Explore the pages of this pictorial essay to experience the rich symbolism, cultural significance and ethereal beauty of the Japanese cherry blossom. The ornamental cherry trees, known as Sakura in Japan, not only announce the closing days of winter and the arrival of spring, but are also revered as an omen of good fortune in a society deeply rooted in tradition. For thousands of years to celebrate the arrival of the Sakura, the Japanese people have organized "hanami parties" gathering under the flowering trees to honor their beauty and ponder the transient nature of life. The cherry blossoms bloom in extreme beauty followed by a quick death due to their abbreviated blooming season, thought to be much like the samurai warriors who were considered to have relatively short life spans.
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