Tag Archives: spring

Place Where There Are No Strangers

The place where there are no strangers is not a place at all; it is in our hearts. To me, the pretty cherry blossoms show the way how.under cherry blossoms’ shade
even those whom we don’t know
are not strangers

                               – Issa Kobayashi (1819)

When we can share feelings with others, they are no longer strangers. If we have empathy, “others” become “we”. Where there can never … Read the rest

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Yomogi, Irises and Tale of a Queen


The love affair with irises and yomogi runs deep in the Japanese psyche, weaving a fascinating tale going back to the 6th century, when Japan was ruled by Empress Suiko, the powerful first female monarch of Japan.

It’s late April. The Japanese countryside is blanketed with some of the most beloved symbols of Japanese spring: irises and Artemisia princeps (yomogi).

The love affair with irises and yomogi runs deep in the national psyche, weaving a fascinating tale … Read the rest

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Irises and the Moment

Iris-garden-in-edo

In spring irises have been appreciated in Japan for a very long time.

Their vivid color and bold beauty have inspired fashion designers and kimono makers for generations.

The picture above is of a block print by the great Utagawa … Read the rest

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A Passion for Cherry Blossoms

Japanese passion for cherry blossoms
Here in Japan, passion for cherry blossoms run deeps in the national psyche, and anticipating their arrival every spring is an inseparable part of life bordering on obsession.

Pictures above are from nightly news national TV broadcasts in early March. … Read the rest

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Spring in February

In Setsubun, Japanese throw roasted beans around with loud shouts and chants of “Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!”

For many centuries, Japanese have celebrated the end of winter on February 3rd by the festival of Setsubun, followed by Risshun on February 4th, which marks the beginning of spring.

Setsubun and Risshun are significant days in the the Japanese … Read the rest

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Rain, Glorious Rain!

Japanese women in the rain

Today is the first day of Tsuyu, the beginning of rainy season in southern Japan. Spring is in its full glory  and gentle, warm rain has been falling all day.

It will rain here every day for the next … Read the rest

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Flying Carps, Yomogi Treats and Iris Leaves Celebrating Health and Happiness of all Children

If you see colorful carp windsocks flying in the breeze in Japan, no doubt it’s close to May 5th, the Kodomo-no-hi (Children’s Day), the day to celebrate the health and happiness of all children.

On Kodomo-no-hi children go around to … Read the rest

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Nanakusa – Signs of the Awakening Spring

In Japan, in the beginning of January, soon after the New Year’s festivities have ended, the first signs of Spring begin to sprout from the soil.

This new growth is manifest in the nanakusa (七草), literally “7 wild herbs,” Read the rest

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Heralding the Coming of Spring

Mejiro (Japanese White-eye) and spring blossoms

It is still cold, and spring seems a way off. However days are starting to get longer noticeably. The trees in my backyard are adorned with hundreds of teeny-tiny blossoms. And just like every year at this time, small, pretty … Read the rest

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Spring Rain

Today is a pleasant spring day in Miyazaki, a lush green city of rivers, streams and ponds by the ocean.

Beautiful hydrangeas are in bloom, and gentle, warm rain has been falling all day. Here is a famous haiku poem … Read the rest

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