Cherry blossom, Sakura, is the most well known flower in Japan. It is a symbol of spring. We follow the cherry blossom forecast as a spring ritual. Hanami (cherry blossom seeing) is one of the most popular party that we sit under the tree day and night to admire the flower as it will only last for a week. I remember a street in Tokyo where 50 cherry trees are blooming at once. All the cars slow down or even stop the car in the middle of the street to enjoy the flower that the traffic jam is created for that particular week of the season. But no one hones or yells. The situation created by the flower is so forgiven.
Everything starts in April in Japan. Cherry trees have been planted in the properties of many schools to produce the entrance ceremony more enjoyable and dramatic.
Sakura often appears in Haiku (Japanese poetry) as a seasonal word. There have been millions of poetries using Sakura as a seasonal word since many centuries ago. Haiku gathering has been extremely popular at this time of the year.
Sakura appears in many things such as sweets, dishes, fabric patterns and more. Sakura Mochi (a rice cake wrapped in a pickled sakura leave) is served at Girl’s Festival (or also called Doll Festival) in March. A pickled cherry blossom also is added to green tea for a special treat.
Sakura has been used on dishes, portly, stationary and papers, and tableware.
It is especially popular to use Sakura as a pattern on Kimono and Obi (sash) as well as fabric prints.
Although it is not legally defined with law, Sakura considered as a National flower because of its popularity. It is used on uniforms of military as well as on school uniforms since Meiji Era. Today, the self defense force and the police department use it as their mark or arm.
Sakura is used in Sashiko projects quite often. Shown is a Sashiko Sampler cloth, which has sashko designs pre-printed for your convenience, in Cherry blossom pattern. The other is a table runner I designed. Cherry blossoms are floating on the water.