Wednesday, June 17, 2015

ABC Wednesday—W is for "weeping cherry tree"

There's something so romantic about a
"weeping" tree—especially one in full bloom.
This weeping cherry overhangs a tall kasuga lantern
at the entrance to the Brooklyn Botanic's
Japanese Hill and Pond Garden.

[To see more ABC posts, go here.]


  1. Weeping cherry trees were my favorite—shidarezakura 枝垂桜。

    The university I attended was famous for this long tunnel of cherry trees. As precious as land is in Tokyo that looks like a long, wide, straight road, ne? The cherry trees were planted soon after the war. On both sides of what had until then been a test runway for Hayabusa fighter planes (similar to Zeros). A good example, of “swords to plowshares” if ever there was one. But, really my favorite single tree was outside the tunnel, a weeping cherry much like this one on the same campus. And like yours above. Often a little darker pink than the somei yoshino that make up the tunnel, for example.

    The term kasuga is in reference to Kasuga Taisha Grand Shrine in Nara, very close to the deer park. This shrine has more than 3,000 lanterns leading up to it. Your lantern above is actually more typical of the type than some of the lanterns in the photo at Nara: the tall pedestal, ring above that, hexagonal box, and topped by a cap with scrolls at the corners.

    In a way that lantern of yours has a connection with the origin of Japanese Noh theater. It is said (by a university professor of mine) that the origin of Noh can be found in Kasuga Taisha. The originator of Noh, Kan’nami was walking through the precincts of Kasuga when he saw a spirit dancing within a pine tree. He became enthralled, or was it entranced? It was his attempt to imitate this dance that led to Noh. Even today every Noh theater has painted at the back of the stage, guess what. A pine tree. A Kasuga pine tree.

    To me, your photo doesn’t just look Japanese. It is Japanese.

    1. Arigato, TG—I feel like I've been to school in Tokyo too (for at least one semester)!

  2. I realized that I as much as ignored what you wrote about weeping trees in bloom being romantic. But, yes; this doesn’t match your image but the atmosphere is right.

  3. Someone today, I just noticed, checked out a classical Japanese poem at my blog. For romance one could do worse than this more than 1,000 year-old classical Japanese poem.

  4. Seems to generate wide interest for the symbol.

  5. Oh, cherry, don't you weep, don't you moan?


  6. Beautiful cherry tree, mine weeps today too but no beautiful blooms!!

  7. Never heard of a Weeping Cherry Tree, does the blossoms smells as pretty as the tree looks I wonder.


Thanks, merci, grazie, danke, hvala, gracias, spasibo, shukran, dhanyavaad, salamat, arigato, and muito obrigado for your much-appreciated comments.