Thank you so much for joining us again for our fifth blog post of study abroad at Reitaku University in Japan! Our class today covered all sorts of interesting topics in Japanese culture that many of us often wonder about. Such topics include the adoration of the sakura, the superstitions, animal symbolism, and more.
Regarding the ideology of Japan’s collectivist tendencies, we have the adoration of the sakura. If you are not familiar with the term, sakura are cherry blossoms that bloom for a very short time in Japan every spring. By studying these elegant and peaceful flowers, we come to understand the opulence associated with many individual entities coming together to create something even greater. I really resonated with this concept, as whenever my sensei explained that a single sakura on its own is delightful, she also explained that it is not very powerful. In abundance, these blossoms become all the more charming and soothing, thus taking their affect up many times over. Moreover, these trees produce blossoms for a fairly short period of time – at best a couple weeks. Therefore, these plants are also symbols of transience and accepting change. This is what we can remember about ourselves upon gazing at these magnificent flowers. Having grown up with sakura trees lining my driveway, these concepts highly appeal to me.
What also highly appeals to me is their belief about blood types. I have been studying astrology, numerology, Chinese zodiac, sacred geometry, and other such etheric subjects for many years now, and this philosophy seemed to flow right along with those. In Japanese culture, they look at blood types as a way of better understanding one’s personality. In my humble opinion, it does seem logical to pay attention to the attributes that one’s own life force can supply. Why would we have different blood types if not to ascertain which environment a person is most aptly suited for? Environment affects behavior, and thus it makes sense that a blood type is a direct reflection of this rationale.
These are just two of the plentiful curiosities that pervade Japanese thought and culture. One could spend an infinite amount of time looking into these ideas and still have so many wonderful concepts and perspectives left to discover.