TH: The Japanese Flowering Cherry Trees

Reply-To: Tree-House@Majordomo.Flora.Com -------------------------------

 Melanie Choukas-Bradley & Polly Alexander, 'City of Trees' (1987).

 For centuries the flowering cherry tree or "Sakura" has stood at
 the center of Japan's poetic consciousness as a powerful symbol
 of the beautiful, yet transient nature of life.  Ancient legends
 tell how the cherry blossoms are awakened in spring by "the maiden
 who causes trees to bloom" or by fairies who visited the emperor
 at the palace of Yoshino in the moonlight.  Japanese paintings
 abound with delicate "Sakura" blossoms.  Poets throughout the
 ages have exalted the cherry tree and mourned the brief life of
 its blossoms, often in the same breath.

 The world-famous Japanese cherry trees encircling the Tidal Basin
 in Washington's West Potomac Park were a gift to the  American
 people from the city of Tokyo.  They are probably the world's
 greatest living symbol of friendship between two nations ...
                   The cherry trees
                   Unmindful of this sad world,
                   have burst into bloom.
                   And in the capital too
                   Now must be their glory.

 One's thoughts *could* run that way on a spring visit to Tokyo
 or Kyoto today.  But the poem was not written by a nostalgic
 American, nor, indeed by anyone alive today.  It was the work
 of an anonymous Japanese poet who wrote it approximately 600
 years ago.
                                                  - From 'City of Trees'