花見 in USA?

9 Mar

A number of years ago, Japan gave America 桜の木 (Cherry blossom trees) as a symbol of friendship.

They’re planted in Washington DC.

(Cherry blossoms) are very popular in Japan. They are a symbol of Spring in Japan.
Japanese love them not only for their beauty…but also their fragility. They only stay in bloom for a week or so…and then gently fall to the ground like a beautiful pink snowfall. They’re like a symbol of the beauty and shortness of life.

Every Spring, Japanese people sit under the 桜の木 (Cherry blossom trees) to have a picnic together and enjoy the view.
It’s called 「花見」 (Hanami)…or “Cherry Blossom Viewing”.

I was surprised that America has Japanese-style 花見 (Cherry Blossom Viewing) festivals every Spring in Washington DC under the 桜の木 (Cherry blossom trees) from Japan.

Are these festivals popular in America like they are in Japan? Have you ever been?

At this year’s 花見 (Cherry Blossom Viewing) festival in Washington DC on March 28, Jero will be performing.

Jero is a 27-year old Enka singer.

Enka is a traditional Japanese blues type music that is popular mostly with older Japanese people.

So, it’s surprising that Jero is a young Enka singer. But more surprising is that he’s a black American. And he sings Enka while dressed in hip-hop fashion (Enka singers usually wear 着物 (kimono).

ジェロ (Jero)

ジェロ (Jero)

I wrote a post about Jero before. Click here to read it.

Advertisements

15 Responses to “花見 in USA?”

  1. Anonymous January 15, 2017 at 1:59 am #

    I am growing to love Enka music myself as a 71 year old Afro- American man.

    Like

    • tokyo5 January 15, 2017 at 11:57 am #

      Oh, really? Where did you hear enka for the first time?

      Like

  2. tokyo5 March 29, 2009 at 2:33 pm #

    As I wrote in the post above, Washington DC’s Cherry Blossom Festival was on March 28.

    It was yesterday.

    They showed it on the TV news this morning here in Tokyo. It looked like a Japanese 桜祭り (Cherry Blossom Festival)…except with much less Japanese people. 😉

    Like

  3. Tsukareru March 11, 2009 at 4:23 am #

    Wow! I thought I was the only person who knew about Jero in the US!

    My campus is covered in cherry trees, too. One for every year the school has been open. But we don’t have hanami.

    Like

    • tokyo5 March 11, 2009 at 9:08 pm #

      I have never seen 桜の木 (Cherry Blossom trees) in America.

      Like

  4. naoko March 10, 2009 at 2:11 pm #

    I like Jero because he looks modest and talks very politely. He is more amiable than any other young hip-hop Japanese singer for me.

    Like

    • tokyo5 March 10, 2009 at 10:09 pm #

      Yeah, he seems like a nice guy.

      Like

  5. Tom Arrison March 10, 2009 at 9:35 am #

    Cherry blossom time is the busiest time for tourists coming to DC. Packed trains and streets around the prime viewing areas (e.g. Jefferson Memorial).

    I like enka (I think country-western is a closer analogy to the cultural space it occupies in Japan than blues). Will try to see Jero. It’s free, and right near where I work. It will depend on whether my wife has some other plans.

    Like

    • tokyo5 March 10, 2009 at 10:09 pm #

      >I like enka

      Really? Do you listen to Enka?

      >I think country-western is a closer analogy

      I can see why you’d say that. But, personally, I think “Japanese Blues” describes Enka accurately.

      Like

      • Tom Arrison March 11, 2009 at 7:33 pm #

        >Really? Do you listen to Enka?

        Yup. I have CDs I got in the 80s and 90s when I lived in Japan or was traveling there regularly.

        It’s hard to access from abroad because iTunes and other online music stores don’t sell much enka (there is some J-Pop on there). I’d have to go to Fort Lee or some other large Japanese store and buy CDs without listening to them.

        So I don’t have any Jero CDs yet.

        Like

      • tokyo5 March 11, 2009 at 9:19 pm #

        Tom Arrison…

        Have you ever sung an Enka song at カラオケ (Karaoke)?

        Like

      • Tom Arrison March 12, 2009 at 6:13 am #

        Yup. I used to have a reportoire. Niinuma Kenji, Horiuchi, etc.

        Like

      • tokyo5 March 12, 2009 at 9:56 pm #

        I don’t sing カラオケ (Karaoke)…I’m not a good singer at all.

        Like

  6. Eric March 10, 2009 at 12:12 am #

    I don’t like enka, but I think Jero is really cool. I think more famous people like him in Japan will change how people perceive foreigners over here.

    Like

    • tokyo5 March 10, 2009 at 12:55 am #

      Enka’s hard to appreciate if you’re not Japanese. (Jero is 1/4 Japanese).

      There are alot more foreigners here now than when I first arrived…for good or bad, we are each giving Japanese people an impression of foreigners.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: