Hi, how are you?
We feel it is getting warmer in NY.
It is also spring season in Japan.
Today’s blog is about a New Imperial Era in Japan and Cherry Blossoms.
The government in Japan announced a new imperial era called “REIWA(令和).”
The era will change from HEISEI（平成) to REIWA(令和) on May 1 2019.
Prime Minister Abe in Japan explained the meaning of “REIWA".
It is a culture of people with beautiful minds to help each other.
According to Japanese literary scholar,
REI(令) means god’s message to become friendly to all.
WA(和) means harmony or peace.
So REIWA means “ Let’s keep peace and harmony as warm spring season starts.”
The root of these Kanji characters is from Japan’s oldest anthology of poems
Man-you-shu is Japan’s national treasure classic book. It is a symbol of traditional
culture for the Japanese.
This part of Man-you-shuu is written by writer Tabibito (traveler) of Ootomo. (大伴旅人)
They are from “Man you shuu” /volume 5 /Song for plum flower /a part of section 32 and prologue:
万葉集 巻５ 梅花歌３２首 併せて 序章
Here is our translation:
It is a good month for the start of Spring
The air is beautiful and the wind is soft
The plum tree has a fragrance like the smell of white powder on a beautiful lady
sitting in front of the mirror
These verses are referenced to be a part of Rey (令 / good month for starting)
We hope we can keep peace with beautiful minds and
help each other with kindness
By the way, cherry blossom blooms in the first week of April.
In Japan, it signals a season of new beginning. It’s a new start for schools and companies.
We will share a little knowledge about Cherry blossoms in America.
Cherry blossom is a symbol of Japan. In 1910, the Mayor of Tokyo send 2,000 Cherry blossoms to Washington DC as a symbol of friendship between Japan and America. But the first shipment failed because it was damaged by pest during the export from Japan. The Mayor sent another 6,040 Cherry blossoms again in 1912. These had no problem at all about pest. To thank Japan, America sent 60 dogwoods (a plant that’s an American symbol) to Japan in 1915.
After 100 years(2015), The original dogwood had survive 1 of 60 in Japan.
Japan and America continue to keep good and friendly relationship.
Thank you very much for reading and taking your precious time with us.
See you again on our next blog.