Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossoms is a anime/manga thing
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Cherry Blossoms are known in Japan as Sakura. Popularized by Japanese culture. They are the centerpiece of Spring festivals.

Overview

Cherry Blossoms (桜, sakura) are the flowers that bud every Spring on several varieties of trees in genus Prunus, such as the Japanese Cherry. These have been mainly cultivated for ornamental use and do not actually produce any fruit.

The practice of flower viewing in Japan is known as Hanami (花見). This has been a traditional custom to picnic in the Spring among blooming Chienese plum blossom (梅, ume) trees since the time of the Nara Period (710–794 AD). However, it was by the time of Heian Period (794–1185 AD) that the cherry blossoms began to draw far more attention from the people. At one time limited to the elite of society, it soon spread to the samurai and the common people of Japan.

The importance to Japanese culture of these flower viewings eventually even led to the Japanese Meteorological Agency tracking the Cherry Blossom Front (桜前線, sakura zensen) in 1951. This is designed to aid the public on what locations in Japan have the best climate to be beneficial to a bountiful amount of blooms. Major news outlets even add this information to their regular coverage. Though by 2010, the Japanese Meteorological Agency gave the duties of tracking to other private agencies, but still continue to record the data of the climate and how it will relate to the cherry blossoms.

Cultural Symbolism

  • These petals on the blooms of the trees are so synonymous in Japanese culture that they have become the very icon of Spring and the nation of Japan.
  • Imperial Japan used to plant cherry blossom trees to mark newly discovered territory as part of Japan.
  • The badges of the Japanese police force is in the symbol of a cherry blossom.
  • The back of the 100 Yen piece is adorned with cherry blossoms.
  • The cherry blossoms are often used in many Japanese confection to add a pink coloring.
  • Traditional styles of Japanese tattoo art almost always utilizes the cherry blossom in some form.
  • The Cherry Blossom Society (桜会, Sakurakai) was a secret society made up of young military officers in September of 1930 for a possible military coup d'état.
  • During World War II, the cherry blossom was used in much of the propaganda to stoke a sense of nationalism among the people. The government encouraged the ideal that downed soldiers were reincarnated as cherry blossoms.
  • The first kamikaze unit on the attack at Pearl Harbor was call Yamazakura, which translates to "wild cherry blossom".

Manga & Anime Influences

Cherry Blossoms in manga and anime are often used to be a symbol that shows the audience the season of the year a story takes place. Since the name Sakura is highly popular in Japan for girls, this has also been reflected on it's use in various manga and anime.

Cardcaptor Sakura (1996)

Sakura Kinomoto
Sakura Kinomoto

The Cardcaptor Sakura series began as a manga originally created by the all female design team known as CLAMP. The lead protagonist was named Sakura Kinomoto. Many of her costume designs use the color pink.

Sakura Wars (1997)

Sakura Wars: Sakura Shinguji
Sakura Wars: Sakura Shinguji

The Sakura Wars series originally began as a Strategy RPG series in Japan by created by Ouji Hiroi, but it was later adapted in many other media formats that included anime OVAs, and films. One of the three protagonists was also named Sakura Shinguji. The use of cherry blossoms are prominent in the series art due to the title.

Naruto (1999)

Sakura Haruno
Sakura Haruno

In the Naruto manga series created by Masashi Kishimoto, one of the main characters is named Sakura Haruno. Not only does she share the same name as the cherry bloosm, but her hair has the same pink color.

Street Fighter Alpha (2000)

Sakura Kasugano
Sakura Kasugano

The Street Fighter game series began as an arcade fighter franchise that would spawn various other games then branch out into both manga and anime. When Street Fighter Alpha 2 was released to arcades in February 1996 and introduced Sakura Kasugano. She's a high school girl that's a fan of the series protagonist Ryu and has modeled her own martial arts after his. Cherry blossoms are used in various promotional art that she appears in.

Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle (2003)

Princess Sakura
Princess Sakura

The Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle series began as a manga and is another creation by CLAMP. One of the main characters in this series is Princess Sakura.

General Information Edit
Thing Name Cherry Blossoms
Japanese Name:
Romaji Name: sakura
Aliases sakura
1st manga book:
1st anime episode:
1st anime movie:
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