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Monthly Feature Story-April 2018

Cultural Tips- Cherry Blossom Viewing

The cherry blossoms (sakura) are much more than just a flower to the Japanese, who have celebrated the blossoms in many ways for many centuries.

During cherry blossom season, many people have a cherry blossom viewing party. They enjoy eating, drinking and sometimes singing while appreciating the beauty of the blossooms and the warm spring weather with their families, friends or co-workers.

Why do Japanese love cherry blossoms?

One reason is that they are thought to be a symbol of the beginning of a new life. For children starting school and for graduates starting new jobs, April's cherry blossoms suggest a bright future.

The other reason is that the Japanese aesthetic sensibility place a high value on ephemeral beauty. Cherry blossoms are very beautiful when they are in full bloom but last for only a few days. Japanese people love them all the more for their transience.

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