Cherry Blossom Time


Cherry Blossom Time and related kigo

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Late Spring
***** Category: Humanity


The cherry blossom time is very important in the Japanese yearly events.
It is a time to get drunk on the blossoms while sipping rice wine ...
Many kigo have been mentioned elsewhere, see LINK below.

Here are some kigo concerning the activities of us humans during this time.

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cherry blossom viewing party, hana no en

"rice wine for the cherry blossoms" 花の酒(はなのさけ)
rice wine for cherry blossom viewing, hanamizake

cherry blossom viewing, hanami 花見 (はなみ)..... o-hanami お花見(おはなみ)
guest for cherry blossom viewing, hanami kyaku
..... hana no kyaku 花の客(はなのきゃく)
crowds viewng cherry blossoms, hanami shuu 花見衆(はなみしゅう)
..... hanabito 花人(はなびと)

hanami daru, barrel with rice wine for hanami
nana no yoi, evening with flower watching
hana no maku, curtain to partition one's area for flower viewing

hana shoogi, board or small table for hanami

hana no chaya, tea stall to watch flowers

hanamibune, boat to watch flowers 花見船(はなみぶね)

hana no odori, dancing below the blossoms花の踊(はなのおどり)

hanami oogi, fan used during hanami 花見扇(はなみおうぎ)
hanami tenugui, small towel used during hanami
hanamigasa, straw hat used during hanami season


hanami bentoo 花見弁当 lunch box for blossom viewing

A good bento, made by mother or bought in a local store ... one of the necessities for blossom viewing !

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In the Edo period, a 重箱 Jubako box was used to carry all the things for Hanami.
The box contained four boxes of food, Sake cups and a Sake bottle, small serving plates and chopsticks. Some boxes were quite elaborate and artistic.

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The food boxes contained Kamaboko and vegetables, Sushi, Sashimi and a final one with sweets, like
. tsubakimochi 椿餅 (つばきもち) camellia rice cakes .


. sakuramochi, sakura mochi さくらもち / 桜餅  
rice cakes for cherry blossom viewing
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

. . . CLICK here for Photos "sakura food"!

Worldwide use

Things found on the way


At Osaka Tenmangu, enjoying Plum Blossoms

nagamu tote hana ni mo itashi kubi no hone

Having seen them long,
I hold the flowers dear, but ah,
The pain in my neck.

. Nishiyama Soin (Soo-In) 西山宗因 .
With more translations of this poem.

source : Tr. Nobuyuki Yuasa


sakura yoshi hanami bentoo madobe kana

beautiful cherry blossoms ...
we eat the lunchbox
by the windowside

It has been raining during the hanami in 2006, when this "beginner" wrote the haiku.

source : tenarai-haiku


- quote
Hanami History
The practice of hanami is many centuries old. The custom is said to have started during the Nara Period (710 - 784) when the Chinese Tang Dynasty influenced Japan in many ways; one of which was the custom of enjoying flowers. Though it was ume blossoms that people admired in the beginning, by the Heian Period, sakura came to attract more attention. From then on, in tanka and haiku, "flowers" meant "sakura."

Hanami was first used as a term analogous to cherry blossom viewing in the Heian era novel Tale of Genji. Whilst a wisteria viewing party was also described, from this point on the terms "hanami" and "flower party" were only used to describe cherry blossom viewing.

Sakura originally was used to divine that year's harvest as well as an announcer of the rice-planting season. People believed in gods' existence inside the trees and made offerings at the root of sakura trees. Afterwards, they partook of the offering with sake.

Emperor Saga of the Heian Period adopted this practice, and held flower-viewing parties with sake and feasts underneath the blossoming boughs of sakura trees in the Imperial Court in Kyoto. Poems would be written praising the delicate flowers, which were seen as a metaphor for life itself, luminous and beautiful yet fleeting and ephemeral. This was said to be the origin of hanami in Japan.

The custom was originally limited to the elite of the Imperial Court, but soon spread to samurai society and, by the Edo period, to the common people as well. Tokugawa Yoshimune planted areas of cherry blossom trees to encourage this. Under the sakura trees, people had lunch and drank sake in cheerful feasts.

