March 19, 2023

Red Ume (Japanese apricot) flowers: Engaku-ji

Red Ume (Japanese apricot) flowers: Engaku-ji

Although the easterly wind, that notifies the return of spring, had not begun to blow yet, in the chilly garden where the warm sunlight was still scarce, I found the small flowers of a red apricot tree blooming vividly like the adorable hair ornaments for girls, while releasing a faint fragrant scent of spring into the calm air.

In Asia, the plum or apricot flower has been considered to symbolically represent a pure and innocent girl, because it blooms as if to cheerfully express the joy of spring in the midst of severe cold weather. 

In Japan, people have called it "Harutuge-gusa" which means "the flower heralding the arrival of spring" and have admired its graceful virtue which daintily overcomes the harshness of long winter.

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