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Davin Underwood:  Wiki Page: Hanami

Page history last edited by L. Davin Underwood 12 years, 3 months ago


a celebration of wabi-sabi






Traditional Hanami


  •  Literally means "flower viewing"



  • Is a centuries old Japanese custom that appears to have originated in the 8th century. 



  • Originally, it was a delicately orchestrated tea ceremony reserved for the elite of the Imperial Court.



  • The ceremonies took place beneath the blossoming boughs of the Japanese flowering cherry trees, known as Sakura.



  • They believed kami lived inside the trees and flowers.



  • The cherry blossoms were seen as metaphors for the fleetingness of life.



  • It was a time to observe and to appreciate transcience; a time to renew the spirit.   







  • Now, hanami is a nationally recognized festival that marks the beginning of spring in Japan, and practically everyone there goes outside to take part in the happenings, even cats! 


  • The uniqueness of the hanami celebration that sets it apart from other springtime fests lies in that, for the Japanese, it is still a time to acknowledge and to admire the ephemeral beauty of life through the Sakura blossoms.







Wabi-sabi in Hanami


  • Wabi-sabi is the quintessential Japanese artistic asthetic; but, it is less about art and more about the instantaneous feeling one gets upon observation of something, in this case, the cherry blossoms.



  • It is a relationship between observer and the observed.  



  • Sakura are imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.



  • It suggests a natural process: the life cycle of the Sakura is an absolute natural process.



  • The cherry blossom is a symbol of life and how quickly it fades away.



  • Hanami is a time to stop preoccupation with success and to enjoy the unencumbered life.



  • It is an awareness and an appreciation of the inevitable; death.






  • The cherry blossoms are devloving toward nothingness.


  • The admiration of death is somewhat on the darker side of things.


  • The sight of Sakura alone are spectacular and evoke an odd feeling of beauty.







Fun Facts


  • The cherry blossom is the unofficial national flower of Japan.


  • Sakura are fruitless trees.


  • The anticipation of Hanami is so intense that even the Japan Weather Association forecasts the blooming season.


  • Special edition candies are produced much like the ones produced for U.S. holidays.


  • People show up days in advance to procure the most desirable location beneath cherry blossoms.







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