Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Cherry Blossoms in Fukushima
In Fukushima we had tried to see the famous Takizakura, the 1000-year old weeping cherry tree and a national treasure, in full bloom just then. News stories were circulating about how residents of temporary housing units were finding solace in this ancient beauty. Not surprisingly, it was so crowded we gave up.
Instead, that evening we visited a younger cherry tree in a nearby valley — this one a gentle giant of about 400 years. It stood by a stream, showering the small temple next to it with pink petals. The perfume of spring was everywhere and I could hear the reassuring croaking of the frogs.
Local residents I asked did not seem to quite know why there are so many ancient cherry trees in Fukushima. But they all seemed to agree that their prefecture is beautiful. They kept repeating, as if in a mantra, the same refrain I had heard throughout the trip: as long as our trees, our waters, our air and our mountains are alive, we too shall be fine.
Excerpt from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/16/opinion/cherry-blossoms-in-fukushima.html?_r=1&pagewanted=1&ref=global-home