The Japan-America Society of Greater Austin (JASGA) is organizing a Central Texas delegation to attend the 2013 Japan-America Grassroots Summit which will be held on July 1-8 in Shimane Prefecture, Japan. Elaine Browning, JASDFW, shared the program highlights and photographs from her recent trip to Shimane.
It was called Uzuki because Deutzia shrubs (Unohana) are in full bloom at this time of year.
Another name for April is "Hana-zangetsu" meaning that there are still some flowers left. Although officially it is the second month of Spring in the solar calendar, traditionally it corresponds to the end of the season.
April is all about the ubiquitous cherry blossom (Sakura). Revered as the national flower and referenced in countless songs and poems, these blossoms steadfastly represent the aesthetic beauty of Japan.
Travel to Japan as part of the 23rd Japan-America Grassroots Summit
in Shimane on July 1-8, 2013
Shimane is home to legends, hot springs, and Izumo Shrine - a National Treasure of Japan. Your week will take you off the beaten path, and you'll experience life in a Japanese home. Optional: Extend your stay to visit other parts of Japan.
Gayle and Scot Crumley
Bryan Nolte & Family
Adam Doyle & Family
Thank you for renewing your membership!
RENEWED "Friends of JASGA" member
Tomio Yamakoshi Petrosky
L Jane Rose & Family
Matabei's Cherry Tree and Billy the Kid
Tomio Yamakoshi Petrosky
Center for Complex Quantum System
The University of Texas at Austin
April 26, 2013
I just came back form Japan at the right moment to see the beautiful cherry blossoms. However, the cherry blossom season started approximately 10 days earlier this year. I can easily imagine the travel agents who arranged trips to see the cherry blossoms being upset because the blossoms only bloom for two weeks, which is a short life span. Among many cherry blossom trees that I saw the Matabei-Zukra at Oh-uda from Nara was the most impressive one (see Fig.1) This is a weeping cherry tree that is more than 300 years old. This tree is also called a Taki-Zakura, which means cherry blossom like a waterfall.
If you see a guidebook about cherry blossom trees, it may say that there is 1,000 cherry trees in this park or 10,000 cherry trees in that park, and so on. The guidebooks say there is only one cherry tree at Matabei-Zukura Park but yet many tourists from all over Japan are attracted to see this one tree.
By the way, Matabei is the name of a famous Japanese samurai (後藤又兵衛次基(1560?-1615) from the civil war period. Legend has it that Matabei spent his final moment of life as a Buddhist priest at the location of this tree. This tree grew in his garden. Another legend has it that he died on the battlefield at Osaka castle in the famous Osaka battle in the summer of 1615. As a result, he has two graves.
You should not be surprised, because I heard from an American friend that Billy the Kid (Fig. 2) was killed in three different places so he has three graves.
Fig.2 Billy the Kid
Surprisingly a Japanese legend states there are more than 200 graves all over Japan for a woman poet named Izumi Sikibu who lived in the 10th century. So many people loved Izumi Sikibu that they started to clam that she came to their place in the last moment of her life.
It seems me that there is a common thing in the world for the person who was loved by many people, such as Matabei, Billy the Kid, and so on. Though they have only one body, they have many graves.