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April - Sakura and Ohanami

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April is the season of sakura.

Cherry blossoms are blooming across Japan around this time.
Sakura means it is the season for Ohanami (お花見)*.

Every year in Japan, people would gather under the blooming sakura tree to eat and drink sake.
But this year seems like people are having less of the eating and drinking and more of the viewing.

This year Gardens by the Bay had a sakura event featuring HelloKitty, where they had real sakura trees imported from Japan on display.

For those of you who missed out; I've compiled three Ohanami related fun facts for you to have a taste of Ohanami:

 

1. The Color of Sanshoku-dango

 The three colors of the sanshoku-dango** represent spring for pink, winter for white, and summer for green. Some say the reason why there is no autumn representation is that "Aki-ga-konai" (directly translates to autumn don't come) has the same sounding as "飽きがこない," which roughly means 'won't get bored eating.' There are several other meanings to the colors. For example, red and white keeps away evil spirits and so on (1).

 

2.Cherry Blossoms in Japan are Clones  

 80percent of the sakura trees in Japan are the same breed called the 'Someiyoshino,' and the most impressive thing is that most of them are clones. These sakura trees were planted from the Meiji period onwards, using the grafting technique (2).

 

3. The Oldest Sakura Tree

 The oldest sakura tree in Japan is the 'Jindai-sakura,' in Otsuyama Jisso Temple, Yamagata prefecture. It is said to be approximately 2000years old. 10.3m high, and its trunk circumference is 11.8m. This sakura tree became a natural monument during the Taisho period and was also the first natural monument recorded in Japan (3).


See you next month!


By atomi

 

Flower of the Month: Sakura
Meaning: Spiritual Beauty, Purity, Nobleness

 

*Ohanami (お花見) is a traditional custom in Japan of enjoying viewing cherry blossoms every spring. Commonly people gather under the sakura tree to have a picnic while appreciating the sakura.


**Sanshoku-dango (三色団子) is a Japanese sweet made of a mixture of rice flour, uruchi rice flour, and glutinous flour. Traditionally eaten during spring.

 

❀.。.:*:.。.✽.。.:*:.。.❀.。.:*:.。.✽.。.:*:.。..。.❀.。.:*:.。.✽.。.:*:.。.❀.。.:*:.。.✽.。.:*:.。..。


こんにちは!


4月は桜の季節。今日本全国では桜の開花が始まっている時期ですね!


そして桜と言えばお花見。

満開の桜の木の下で桜を見ながら家族や友人と持ち寄ったお弁当を食べたり、

お酒を飲んだり…

日本では毎年見る光景でしたが、今年のお花見は飲食はせずに近場で桜が咲いてる場所に寄って桜を眺めるだけ、という方が多い様です。



シンガポールでは今年ガーデンズバイザベイで桜の木 が見れたそうですが、

みなさんはご覧になられましたか?


私のように見逃してしまった方が少しでもお花見気分を味わえるように、

お花見に関する雑学を3つご紹介いたします:


1. 三色団子の色の意味

 お花見の時期に食べられる三色団子の色はそれぞれ春、冬、夏を表していて、秋がないのは「秋が来ない→飽きが来ない」と言うダジャレの意味が込められているとか。その他にも紅白は魔除け、緑のよもぎは邪気払いのためなど諸説あるようです(1)。

 

2.日本に咲いてる桜は全てクローン

 日本に咲いている桜の8割はソメイヨシノと言う品種で、その殆どがクローンなんです(2)。明治以降、主に接木と呼ばれる方法を用いて増殖、栽培されたと言われています。

 

3.日本で最も古い桜の木


 日本に存在する最古の桜の木は山梨県の実相寺境内にある山高神代桜で、樹齢は推定2000年と言われています。樹高10.3m、根元・幹周り11.8mもあり、大正時代に日本で一番最初の天然記念物として登録されました(3)。


ではまた来月!

by atomi

 

今月の花:桜
花言葉:精神美、純潔、高貴

 

Works Cited


(1) "お花見団子の三色の意味は?," Japanese Foodstyling Culture Association, accessed April 16th 2021. https://www.nihonwasyokutakubunka.com/column/cat03/21.

(2) 北杜市観光協会,  ”山高神代桜,” ほくとナビ, accessed April 16th 2021. https://www.hokuto-kanko.jp/sp/sakura_jindai.

(3) "ソメイヨシノ," Wikipedia, accessed April 16th 2021. https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/ソメイヨシノ

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