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Newsletter: Delivery Of Japan's Seasonal Tradition

Delivered on April 30, 2014
Delivery Of Japan's Seasonal Tradition [Issue 21] April 30, 2014

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Delivery Of Japan's Seasonal Tradition [Issue 21]
April 30, 2014
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Japanese Traditional Culture Promotion & Development Organization
(JTCO)
http://www.jtco.or.jp/en/

CONTENTS:

1. Seasonal Flower:
Decorate sidewalks with its blossom - Symbol of prosperity :
Azalea


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:: 1. Seasonal Flower
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Decorate sidewalks with its blossom - Symbol of prosperity : Azalea

Here is a Japanese poem "tanka" compiled in the second volume of
"Man-yoshu"(185th poem), composed by Hinashimino Mikono Miyano-toneri.

"Mizutsutau Isono Uramino Iwatsutsuji Mokusaku Michiwo Matamo Minkamo"

Interpretation : On the bank of the pond where water streaming down
from the rocks, beautiful azaleas are blooming. I wonder if the day
will come again when I can see them from this road.

Flower of the season along sidewalks will be shifted from cherry
blossoms to azalea. Its tree branches and leaves will be completely
covered with red, pink and white flowers. Now azalea cannot wait to
show their best performance.

Japanese Kanji for azalea "躑躅", pronouncing "Tekichoku", means
"struggle", "step backward" or "move and stop". The former meaning,
"struggle" and "step backward" came from the appearance of a sheep
that ate toxic species of azalea. The sheep struggled, moved backward
and finally fell down. The latter meaning came from the fascination
of azalea that makes people stop from moving. Both stories make
sense, don't you think so?

Azalea as well as camellia is the flower which symbolizes prosperity
and fertility.The growing power of the flowers that hides the leaves
from view must be the pertinent expression for prosperity.

The tanka in the opening paragraph is one of the poems (tanka)
composed by his servants in remembrance of the prince, Kusakabeno
Miko at the first anniversary of his premature death.

Prince Kusakabeno Miko had a beautiful garden in his palace, where he
used to hold many parties to celebrate seasonal flowers. People must
have felt his life was transitory compared to the energetic azalea
flowers.

People in Japan will soon forget the fugacious cherry blossoms and
welcome the arrival of azalea and wisteria. We can feel flowers are
telling the end of something is not to be nothing. The end exists to
prepare for a brand-new start.


Translation: Hitomi Kochi, reviewed by Naoko Yamashita


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