HANAMI after the Earthquake 2011
Hanami means “Flower Viewing” and is a customary event in Japan originating in ancient times. It involves going outside into nature and enjoying the coming of spring season, by viewing and appreciating the beauty of Sakura which are Cherry Blossoms and Ume which are Japanese apricot blossoms.
Though in most cases, the word Hanami almost always represents a party under the Sakura or cherry blossoms, it has become an annual major spring festival in Japan today.
Since the blossoms last little more than a week and are quickly blown away by the smallest gust of wind, they are treated with wonder and amazement every year. The beauty and fragility of the blossoms are often compared to fleetingness of a man’s life.
Following the devastation of the Earthquake in April 2011 the Hanami festival took on a very special meaning for the Japanese. Hope for the Future of Japan was the theme in this year’s Hanami.
I was fortunate enough to have had an incredible opportunity to photograph the quiet, proud determination of the Japanese people living in Tokyo during a time of earthquakes, tsunamis, nuclear plant meltdowns and Hanami.
The Hanami Exhibition being held at Cafe Japone will donate all profits raised through the sale of the prints to the Tsunami victims living in Japan. Deborah Johnston
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