Perfect Blossom

A perfect blossom is a rare thing.
You could spend your life looking for one.
And it would not be a wasted life.

—From the movie The Last Samurai—

During spring, cherry blossom (sakura) viewing parties (hanami) and cherry blossom festivals are held all over Japan. Cherry blossom viewing has been a Japanese custom since the 7th century when the aristocrats enjoyed looking at the cherry blossoms and wrote poems. People drink, eat, and sing during the day and night. It is like a picnic.

From late March to early April, sakura go into full bloom all over Japan. The blossom forecast (“sakurazensen” or “cherry blossom front”) is announced each year by the weather bureau, and is watched carefully by those planning hanami as the blossoms only last a week.


  1. Quills Said,

    April 4, 2006 @ 1:53 am

    So beautiful. I love this tree with its beautiful flowers coz it signals end of a dreary winter and the start of a beautiful spring. So much to look forward to. :)

  2. maya cassis Said,

    April 4, 2006 @ 5:14 am

    Just what I was looking for to cheer me up.
    Usually,on a day like today,i blog surf to find something to rebuild some enthusiasm.
    And luckily with just one click I got in here and found a beautiful piece.
    And yes,it would not be a wasted life:))

  3. Geo Said,

    April 4, 2006 @ 6:23 am

    Get a beautiful pic, write some beautiful verses…

    Whatzdiz?? You, hope and love, mind curry everybody traveling in the same boat or what? ;_)

  4. venus Said,

    April 4, 2006 @ 7:27 am

    The Last Samurai, one of my fav movies, how truely said!
    Your picture reminds me of one lonely tree, early in the spring, last year, amongst a concrete jungle of high rises of chicago, perfectly blossomed with somewhat similar flowers, just white in color.

  5. Alexis Leon Said,

    April 4, 2006 @ 9:46 am

    Quills: Yes, that is the idea behind the cherry blossom viewing parties—welcoming the spring. It is celebrated very enthusiastically all over Japan.

    maya cassis: Thank you maya.

    Geo: Hahahahahah….

    “Get a beautiful pic, write some beautiful verses…” ROTFL

    No Geo, I am not traveling in the same boat. Hope and love and mind curry write their own verses. I borrowed it from the movie. Mind curry uses the photographs that he has taken. I bought this picture. So you can rest assured that this post will the first and last of its kind ;-)

    I just loved the lines when I saw the movie. I wanted to use it somewhere. So the picture and the verses….

    venus: I felt that Tom Cruise deserved an Oscar for his performance in the movie and the movie also deserved one. One of my favorite movies too.

    Yes, you can find the cherry trees in full bloom in your part of the world and they mostly will be White. The Pink colored cherry flowers are mostly seen in Japan.

  6. Suji Said,

    April 4, 2006 @ 7:10 pm

    Spring is such a wonderful time. Its a time of rejuvenation not only for nature but for us too.

  7. Mind Curry Said,

    April 4, 2006 @ 7:25 pm

    and the only cherry blossom i had in mind was the one me and charlie use on our shoes. :)

    excellent pic and insights. i am so amazed by the eastern culture.

    @ geo – are such a fun guy!

  8. Jo Said,

    April 4, 2006 @ 9:43 pm

    I loved the movie, especially the performances of Tom Cruise and Ken Watannabe. But I don’t think he deserved an oscar for the movie. But ofcourse the cinematography, costumes etc were deserving. I think Ken should have won the supporting actor award.

  9. James Bright Said,

    April 5, 2006 @ 8:45 pm

    My dear Alexis,
    I loved that picture.
    It gives hope and happiness.
    I always wanted to take one of this kind. But I always missed it.

  10. Deepa Said,

    April 6, 2006 @ 1:49 pm

    beautiful !!!!!

    and congrats on the Amazon Shorts … u have 6 novels listed there ? how did u go about it ?


  11. arvindh Said,

    April 6, 2006 @ 5:56 pm

    Wow, that is a great picture! Interesting information too – I did not know about sakura and hanami.

  12. Alexis Leon Said,

    April 6, 2006 @ 7:30 pm

    Suji: Yes spring really is a wonderful time…

    Mind Curry: the only cherry blossom i had in mind was the one me and Charlie use on our shoes. ROFL.
    Yes, Eastern culture is amazing. The samurai way of life is even more amazing. And Geo is a funny guy ;-)

    Jo: At least we agree on all aspects of the movie except for the Oscar for Tom Hanks :-)

    James Bright: I too loved that picture. I was taken by some Japanese photographer. I bought it from a photographic web site.

