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EkoWorld Jewels

Sakura Flower Bracelet in 925 Silver

Sakura Flower Bracelet in 925 Silver

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In Japan, the cherry blossom (sakura) is the unofficial national flower.

Starting from the Heian period (794-1185), every year in spring, on the anniversary called hanami (literally it means "looking at the flowers" but the term is used exclusively in reference to the cherry blossom), the Japanese celebrate the ephemeral beauty of sakura , one of the symbols of Japan, so strongly present in the culture of the Land of the Rising Sun.

The call of the cherry blossom goes beyond its evident beauty, what is striking is its transience, its being in full bloom for only a few days.
The true sense of the hanami tradition does not consist in looking at the spectacle offered by the beauty of the flowers on the tree but in observing with a hint of sadness and emotion how they fall from the tree, carried by the spring breeze in the short journey that separates them from the earth again. cold. A sweet and at the same time melancholy way to remember that every life is destined to end.
Despite this, it is not a sad occasion, quite the contrary! A blue plastic sheet is spread under each flowering tree and the joy of food and company is added to the aesthetic pleasure of standing under a delicate shower of petals.
Hanami is a chance to catch up with friends, organize picnics and enjoy plenty of food and sake.
In fact, Hanami is celebrated in April and spring also symbolizes a moment of rebirth and generating strength. The cherry blossom has always been seen as a premonitory sign of the richness of the rice harvest, as a wish for prosperity.
As such, the custom of offering cherry blossom infusions at weddings must be interpreted.
Thus the students, who start a new school year in April, and the new graduates or graduates who enter the world of work every year, in the same month, see in the cherry blossom a sign of good omen for their future.

Most of the cherry trees in Japan belong to the Somei Yoshino and Yamazakura varieties but there are over a hundred different varieties throughout the country.
Among the distinctive features, the main one is represented by the number of petals of cherry blossoms. Most wild cherries but also cultivated ones have flowers with five petals, some species have flowers with ten, twenty or more petals.

In symbolism we find more frequently the five-petaled sakura with evident references to the five orientations of Japanese esoteric Buddhism (the four cardinal points and the center), to the five sacred Japanese elements (earth, water, fire, air and void) to which the famous samurai Miyamoto Musashi titled the five "books" that make up his work, the Gorin No Sho (book of the five rings). Still in five parts, according to the Japanese cosmogony, the god of fire was cut from Izanagi, after Izanami's death and from the five parts was created Oyamatsumi, one of the most ancient and revered mountains ...

But the cherry blossom is also closely linked to Bushidō, the chivalric ideal of the Japanese warrior ( Bushi ). The sakura embodies and symbolizes the qualities of the samurai: purity, loyalty, honesty, courage.

As the cherry blossom, ephemeral and fragile, dies in its full splendor leaving the branch, so the samurai, in the name of the princes he believes in, is ready to leave his life in battle.

It is the image of an ideal death, pure, detached from the transience of life and from earthly goods.

We find the symbolism of the sakura in the Second World War, the image of the cherry blossoms falling often recurs in the last letters written by Kamikaze to families before their suicide mission.

The cherry blossom was also reproduced on the sides of the ohka , rocket-guided bombs used against American ships in Okinawa.

At the controversial Yasukuni-jinja Shinto temple in Tōkyō, a shrine that houses the national museum in memory of the Japanese dead, cherry blossoms still symbolize the rebirth of soldiers who fell in war.

Poetry and painting have also celebrated the cherry blossom for centuries. And dedicating to all of you a beautiful haiku written by the poet and painter Yosa Buson (1715-1783) seems to me the best way to conclude this article:

Cherry blossoms fall
on the stretches of water of the paddy field:
stars, in the light of a moonless night

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