In 2008, the Clairvoyant and I enjoyed going around the old city of Kamakura in Kanagawa Prefecture in Japan. It was late winter and spring was fast approaching when we went around the temples. Walking from Hachimangu Shrine towards Kamakura Station we took the walkway along the median of the main street to appreciate the cherry trees that would be in full bloom about a month from then. We could only imagine together how it would be like walking or picnicking under the cherry blossoms and spending hanami in Japan.
Crossing over to the nearby shops along the same street, we checked out the same shops I had explored while still a student in Japan 10 years earlier. I had bought a few items in some of the shops to bring home to my parents' home and our ancestral home in Iloilo. This time we looked for items we could bring to our home and perhaps put on display. It was the Clairvoyant who spotted and asked me about some handpainted cloths in one of the specialty shops. I explained these were used to wrap lunch boxes or just about anything that can be carried. Wrapping items in cloth is an art and a functional one in Japan that I can only compare to origami (paper folding) and ikebana (flower arrangement). We picked two and the shopkeeper was all smiles and commended our appreciation of sakura in her halting English. We casually mentioned that we won't be able to catch the blossoms as we would be heading back to our country before the sakura comes out.
The two hand painted items were eventually framed and now grace our living room. They depict sakura in full bloom with one featuring several trees and the other a more detailed painting of the flowers.
|Framed hand painted lunch wraps from Kamakura|
Looking at the frames remind me of good times in Japan and the cool, comfy weather during springtime. It feels good for me to see the cherry blossoms even on paintings or photos and perhaps this is why we like having depictions of spring around our home. Spring symbolizes renewal, hope and life - things that are sadly, slowly being lost to many today. The sakura reminds us of nature's beauty and the promise of life that is to be lived instead of being suffered.-