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Sakura, the fugacious but splendid symbol in spring

April 9, 2011 4 comments

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
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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?
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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
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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
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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.

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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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Japanese love Sakura

April 11, 2009 1 comment

This season, you can see “sakura”, cherry blossoms, in many places in Japan. Japanese love sakura, and parties called “hanami” hold under cherry blossomes. Watching and admiring cherry blossoms, people drink alcohol, chat with each other, and enjoy the party.

The parties held by friends are not that difficult, however, the ones held by co-workers are sometimes very difficult. It’s said that the first task for the new company recruits is to hold the party successfully.

To hold the good party, you know, we have to get the good place, position to watch cherry blossoms. Many people actually want to get that place, so the new company recruits must spend the time keeping that place for days.

One more thing, some company order them to organize the party. The new company recruits are tested their planning skill from the order. Organizing the party and keeping the place for the party…it’s a tough job for them…

There are a few phrases about “sakura” in Japan. For example, “sakura saku”, means “I made it!”, is used in the case of reports of the successes for something, such as examinations, graduations, promotions. On the contrary, “sakura chiru”, means “I failed…”, is used in the case of reports of the failures for something.

The most interesting phrase I’ve met is…”sakura hubuki”, means “the cherry blossom blizzard”. The tons of petals of cherry blossoms fly like blizzard. In spite of spring we express it with the words associated with winter.

On the contrary, in winter, we use this phrase “kazahana”, which means “winds and flowers”, when the powder snow on the road are blowed up by winds. It looks like dancing something. I can’t help associating flowers with spring. It’s so interesting.

For Japanese, Spring is the season of encounter and fairwell, so every time people meet with someone new and leave someone, cherry blossoms always watch those happening gently above them.

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