The sakura have fallen, swept away by the rivers and lost in the breeze for another year. Living gloriously, albeit for only a week, sakura are the embodiment of mono no aware (物の哀れ) – a Japanese Buddhist concept that recognizes the impermanence of life. In ancient Japan, warriors were compared to sakura blossoms – born to live brilliantly and die young. And so when the petals fall, a gentle sadness can be felt all throughout Japan. Spring is still here, but the pre-summer rains will soon begin.
I was lucky to enjoy enjoy hanami in kyoto this season. I am imagine the sadness (or barrenes) of city afterwards