    Deepa: Thank you Deepa. The 6 books listed are not novels. They are computer science books. Two of them are published from Boston and they will automatically get listed at Amazon as they are published in US. Others are published in India and some distributor has got them listed at Amazon.

    arvindh: Thank you.

  13. James Bright Said,

    April 6, 2006 @ 7:48 pm

    What is the confusion about Tom Hank’s Oscar..?
    Let me know, if you don’t mind..!

  14. silverine Said,

    April 6, 2006 @ 9:45 pm

    Cherry blossoms…they look so delicate, frothy and lovely. Is that a Haiku?

  15. Alexis Leon Said,

    April 7, 2006 @ 12:26 am

    James: There is no confusion. I had written a reply to the comment by Venus where I had mentioned that Tom Hanks deserved an Oscar for his performance in The Last Samurai. Jo was of the opinion that he didn’t deserve one. It is only a difference in opinion :-)

    Silverine: Yes, I think it is a Haiku. I asked a friend who was in Japan for many years and has learned the language. He says it is. Besides it meets most of the criteria—3 lines, short, the first two lines preparing the reader for the last one, and so on.

  16. Sreejith Kumar Said,

    April 7, 2006 @ 12:33 pm

    Good pic. Is that celebration something similar to our Vishu?

  17. Suji Said,

    April 7, 2006 @ 8:01 pm

    If I am not mistaken, its Tom Cruise not Tom Hanks in ‘The Last Samurai’.

  18. Ram Said,

    April 8, 2006 @ 7:22 am

    God, that was a beautiful picture.

    Sometimes, nature just makes you pause…it can stir some many intense emotions with you -you feel joy, you feel sad, you feel happy, you feel warm, you shiver…but you are always in awe.

    I came into your blog through Maya/Quills, and it is a pleasure to get to know you. Look forward to getting to know you a little better!


  19. Alexis Leon Said,

    April 7, 2006 @ 8:38 pm

    Sreejith: Yes, I think so…

    Suji: LOL. Thanks. Your are not mistaken. It is Tom Cruise in The Last Samurai :-)

  20. Aizwaikcha Said,

    April 8, 2006 @ 12:00 pm

    Gr8 picture. Nice blog.

  21. -poison- Said,

    April 9, 2006 @ 8:18 pm

    i remember my eyes growing damp as the samurai murmurs – ‘perfect..’ as he takes his last breath.

  22. Deepa Said,

    April 10, 2006 @ 10:56 am

    Oh ! like that ….
    Good !

  23. anu Said,

    April 12, 2006 @ 10:41 am

    hmmmm so beautiful..!
    read maya’s comment.. thats y we do it..
    :) )

  24. chackochan Said,

    April 12, 2006 @ 12:40 pm

    Beautiful pict ……

    reminds me of our “kanikonna” and vishu :) ..

  25. Dewaker Basnet Said,

    April 12, 2006 @ 3:40 pm

    a thing of beauty is joy forever..great pic..

  26. kathy Said,

    April 13, 2006 @ 8:27 am

    Woww beautiful! I had my post too about sakura last few days ago on my blog and still have the hang-over of hanami ^_~ (yup we have sakura here in the nearby park).i live in Tokyo .
    This is my favorite season too here in Japan aside from autumn…
    Oops got here from Jo’s blog…
    …nice blog you have simply lovin’ the color green:)


  27. Geo Said,

    April 13, 2006 @ 10:13 am

    no posts for a couple of weeks… :-?

    I am almost sure you are working on your 123rd book… please finish it fast and come back soon :_D

  28. Alexis Leon Said,

    April 13, 2006 @ 10:32 am

    Ram: Thanks for dropping by. Yes nature has that effect on all of us. Said,

    Aizwaikcha: Thank you.

    -poison-: I cried…

    Deepa: Thank you Deepa.

    anu: Yes, very beautiful.
    Geo: You have your answer now ;-)

    chackochan: It is something similar to our vishu. In my opinion, Kanikonna flowers are more beautiful :-)

    Dewaker Basnet : True.

    Kathy: Weclome Kathy. I visited your blog and got a lot of information about Sakura and Hanami.

    Geo: Yes working on a book. But feeling lazy, so progress is slow. Fell ill for a couple of days. Writing a post about how we took the College bus for a ride ;-)

  29. lalitha Said,

    April 14, 2006 @ 10:00 pm

    Beautiful picture. Spring is in the air

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