. I took a walk in my area for viewing cherry blossoms. Today, showing you several photos that I took, I’ll explain some anecdotal topics regarding cherry blossoms.

The Transitory Nature

The flowering period of cherry blossoms is not so long: a week or so. The fugacious lives attract many Japanese. Many Japanese love something fading early for ages, which leads to an idea called monono aware.

Like Comrades?

The word ‘comrade’ might remind you of communism. It has recently been changing its style, though, we still employ a lifetime employment system. Once you start working at your company, you will keep working untill you become 60-65 years old. You and your collegues saw the same cherry blossoms flowering when you all entered your company. You and your colleagues are, what we call, comrades in a Japanese style. We have a phrase in Japanese: douki no sakura. douki in this case indicates employees who joined the company in the same year.

Messages in both good cases and bad cases

You can send some messages using the words ‘cherry blossoms'(sakura in Japanese) in both a good situation and a bad situation.

1. Sakura saku(saku means ‘to flower,’ ‘to blossom,’ etc.)
When you pass an important examination, such as an entrance exam, you can mail someone special with this expression and tell them that you made it.

2. Sakura chiru(chiru means ‘to fall its flowers’)
Unforunately, when your dreams don’t come true at the important situation, this phrase ‘sakura chiru‘ will be useful to express your feelings.

Most of Japanese understand what your results go with these two expressions at once. Complicated, redundant and wordy sentences like this blog are no longer necessary.

Using wintry(winterly) words in spring, using springlike words in winter
sakura hubuki
A scene in which a large number of petals fall like they are dancing by wind is called sakura hubuki. hubuki means a snowstorm, which reminds you of cold winter. However, sakura hubuki is used in spring.

kaza hana
Strong winds also make a wonderful scene in winter. They blow off tiny crystals of snow and the crystals look like petals. We call it kaza hana. kaza is another way to call ‘wind’, and hana of course means flower, which can be associated with spring.

Words about winter in spring, and words about spring in winter. It’s interesting, isn’t it?

Unfortunately, I just saw the cherry blossoms not in bloom. They should be in full bloom in a few days. And in another week, they will become hazakura.

It has been a long time since I wrote the article about cherry blossoms. Oops, I just wrote similar topics. Here, it is. I promise I write the same topic in another year 😉

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  1. April 12, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Hi H.P. 🙂

    How are you? Hope all is well.

    Cherry blossoms are special and gives off a mysterious aura because of the time they’re around.

    Love the pictures, especially the last one. Oh to be sitting out there enjoying this sight. 🙂

    Thanks for the Japanese expressions and other info.

    Comrades do sound like something out of a Russian or a communist country.

    “Have you torpedo the boat comrade?”

    “Something went wrong with the mission.”


    “He came back?”


    The epic music begins, and . . .

    • honeypotter
      April 15, 2011 at 3:15 am

      Wow, your comment reminded me of the book ‘1984’, which was the one that you recommended. 🙂

      The last two photos, they were not the ones I took. Someday, I visit a famous place for kaza hana and take several good photos. 😉

      I’m so glad you enjoy Japanese expressions. 😉

  2. Mugami
    April 30, 2011 at 4:42 am

    I don’t really think of communism per se, more so i think of a big fat russian dude in a furry hat drinking vodka. I think most of my generation think that way. I had just left germany some months before The Berlin Wall fell and the mother of my children was herself born only a year before. We just think of furry hats, fat guys drinking, and hot women who want marry rich americans so they can get US citizenship.

    Buy the way, “winterly” is archaic literary english. It’s only use now is in poetic literary english, typically prose.

    • honeypotter
      May 7, 2011 at 6:01 am

      Hello, Mugami. I’m so sorry I’m late to reply to you. 😦

      A furry hat, drinking vodka. 🙂 Do you know the name of the furry hat? I wanted it when I was a junior high school. Of couse I was not a communist. lol

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