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“Sakura” National flower of Japan

 2016/01/29 Japanese Culture   22 Views

Cherry blossom is speculated to be native to the Himalayas. Currently it is widely distributed, especially in the temperate zone of the Northen Hemisphere including Europe, West Siberia, India, China, Korea, Japan, Canada, and the United States. The cherry blossom is considered the national flower of Japan. Japanese people have traditionally had special feelings with cherry blossoms.  They are very beautiful but bloom only for a short while.  Therefore, Japanese have regarded cherry blossoms as the symbol of fragility and good grace.

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Contents

Cherry blossom front(from January to April)

Every year the Japanese Meteorological Agency and the public track the sakura zensen (cherry blossom front) as it moves northward up the archipelago with the approach of warmer weather via nightly forecasts following the weather segment of news programs. The blossoming begins in Okinawa in January and typically reaches Kyoto and Tokyo at the end of March or the beginning of April. It proceeds into areas at the higher altitudes and northward, arriving in Hokkaido a few weeks later. Japanese pay close attention to these forecasts and turn out in large numbers at parks, shrines, and temples with family and friends to hold flower-viewing parties.

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Flower viewing party “Hanami”

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“Hanami” is the centuries-old practice of picnicking under a blooming cherry or plum blossoms. The custom is said to have started during the Nara Period (710–794) But by the Heian Period (794–1185), cherry blossoms came to attract more attention and hanami was synonymous with cherry blossoms. The custom was originally limited to the elite of the Imperial Court, but soon spread to samurai society and, by the Edo period, to the common people as well.

Varieties and blooming

Japan has a wide variety of cherry blossoms.  Over 200 cultivars can be found there. The most popular variety of cherry blossom in Japan is the Somei Yoshino. Its flowers are nearly pure white, tinged with the palest pink, especially near the stem. They bloom and usually fall within a week, before the leaves come out. Therefore, the trees look nearly white from top to bottom. The variety takes its name from the village of Somei (now part of Toshima  in Tokyo). It was developed in the mid- to late-19th century at the end of the Edo period and the beginning of the Meiji period. The Somei Yoshino is so widely associated with cherry blossoms that jidaigeki and other works of fiction often depict the variety in the Edo period or earlier; such depictions are anachronisms.

Winter sakura or fuyuzakura (Prunus subhirtella autumnalis) begins to bloom in the fall and continues blooming sporadically throughout the winter. It is said to be a cross between edohiganzakura, the Tokyo Higan cherry (P. incisa) and mamezakura (P. pendula).

Other categories include yamazakura, yaezakura, and shidarezakura. The yaezakura have large flowers, thick with rich pink petals. The shidarezakura, or weeping cherry, has branches that fall like those of a weeping willow, bearing cascades of pink flowers.

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Other Japanese flowers

In spring, red and white azaleas are also popular.  In the rainy season between spring and summer gydrangeas bloom in many part of Japan.  Summer is the season of flowers with roses panseis, petunias.

The chrysanthemum which is the symbol of autumn bloom when autumn leaves have turened to yellow, orange, blown and red.

In winter, cyclamens bloom and camellias also bloom.  From the late winter in Feburuary to early spring, plum trees bloom.

 

summary

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The cherry blossom is considered the national flower of Japan.

The blossoming begins in Okinawa in January and typically reaches Kyoto and Tokyo at the end of March or the beginning of April.

“Hanami” is the centuries-old practice of picnicking under a blooming cherry or plum blossoms.

Japan has a wide variety of cherry blossoms.  Over 200 cultivars can be found there. The most popular variety of cherry blossom in Japan is the Somei Yoshino.

 
Sponsored Link

style="display:inline-block;width:336px;height:280px"
data-ad-client="ca-pub-1779908728018021"
data-ad-slot="8831389991">

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