Yesterday, despite warnings to go outside because of the rain mixed with yellow wind of China, I walked up the small mountain behind my apartment. It disappointed me to realize that all up the mountain there were cherry blossom trees, where the cherries had already blossomed, and were already falling off and scattered across the ground. It is a beautiful to see the cherry blossom petals scattered, like a spring snow — but already they were really scattered, really days past their peak.
I somehow missed it. Japanese obsess over cherry blossoms to the point that you get sick of hearing about them, when you live there. I’ve watched NHK (Japan’s national network) a lot lately, and seen all the reports of the blossoms. I guess they bloom in Seoul and Tokyo at about the same time.
The Japanese word for cherry blossom is “sakura.” There is even a word for a cherry blossom in its later stage, when it has leafed and the blossoms are beginning to fall — that is “hazakura.” There is a certain type of person who prefers the “hazakura” to the “sakura” — it’s like the first glimpse of beauty compared to the last glimpse of beauty — which is better?
(This footage was taken about one year ago in Kamakura, Japan — a very cool little town an hour down the coast from Tokyo. The town is famous as the hometown of director Ozu and for its gigantic outdoor Buddha statue.)