Every year around 15 January, it is broadcast
on the news that HiKan-zakura(Scarlet-Sakura) have began to blossom in
Okinawa. I, who would like to travel sometime along the Sakura front,
will probably make a start from this January's HiKan-zakura.
The HiKan-zakura's colour, true to its name, is scarlet. To tell the truth,
I had thought that to bloom in Okinawa, HiKan-zakura could not be but
HiKan-zakura(Staving-off-the-cold-Sakura). Casually turning over the pages
of the illustrated reference book, it is written;
HiKan-zakura- Originates from Taiwan,
the south of China, and the Himalayas. Grows wild on the Ryukyu archipelago,
and is available for cultivation in Niigata prefecture and in the Kanto
area. Term of blooming from February through March.
How surprising that it appears to blossom,
albeit belatedly relative to Okinawa in the south of Japan, in such deeply
snow-bound Niigata; after all, it does come from the Himalayas… Recently
owing to confusion with "Higan-zakura"(flowers taken on the
traditional, biannual visits to the cemetery), some may seem to call it
rather "KanHi"(Cold-Scarlet)-sakura. To me, that's such a meddlesome
thing to do, as if to throw off the "Coldness". Finally greeting
Taikan (literally "Big-Cold") with a veritable coldness at that
time, it could be "HiKan"(Scarlet-Cold), or it may as well be
"KanHi" (Cold-Scarlet); no sooner had I heard "…Sakura"
than Spring turned up all at once.