Okinawa spring
pink blooms of sakura snow
melt in the warm breeze

Kim M. Russell, 2017


Image found on

My response to Carpe Diem #1157 Sakura, the national pride of Japan

In this episode, Chèvrefeuille reminds us of Japan’s love of cherry blossom – sakura – a favourite topic of haiku and tanka.

He tells us that from as early as the eighth century, elite imperial courtiers paused to appreciate the delicate pink cherry blossoms known as sakura before indulging in picnics and poetry sessions beneath the blooms. Fast-forward more than a millennium and the flowers that launched a thousand haiku are no less revered in modern-day Japan. They are swooned over during picnics. They are painstakingly painted. They are obsessed over in poems. They are cited as a symbol of the transient nature of life. And they are sprinkled on Starbucks lattes.

He tells us that the flowers are deeply symbolic: their short-lived existence taps into a long-held appreciation of the beauty of the fleeting nature of life, as echoed across the nation’s cultural heritage, from tea ceremonies to wabi sabi ceramics.

Chèvrefeuille has also shared a number of haiku and tanka by well-known poets and some of his own. My favourite has to be:

double cherry blossoms
flutter in the wind
one petal after another

© Shiki


10 thoughts on “Transience

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