Japan’s Season of the Flowering Cherry Tree
365Playground’s own Akino Nourdine (Corporate Business Development, Sales & Marketing & Training) guest blogs about her trip to Japan, her home country, during the season of the flowering cherry tree.
Being back in Japan in the season of the flowering cherry tree touches my heart every time. No matter how many times I see sakura, it is still a magical experience and I felt it again on a return trip to my country this spring.
The cherry blossoms have been prominent in Japanese culture since time unrecorded. The breathtaking but brief beauty of the blossoms symbolises the transient nature of life. The flowers last for a few weeks at the most, but during that time, both the mountains and the cities are full of delicate pink and white flowers, on trees both wild and cultivated.
The traditional Japanese values of purity and simplicity are thought to be reflected in the form of colour of the blossoms. The cherry blossom is also tied with the samurai culture, representing the fleeing nature of the samurai’s life and symbolic of drops of blood. Such cultural symbolic interpretations of the cherry blossoms and the extensive use of the blossoms in art, for both their innate beauty and the symbolism of innocence, delicacy and simplicity they carry, have ensured sakura’s position in the cultural identify of Japan. Therefore, it is little wonder that the flowers appear in many traditional objects, such as folding screens, sliding doors, kimono and lacquer ware, as well as depictions of Samurai.
Today, the blossoms continue to be celebrated in many forms of modern arts and lifestyle of Japanese people, like this sakura-inspired cup by Starbucks (above) and shoes by the world-renown designer, Christian Louboutin. I feel so blessed to witness our tradition and value continue to be cherished beneath the beautiful blossoms. Because the blossoms are so interwoven throughout symbolism, art and society of Japan, it is most definite that these blossoms will be important to the culture as long as the trees continue to bloom each spring.
I wanted to share this story with a hope and as a commitment of 365Playground Management to continue supporting projects and clients nourishing and protecting such unique cultures and traditions.