Tuesday Terminology is a weekly segment to enlighten the masses with words, phrases, and ideals usually tacked on to today’s anime/manga scene.
This week’s topic: Cherry Blossoms
If you’re reading this blog, chances are you are already a moderate fan of Japanese culture itself. And if that is true, you are also fond of the look and feel of Cherry Blossoms (or “Sakura,” 桜 or 櫻; さく) in full bloom. While Cherry Blossoms have their own history in regards to how they have been viewed and used to motivate the Japanese people, instead I will be going over its usage and effect in the media. Take in mind these are not necessarily exact truths, but merely an observational theory.
Cherry Blossom trees are a symbol of the return of Spring. In that respect, “The Springtime of Youth” is an often used saying in various series. This refers to the moment in a teenager’s life when they experience their time of growth to the fullest. These experiences vary between deep bonds of friendship, love, and even the pain and sorrow that comes along with such feelings.
This is why when you see scenes in anime and manga when the main character has “that fateful encounter” with someone, the relationship that follows after that is usually one that will change his/her life forever. Along those same lines, when the reference is made in dialogue or a flower petal is depicted, it is a hint towards this ideal.
In a somewhat similar sense, Cherry Blossoms represent beauty and grace. Much like the blooming of the flowers themselves, a girl “blooms” into that of a lady in a slow, but beautiful way. Again, this goes back to the ideal of “growing up.”