In Tokyo the sakura has been and gone. I`m told it blossomed completely and perfectly over night and then within the week was done.
Hanami is a brief celebration held under the most fragile of canopies. Preceding weeks consist of lining parks and rivers with lanterns waiting, watching the barometer, observing the first buds. Then for one or two days, if lucky, picnics roll into evenings of drink and song and laughter. Sumos flash peace signs beneath bloom like clouds descending, or as if we had ascended, sat on flying carpets, moments before wind and rain dance the magic away. Children left to play amongst the petals, spent confetti. Bare branches tangled like a heart.
Here in the mountains the cherry usually wakes a month or so later than in the capital, but last night temperatures dropped from 20 to -1 and it snowed, taking us a little by surprise, though we know better than to let our guard down until May. I`d gather all the news I need from the weather report. If only I could understand it.
Mika Ninagawa`s (蜷川 実花) brightly colored photographs are conspicuous favourites of Tokyo`s advertising and the city`s fashion magazines. She has also directed two feature length films, live-action adaptions of celebrated manga.