Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cherry Blossoms Again

One month has passed since a great earthquake and tsunami hit northeastern Japan, leaving around 150000 people forced to live in evacuation shelters as of now. Aftershocks of the quake are still  rocking devastated areas and people. At the site of nuclear plant, progress is slow in restoring cooling system and containing radioactive materials released from the plant despite the desperate efforts of the people involved. 

However, at this time of confusion and trouble, the season never forgets to come around. Cherry blossoms are at their best now everywhere dyeing the air with soft-hue pink. They are simply genuinely beautiful. They look exuberant with joy of life. They are a requiem for the casualties of the disaster including missing people,  prayer and  hope as well to see us through.

Cherry blossoms at Sewari Bank, where three rivers (Kiso River, Uji River and Katura River) join to become Yodo River.

Many of evacuees are struggling to come to terms with their distressful losses, everything from loved ones to homes, jobs and yet trying to step forward. The thought of harsh reality lying before them makes me or us feel sober. They will need much more helping hands mentally and materially from government, specialists to grass root’s level as soon as and as much as possible.

The pledge for fair play at the national high school baseball championship held in March after the argument of whether it should be held or not, (high school baseball championship is a very popular event nationwide, held twice a year) was an unusual and very moving one. I happened to hear that in the car on my way to visiting my mother; “Many of us were born in the year the Great Hanshin Earthquake occurred sixteen years ago. This year the disastrous earthquake and tsunami claimed lots of precious lives again. Our hearts are filled with sorrow…All people are doing their best working together with friends. We believe people will overcome great difficulties by being supported by friends. What we can do now is to play the game as best we can. We pledge to compete fairly with all our strengths and all our hearts, with appreciation of being alive”

This message made by a captain of a high school baseball team connected to lots of people and encouraged them at the stricken area. This feeling that we are connected and supported is very encouraging and gives energy to go forward. Like so many other people, I’d like to play a part to help them if there’s something I can do. Though right now all I can do is donation and go over my life-style.

They prompt me to think back on my lives on each occasion and jog memories of the year that has gone. Last year I saw them with a friend pushing her wheelchair. She is not here anymore but I feel sure she is looking at the same cherry blossoms. (To You)

From the universe, I wonder how this situation looks.
 It's just in the course of nature?
Cherry blossoms seem to be reaching Tohoku area. People even at the stricken area are planning to have flower festivals spontaneously. I am very happy to hear that. I sincerely hope cherry blossoms are cheering and lightening them up to keep looking  forward.

Now Mt.Yoshino in  Nara, a part of World Heritage Site, is full of cherry blossoms. Here from Kamisenbon, the roof of Zaodo ( national treasure, the second largest wooden structure next to Todaiji Temple) is seen in the middle of right side of this picture, if you have a good eye sight.

Cherry Blossoms seem to be more meaningful and encourageous to Japanese people this year by reassuring that the ability to regenerate is inherent in every living thing. By the the time we see them next year, I pray Japan will have resumed its vitality.


  1. The scenery with the crescent moon through the branches of full boom cherry blossoms on them is wonderful.
    The moon looks like a sign!
    It is going to wax, casting serene light in the universe.

  2. Hi,Cosmos.
    You took many beautiful photos of cherry blossoms. I like your new header;cherry blossoms taken with the mountains in the back is very attractive. The crescent moon peeking from the cherry blossoms is lovely!

    It is grateful that cherry blossoms in Tohoku are beginning to bloom. Beautiful flowers are always comforts for people. Thank you for posting. Actually, I did not go to see cherry blossoms this spring.

  3. Cosmos,
    Your way of taking photos is so innovative and amazing. I hadn't thought of it!! Nobody think to take B&W piuctures of Sakura. I also always tried to capture that soft, warm pastel pink. But B&W photo stimulates my imagination and I vividly see gorgeous Sakura in my heaat!!

  4. Wow, the third and the fourth image are amazing as cosmic cherry blossoms. The third one is luminous even in monochromatic color.

  5. Thank you, friends, for your comments. Cherry blossoms are all beautiful in the early morning, in the broad daylight and in the evening. I feel grateful they are blooming as beatifully as ever.

    Snowwhite, thank you for your compliment, though I hadn't intended B$W picture. As you might know I am not "innovative" person but I felt that colorless picture gave me a feeling that it is like an imagined scenery of different world.

  6. Cosmos.
    Your new header is breathtaking!!!
    I should go to Mt.Yoshino,next spring. I think your photos are always beautifully natural.

  7. Redrose,now that you told me to post more pictures taken while I was walking in the mountains, I followed your advice.
    Thank you for your encouragement.
    At Okusenbon on the top of Mt. Yoshino, where Saigyo once lived in a humble cottage, cherry blossoms were not opening yet. He admired cherry blossoms there a lot, leading a secluded life at such obscure place. He, as a part of nature, must have been assimilated with nature around him.

  8. Your new header is breathtaking, and the photos newly added to this post, especially the last one, too. I like Saigyo for his way of lifestyle and his tanka poems.

    Regarding the monochromatic photos, the flashlight didn't reach the object, otherwise the photo would have been different. Probably the street light behind worked as a backlight, I guess. Anyway, wonderful images naturally taken.

  9. Stardust
    Thank you for the comment again.
    I like Mt.Yoshino in summer and in fall with not so many visitors as in spring. But I came to know it is worth visiting in spring too.

    Thank you for analizing my monochromatic picture. I like the intensified brightness of the flowers in the darkness.

  10. What an elegant flower in your new header is!!!
    I am so pleased to see this beautiful flower.
    Have you gotten a new camera?

  11. Thank you, redrose, for taking the time to comment.
    No. I didn't get a new camera, it is just I used the "zoom in" function for the first time.
    Do you know what the flower is ? It looks different in the picture, bigger and more flowery than it really is.

  12. Oh, you added breathtaking pictures!! Incredibly beautiful. I think Yoshino is the hometown of Sakura, and I wanted badly to visit here. But, no time・・・Cosmos, I have poor eyesight, because I could not find the roof!
    The color of the flower in your new header has subtle beauty. I love this pastel color very much.

  13. Thank you for your encouragement, snowwhite.
    I'm very much interested in what pictures of Yoshino would be through your camera.


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