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the trees blossom
the petals scatter
In my province this is called a cherry blossom moon
The Bitter Tea of General Yen directed by Frank Capra
If in Act I you have a pistol hanging on the wall, then it must fire in the last act
It's the middle of April now. There has been a pale moon in the sky over Tokyo in the afternoons this week. There was a little rain last weekend and some windy days and the cherry blossoms are disappearing fast. But weeping cherry trees - shidare zakura - often bloom late and the blossoms are still full and beautiful.
The rhythm of nature and the seasons is very important in Japan. People set aside a time to look at the cherry blossoms. Cherry blossom viewing is called hanami. Hanami was mentioned in the eleventh century in the world's first modern novel, The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu. Still today families and groups sit under the blanket of blossoms with lunchboxes and perhaps beer or sake. Hanami can be in the day or after dark.
The cherry blossom represents the intensity and the impermanence of life. The blossoms are beautiful, and then they blow away in the wind. Nothing is left. Mujou - impermanence - has a sadder resonance this year in the aftermath of the Tohoku earthquake. Nobody knows what will happen tomorrow.
Quakebook: an ebook of essays, stories and artwork about the Tohoku earthquake pulled together in just a few days using twitter. Contributors include William Gibson and Barry Eisler. It costs $9.99 and Amazon doesn't take anything - 100% goes to the Japanese Red Cross. Buy it if you can. http://www.quakebook.org/