Waiting for Sakura – Plum flowers and New life

aprile 1, 2012

March is a really busy month in Japan.
Haruyasumi (Spring holidays) for students, Shinseikatsu (New life) for the newly graduated people coming to Tokyo to start working on April, the end of winter and the coming of Spring, perfectly symbolized by Sakura (cherry blossoms).
Japanese people use to celebrate the coming of Spring with Hanami (watching flowers), getting together, eating and drinking under the blooming trees.
This is a scene you may have seen somewhere, but what a lot of people don`t know is that before Sakura, comes Ume (plum).

Plum flowers bloom around one or two weeks earlier than sakura, and have a lot of different colors, from clear white to deep red. It`s nice to see plum trees bloom after a cold winter; it kind of makes you taste the upcoming spring, the trips, the walks, the world waking up from a long sleep. It also gives a lot of color and contrast to the city, wich made me go out and shoot color, wich I wasn`t for a long time.
This time I walked to a park not so far from home, near Umegaoka station (梅が丘), filled with plum trees, and also with people, called Haneki Park (羽気公園). I don`t shoot flowers or macro often, but this particular time I was so relaxed and linked to the place, that when I figured out some hours already passed: I could also took some satisfing shoots.

While shooting some flowers I looked around and saw a lot of interesting human interaction, like sweet potato (石焼芋) selling, kids playing soccer, and some beautiful old ladies eating their bento in their kimono: so I took the chance and got some snaps.

This particular year this blooming has a deeper meaning for me: in some months I am going to become father, and on top of that I finally took the hard decision (after a really long thinking) to leave the job that supported me for 4 years here in Japan and go freelance to shoot full-time, to surrender myself to the beauty around me. On my way home I didn`t forget to thank the gods for giving me this opportunity of blooming in a new form.

Thanks for Reading.

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