If I have a chance to go to Japan I want to do it when cherry blossom trees are blooming. I can sing many praises to the uniqueness of the country but really where else in the world do you have grand festivals devoted entirely to the blooming of the trees. They are called sakura and not only are they pretty but they are also very meaningful to the people of Japan.
This class we took Japanese tradition a little closer to us and celebrated the sakura blooming on the canvases.
The tradition of sakura celebration called Hanami was born in Japan in 710. Hanami included observing and admiring sakura in bloom. Oh, and picnicking under the trees, too.
Since then the tradition got stronger and sakura became highly symbolic in Japanese culture. It signifies hope and a new beginning and may be for that reason their school year starts in April, when sakura bloom. When people look at the flowers so delicate and beautiful they feel joy and love and have spiritual awakenings. God bless them, they need need such a little push for that.
Also, during the war sakura flowers were the tokens of bravery. Pilots took the branches with them when they went fighting or painted them on the sides of their airplanes. It was customary to think that warriors that died were reincarnated as cherry blossoms.
Strangely, these little flowers bring so many contrasting feelings: on the one hand it is joy, on the other hand it’s sadness. Sadness arises when a person thinks that life is too short just like a blossom of sakura. I think you can always choose what to dive into. I would rather enjoy looking at the sakura and feeling the beginning of something wonderful.
The creative process took us an hour. Starting with the background, going from top to bottom, we let the paintings dry a little using our most popular artistic tool – the hair blow dryer, before painting the tree. The flowers were first done in red color, then pink and finally white.
And certainly we listened to the instrumental Japanese music, what else, and learned a couple of words. Not bad for just an hour!
If you wish to read about Hanami, please, follow the links below:
If you want to tell your kids the facts about the country of Japan, please refer to this link.
A list of easy words and phrases:
- Hello – Kon-nichiwa
- Goodbuy – Sayounara
- Thank you – Arigato
- Yes – Hai
- No – Lie