In the far 1959, Nobusuke Kishi, then Prime Minister of Japan, made a gift to the city of Rome, on the occasion of the inauguration of the “Japanese Walk” at the EUR lake: he gave cherry-tree seeds (Sakura) to be planted all around the lake’s shores.
Now, every year, starting from the end of March those cherry trees blossom, giving a taste of Japan to Italy and coloring the view of white and pink.
The spectacle is amazing. The tree, symbol of the Nipponese nation, represents fragility, death and renaissance to a new life. Looking at it, actually, you can’t help thinking of fragility… those delicate, pure flowers which blossom and perish in just a week, are there, yet another time, beautiful as they always are.
To Japan Sakuras are very important: their blossoming indicates the beginning of the schooling and working season, it also represents the good qualities of Samurais, and foresee an abundance of rice harvest.
The Hanami (“watching the flowers”) period is almost sacred, so much that, to go walk under those blossoming trees, Kimonos or Yukatas are mostly worn.
You can have a bite of all of this even in Rome, thanks to that gift made 55 years ago.
Facing such nature’s spectacles, though, words are useless. Just sit under them. Watch them. Breath. Smile.