When the cherry blossoms begin to scatter, the Hanamizuki, dogwood, begin to bloom. Hanamizuki is a flower that Americans love just as Japanese people love cherry blossoms. Planting in Japan began in 1915 as a return after Yukio Ozaki, the mayor of Tokyo at the time, presents cherry blossoms (Somei-Yoshino) to Washington, D.C., USA. Therefore, it has only been about 100 years since Hana-Mizuki took root in Japan. Red and white splendid Hamizuki trees are planted at Nison-in Temple in Sagano, Kyoto, but are now found everywhere in Japan. There is also a famous road bordered by a line of Hanamizuki all over Japan, which heals the hearts of many people.
April 8 is the day of the “Flower Festival” today. It’s the birthday of Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. We Japanese celebrate this day regardless of religion. It is customary to celebrate by applying sweet tea to a small Buddha statue in connection with the fact that when the Buddha was born, he used pure perfume to purify himself. Spring blossoms bloom in the grounds of any temple, providing a peaceful day.
Cherry blossoms have begun to scatter. In contrast, the coronavirus is increasingly rampant in the world. As a result, the number of visitors to cherry blossom spots throughout Japan has dropped, and this year is a lonely cherry blossom viewing season. I can’t predict how long this situation will last, but we must fight against them by making the most of human wisdom and unity. This is the greatest challenge of the century.
Nemophila, like a forest fairy, has a clear blue flower, and is often used for spring flower beds and container planting. There are also large Nemophila parks here and there in Japan. By contrast, Kaido is a representative spring flower in Japan, just like cherry blossoms, but few people know its name. Kaido is a noble and beautiful flower that can be compared to the typical beauty of China, Yang Kuei-fei.
Many children play in the nearby park despite the weekday. It’s because the school is closed due to the coronavirus. On the other hand, the camellia flowers blooming beside the promenade are starting to scatter in a warm sunny day. Dandelions bloom on the ground, and many camellia flowers fall down also around it. It’s like passing the baton to the next season.
Camellia flowers fall down with one whole flower. On the other hand, the flower of sasanqua falls every petal. Camellia and sasanqua are very similar, but can be distinguished by how the flowers scatter. Today (4/4) the camellia of the nearby park was scattered all over. The fallen camellia is still alive, as if the camellia was reflected in a mirror on the ground.
At 6:30 every morning, a nearby temple hears a bell that tells the time. This bell not only tells the time, but also encourages us, “Let’s do our best all day today!” In the past, these temple bells were everywhere in Japan, but now they are only found in a limited number of towns and villages. Some municipalities sound chimes instead, but I sti prefer temple bells.
The season for bamboo shoots has arrived. Speaking of bamboo shoot dishes, there are cooked rice and boiled dishes with bamboo shoot. Recently, bamboo shoots dishes in foreign countries have been a bit of a boom, especially in Dubai in the Middle East. Amid global interest in health foods, bamboo shoot dishes are low in calories and besides nice.
The Takase River, which flows through Yao City, connects the two major rivers of Osaka, the Yamato River and the Yodo River. It was originally a tributary of the Yodo River, but was separated from the Yodo River by flood control work, and its name has now changed to Takase River. The present Takase River has no reminiscent of the Yamato River era, and is a narrow canal. There is a row of cherry blossoms along the river, which is crowded with cherry blossoms, but this year the number of visitors is very small due to the coronavirus.
A fresh young cherry tree has bloomed on the old cherry tree. It is mysterious where the vitality to make such an old tree bloom such a beautiful flower is hidden. However, this young cherry tree will be scattered after a week. The contrast between instantaneous life and eternal life makes us think deeply.