The teasing proverb dumplings rather than flowers (花より団子, hana yori dango) hints at the real priorities for most cherry blossom viewers. (A punning variation, Boys Over Flowers (花より男子, Hana Yori Dango), is the title of a manga and anime series.)
- source : www.gojapango.com

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hanami in Edo  江戸の花見

Shogun Yoshimune
Along the new river banks and open spaces to protect from fire he had many cherry trees planted and thus supported the old custom of
hanami 花見 cherry blossom viewing and merrymaking.
He wanted to give the townspeople a chance to enjoy life.
The most famous spots are 飛鳥山 Asukayama, 御殿山 Gotenyama, Koganei and Mukojima.

飛鳥山 - 広重 Asukayama, Hiroshige

. Shogun Tokugawa Yoshimune 徳川吉宗将軍 .
(1684 - 1751)

御殿山 The Gotenyama in Shinagawa
Utagawa Hiroshige

. - - - Welcome to Edo 江戸 ! .

Related words

***** - many more - Cherry Blossom KIGO -


#hanami #gotenyama


Gabi Greve - Basho archives said...

Matsuo Basho at Temple Kanei-Ji in Ueno

yotsu goki no sorowanu hanami gokoro kana

my begging bowl set
is not complete but my mind enjoys
cherry blossom viewing . . .

goki 御器 (五器) "honorable bowls" for begging and eating


Gabi Greve - Basho archives said...

Matsuo Basho in Kyoto

Kyoo wa kuman kusen kunju no hanami kana

in Kyoto
there are ninety-nine thousand (people)
watching cherry blossoms
numbers and Haiku

Gabi Greve - Basho archives said...

Matsuo Basho age 42 -

nabatake ni hanamigao naru suzume kana

in a field of rapeseed
they enjoy the blossoms -
these sparrows

More about rapeseed

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

hanamibune 花見舟 boat for blossom viewing
fune 舟 boats and ships on the rivers of Edo

Gabi Greve said...

Kobayashi Issa

furu ame mo shi-sumashi kao ya hana no kage

they sit in the rain
beneath cherry blossoms
pretending they're happy

This hokku was written on lunar 3/18 (April 25) in 1807, when Issa was living in the city of Edo. Born in the country, Issa usually expressed his emotions rather directly in his hokku, and he obviously felt a little out of place in the big city, where sophistication, fashion, competition, indirect language, guarded emotions, and social hierarchy had such a strong influence on people's thinking and behavior. Edo was the seat of the shogunate and the de facto economic, military, and administrative capital of Japan, and more than half of the population consisted of various ranks of samurai and the commoners who served and catered to them, so the warrior ethos of discipline, controlled emotions, formality, and pride had a strong influence on Edo culture and formed a counter-current to the culture of worldly pleasure and entertainment that grew up there at the same time.

In this hokku a group of Edo people (lower class warriors? commoners?) has been enjoying eating, drinking, and viewing cherry blossoms when a storm breaks and begins blowing and knocking down the delicate cherry blossoms above them with wind and rain. No one in the group, however, wants to admit that the outing is anything but a great success and that they will soon be soaked. Issa seems amused, since instead of directly expressing what they really think, they make polite statements and try to maintain the fiction that nothing has really changed. For the organizers of the outing, face-saving may also be a motive. Presumably, for Issa, directly expressing your emotions was also part of completely entrusting yourself to Amida Buddha. Things don't always go the way you want, but you can't simply ignore or hide things that don't please you, since that would be expressing a lack of trust in Amida. Completely entrusting yourself to Amida entails being realistic, honest, and truthful.

On the same day Issa wrote this companion hokku about people partying at the foot of a blossoming cherry tree:

below the blossoms
a man says, magnificent
thunder and lightning!

hana no kage yoi kaminari to iu mo ari

Chris Drake

Gabi Greve said...

江戸遊覧花暦, 巻之1-4, Edo yūran hanagoyomi
Calendar of leisurely flower viewing in Edo
in four volumes, edited by Oka Sancho (岡 山鳥 died 1828),
illustrated by Hasegawa Settan (長谷川 雪旦, 1778-1843),
published in Tenpo 8th year (天保8), 1837