Sakura  Cherry blossoms


 Could you read out the following Japanese poem repeatedly? At least 5 times.

Shikishima no
 Yamato-gokoro wo
  Hito towaba
Asahi ni niou
 Yamazakura bana

朝日に匂う 用.jpg
(click the picture)

 It’s rhythmical.
 You’ve felt sorta comfortable while you were repeating it, haven’t you?
 It’s “Tanka (Waka)”,which consists of 5 lines with 31 sounds. “Tanka” is a Japanese representative style of poem.

 The meaning is:
 If somebody asks me what real Japanese mind is, I would answer this way.
“It is something like the cherry blossoms at hills in the early sunny morning. Blossoms would look fresh like scenting fragrant.”

 This poem inspires to me the scene of the fresh cherry blossoms with blue sky for the background in the early morning.
 In my imagination,weakly pink petals seem even to be wet with dew.As fresh as just born.

 The poet seems to tell that real Japanese mind is such fresh.
 I like the scene and really would like take the same photo as he tells. Because the photo would inform me of how to keep my mind when I get tired of everyday life to be rust-eaten.

 This Waka has been put out of the way for long time because of its commitment to the Japanese history.

 It was focused on over 60 years ago at the time of the World War 2,conbined with the image of scattering way of “Somei-Yoshino” cherry blossoms like snowfall, through media.

 That is:
“Yamato-damashii”, the essence of Japanese mind is something like “Sakura”, cherry blossoms,which scatter gracefully when they should.

 And the war song titled “Douki no Sakura” (Contemporary cherry blossoms) became a hit song.That is:

Kisama to oretoha
 Douki no sakura
  Onaji heigakkou no
   Niwa ni saku

Saita hananara
 chirunoha kakugo
  Migoto chirimasho
   kuni no tame

 The lyrics says:

“You and I are the cherry blossoms that have bloomed at the garden of the same school for soldiers. Because we have bloomed we are ready for death. Let’s fall perfectly for our country.”

飛花 essay用.jpg
Flying petals in the air.
(click the picture)

 This song is supposed to have encouraged Japanese youg soldiers to be brave enough to fight in war to die with the same way as “Somei-Yoshino” cherry blossoms. And it is told that it had showed the ideal way of dying for a lot of young men who had obligatorily to serve for the forces at that time.

 It’s surely the origin of suicide (kamikaze) bombing at the time of World War 2,which was eventually taken after by the attackers against the World Trade Center Buildings on 9.11 in New York.

 This “Waka” was used for the wrong purpose because of its aesthetic value.

 The poet of this “Waka” is Norinaga Motoori(1730-1801) in the last stage of the Edo period.
 He was a doctor from Ise-Matsuzaka (the present Matsuzaka-city of Wakayama-prefecture) in Kansai-region of Japan, who researched the historical books named as “Kojiki”, ”Nihon-shoki”, and the public anthology called as ”Manyou-shuu” over 40 years. Those are Japanese indigenous books which are supposed not to have any influence by Confucianism from China and Buddhism from India via China.

 According to the research on Norinaga,
 When he used “Yamato-gokoro”(real Japanese mind) in the poem,he had the opposite idea to “Yamato-gokoro” in his mind.
 It was “Kara-gokoro” which meant the mind influenced by Chinese culture.

 As you know Japan had been importing a lot of culture from China for 1,000 years from the beginning of its history until then and overwhelmed with the culture originated in China.

 For example,at Norinaga’s time when they said or wrote “flower”, it meant not cherry blossoms but ume blossoms (the flowers of Japanese apricot) because it’s indigenous to China.
 Cherry trees are originated in Japan.

 Because of such details,Norinaga would have liked to regenerate Japanese native culture.
 “Yamazakura-bana”(cherry blossoms) was the symbol of his wish for the Renascence of indigenous Japan.

 Behind mere cherry blossoms we Japanese have such kind of complicated circumstances.

 I like cherry blossoms quite a bit.

posted by Jiraux at 02:55 | Comment(5) | TrackBack(0) | essay: Seize Japan

where did you take these pictures of the sakura? i went to kamakura and shot a few rolls myself. it truly is a beautiful time in japan!
Posted by cassie at 12/04/2006 12:15
Hi,this is Tsugito just met you today's class. (intoroduced myself as a consultant) I really surprised your website's design.These picture's are so nice,dynamic and enegetic.Already bookmarked on my browser:) I'm looking forward to talking with you again somewhere's class.See you.
Posted by Tsugito at 12/04/2006 22:21
Hi Cassie
I took those pictures at Shinjuku-gyoen park and near my house.Could you take good pictures at Kamakura? Next time hydrangeas there.

Hello Tsugito
Thanks a lot for your bookmark.Please check it often.Your stories were quite stimulating.I would like talk with you again.
Jiraux 13th/April 06
Posted by Jiraux at 13/04/2006 23:34
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Posted by 情趣用品 at 12/08/2013 04:15
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