[Economist Review] The Sakura Obsession by Naoko Abe

The Englishman who helped safeguard Japan’s cherry trees

You may never look at cherry blossom in the same way again

The Sakura Obsession. By Naoko Abe. Knopf; 400 pages; $27.95. Published in Britain as “‘Cherry’ Ingram: The Englishman Who Saved Japan’s Blossoms” by Chatto & Windus; £18.00.

n march 21st a Japanese phenologist observed the pink-and-white blossoms on a cherry tree in the Yasukuni shrine in central Tokyo and formally declared the start of the cherry-blossom viewing season. There are many of this type of cherry, known as somei-yoshino, in the shrine that honours Japan’s war dead. Some are so old they are held up by wooden struts. In Japan’s militaristic mythology, the petals represent the souls of dead fighters…

Reblogged from The Economist

Image courtesy of Knopf

April 04, 2019

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