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Cherry blossoms mark the beginning of spring. Various festivals are regularly organized in California, Colorado, Georgia, Tennessee and Washington, D.C., to celebrate the bloom of cherry trees.

The blossoms, however, are short-lived and usually fall within a week. Indeed, sakura, as the cherry tree is known in Japanese, is a recognized symbol of impermanence in Japan and beyond.

Every year, many people all around Japan gather under the cherry trees in parks and gardens for a spring picnic to watch the blossoms fall while they chat with their companions over seasonal drinks and snacks. Such gatherings are called hanami, literally meaning “viewing the flowers.”

Małgorzata (Gosia) K. Citko-DuPlantis, assistant professor of Japanese literature and culture, shares her research on the ritual of watching falling cherry blossoms. Read more at The Conversation.

UT is a member of The Conversation, an independent source for news articles and informed analysis written by the academic community and edited by journalists for the general public. Through our partnership, we seek to provide a better understanding of the important work of our faculty.



Cindi King (865-974-0937,