Wednesday, April 1, 2015

日本:靖国神社(shrine)の夜桜

多くの日本人は桜がいつ咲くか予想しようとする.しかし正確にいつ咲くのか予測するのはとても難しい.桜が咲くと,それはまるで生きていて楽しみをもたらしてくれる静かな花火のようである.皆が桜を楽しんでいることはすぐにわかる.ワシントンにも同じような場所がある.

桜が咲いているのはほんの短い間だけである.花びらが地上におちるとそこはカーペットのようになり,小川の流れに漂う花びらもまた別な美しさを我々に見せてくれる.

日本人は桜の下で饗宴を催す.そこでは皆があつまって木の下で飲み食べる.昨晩,幸運なことに靖国神社に招待された.そこではまさに尊敬すべき人々が伝統に従って宴を催していた.

テーブルに着くと親切な日本の女性が,日本は過去数百年間この伝統をまもってきたのだと説明してくれた.昔,農民達は,桜の下でお酒を飲むと,夏にかけて働くための強さと健康をもたらしてくれると信じていたのだそうだ.

彼女が言うには,つい5年ほど前に,実際に桜の木から降り注いだ花粉が健康に良いことが科学的に証明されたのだそうだ.グラスや食べ物へと降り注ぐ花粉が,まるで薬のような働きをする.もちろん私自身が真相を確かめたわけではないが,お話を聞いていてとても興味深かった.

以前,靖国神社に来たときに,ミュージアムをじっくりと見物したことがある.第二次世界大戦を戦った多くの日本兵の手紙がガラスの向こうに陳列されていた.その多くが英語に訳されていた.私は全ての手紙を読んだ.沢山の手紙があったので,とても長い時間が必要だった.

戦士達は,戦場で死ぬことを知っていたようだ.なぜなら彼らの多くは,いつか靖国神社の桜の下で会いましょうと書いていたのだから.


Japan: Cherry Blossoms at Yasukuni Jinja (shrine) last night  

Many people in Japan try to predict when the cherry blossoms will come. It is difficult to predict exactly when, but when the blossoms come it is like living, silent fireworks that bring joy. This special joy in the people is easy to see. We have something similar in Washington.

The blossoms stay on the trees only for a short time, and then another beauty unfolds as the blossoms fall off and carpet the earth, or float down streams and rivers.

Japanese have a festival under the blossoms during which they come together and drink and eat under the trees. I was lucky to be invited last night to come to Yasukuni jinja where an esteemed group of people were carrying on the tradition.

At the table, a kind Japanese lady explained that Japanese for hundreds of years have carried on this tradition. She said that during the old days, farmers thought that to drink under the cherry blossoms would give them strength and health to work through the summer. 

She said that just about five years ago, it was scientifically proven that the pollen falling off the trees actually does provide health benefits, and as it falls from the trees above into our glasses and onto the food, that the pollen is like medicine. Of course I did not check into this, but the story was interesting to hear.

On an earlier trip to Yasukuni I made a long tour of the museum inside. Inside the museum behind glass, many letters are displayed from Japanese military members who were fighting in World War II. 

Many of the letters are translated to English. I read every letter there, which took a long time because there are so many.

The Soldiers knew they likely were going to die in the war, and often they would say in the letters that one day their souls will meet under the cherry blossoms at Yasukuni.





8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your visiting Yasukuni.

> The cherry blossoms are spectacular like silent fireworks.

Some pics of them (2014) - BoredPanda
21 Of The Most Beautiful Japanese Cherry Blossom Photos Of 2014

Anonymous said...

日米が敵対したことは不幸であった。
それは小村寿太郎のせいですか?
クレア・リー・シェンノートのせいですか?
ルーズベルトが最悪でしょう。

That Japan and the United States has been hostile was unhappy.
Is it because of Jutaro Komura?
Is it because of Claire Lee Chennault?
Roosevelt is the best of the bad guy.
He did not at all the effort of relationship repair. Though it seems to be the devil.

Anonymous said...

とても素敵な文章でした。
それに対して「誰が悪かった」などとコメントを残すのはナンセンスと思います。

Puchi Herr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Puchi Herr said...

Meanwhile, Korean is tring deadly herd to claiming that cherry blossom " Sakura " were came from Korea. According to them Japan stole their Sakura tree.
blooming row over cherry blossoms

Well...we are not fighting with thier stupid battle over the beautiful Sakura.
But S Korean activists are trying to change the name of " japan Sakura festival" in Washington DC to " Asian festival" CRAZY!

Puchi Herr said...

S. Koreas best cultures are comfort women AKA prostituters and dog meat soup.
They even offered Mr. Lippert the Ambassador ( who loves dogs ) to S. Korea while he was in the hospitalized.
Koreas best soup
Dog meat offered to US ambassador

Puchi Herr said...

Mr Yon, I really appreciate for your understanding and respect for our war heroes.
They were young , most of them knew japan couldn't win that war. Most of them, didn't die for emperor but for our country for their parents ...and for future japanese citizens , us.
They said each other " see you at Yasukuni ". We lost the war, but will never let insult thier soul by China's propaganda. Actually this " Yasukuni issue " was made by Asahi shinbun.

Thank you Mr.Yon.
Kamikaze members farewell note

Anonymous said...

Puchi Herr,
The reason Koreans are claiming that the Somei-yoshino cherry blossom is their Wan (king) cherry blossom is that, otherwise, they cannot peacefully enjoy the custom of appreciating cherry blossoms which they learned from Japan during the annexation. It's the same reason behind their claiming that kumdo, taekwondo, tea ceremony, etc. has roots in Korea and not in Japan.If they didn't have roots in Korea, their practitioners would be labeled pro-Japanese, traitors to the Koreans, so they came up with this excuse. The only problem is that when these excuses were used only inside Korea, it was fine. Now, they're proclaiming it to the world in order to make their twisted reasoning legit, and making any Japanese questioning them look like a right-wing activist. The Japanese have always ackowledged external influences in our culture, and even have the tendency to place more value on imported (exotic) things.