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In the international audience, one of the many things that are reminiscent of Japanese culture is the cherry blossom tree. The cherry blossom or "sakura" is distinguishable by its bright pink leaves; the timing of this effect varies throughout Japan's various climate regions.

Although the sakura tree can be found in other parts of the world, especially mainland Asian countries, it is the association with Japanese philosophy that makes this relationship unique.

What is it?
The Japanese have a term called "mono no aware". This can be translated as "the beauty of things". When applied to the cherry blossom tree, it refers to the momentary beauty of the pink leaves. The sakura may bloom quickly and beautifully, but it will leave just as soon as it arrived. The realization of this resulting in a bittersweet farewell. Thus, the term "mono no aware" and the blooming sakura are meant to invoke a state of pensiveness and contemplation along with an appreciation for the physical world.

The sakura is featured symbolically throughout Japanese culture; both modern and pop. The manga, "One Piece" by Eiichiro Oda (family name, surname) has a character whose starring story arc was focused on the cherry blossom and mono no aware. Many songs allude to the sakura either in the title or in the lyrics. It is even on the back of the 100 yen coin.

The most well known example though, is the cherry blossom festival, aka the sakura matsuri. Because the blooming of the tree varies from region to region, so do the celebrations. The festivals are usually hosted by local shrines and include food, games, lanterns and of course, the sakura themselves. Because the Japanese government sends sakura trees to friendly foreign nations as a token of good will, festivals are also held in areas with established gardens.

The sakura tree and the fruit bearing cherry tree (the fruit being called sakuranbo in Japanese) are not to be confused. They are different species of tree, similar to wolves and coyotes being different species of dog.
This article is subject to revision with an increase in content and media.
Thank you for reading Sakura Matsuri - The Cherry Blossom Festival
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Most Recent Comments for this Article
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Mark Said:
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One day we will attend together ^__^ I just hope that it's in a year or two and not any time longer than that hehehe <3
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Mukuro Said:
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I always wanted to attend a cherry blossom festival. >_<
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Mark Said:
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It's sad, I won't be able to attend any of the Cherry Blossom festivals this year. :'(
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