Aflame in White Blossoms

Trip Start Jul 08, 2011
Trip End May 26, 2012

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Where I stayed
400 15th Street South, The Oakwood

Flag of United States  , Washington, D.C.
Sunday, March 18, 2012

                                    Each Spring the blossoms
                                    reach their brillance once again
                                    but seeing them so
                                    we are reminded that to
                                    watch them fall is our lot.


    Wow, this year the Japanese Cherry Trees blossomed early. What a remarkable sight. Kathy and I walked the Tidal Basin today, the blossoms are approaching their peak. It is mentioned that 1 million people will visit Washington DC for the express purpose of viewing the blossoms. You can see why.

    Experiencing DC for the last 10 months and being year long tourist, did not prepare us for this remarkable sight.

    This year is the 100th year that the trees have been around the Tidal Basin. This year the Cherry Blossom Festival will last from the 20th of March into late April. There will be parades, celebrations, and ceremonies, all honoring our two nations and this special gift in 1912, from the Mayor of Tokyo, Japan. In 1912, 3,020 healthy Cherry Trees were given to the city of Washington and the first two were planted by First Lady Taft and the Viscountress Chinda (wife of the Japanese Ambassador to the United States).

    The viewing of flowering Cherry Trees is the 1000 year Japanese practice of hanami, a tradition that has roots in 9th Century China.this tradition originally focused on plum tree blossoms. The practice of hanami is a tradition of the ancient philosophies of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Shintoism and even has connections that predate these religious philosophies. Could these tradition extend even to our Stone Age ancestors?

    There are historical connections between the Cherry Blossoms and the Japanese Samurai tradition. The Cherry Blossom is the traditional symbol of the Japanese warrior caste of the 16th century, a symbol indicating that the warrior's life is as brief and glorious as the existence of these delicate Cherry Blossoms. The Cherry Blossom is the tradition symbol of the Japanese Emperor and is present on all Japanese Postage Stamps.

    The Cherry Blossoms last about 7-10 days, they are now at there peak, and barring wind and rain will last through next weekend. This truly is a remarkable sight.

                                    I saw the blossoms
                                    The City takes a deep breath
                                    Must they go away?

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