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SAKURA – by Janet Pliszka

Sakura is the beautiful word for cherry blossoms in Japanese.   The cherry blossoms are a huge event in Japan and during my 3-year stay there, I was able to admire their beauty every spring with a picnic under the trees at a prime location.   May is also the month for Children’s Day.  It is the fifth day of the fifth month and families raise these fun koinobori (carp-shaped) flags.   In the village I lived in, Inukai, the koinobori were all flying in the wind alongside the river and we would have a fishing derby down below.  Oh, I can picture it perfectly!!


One of dear neighbours is from Japan and grew up in the prefecture right next door to where I lived on the southern island of Kyushu.  Their family moved to the neighbourhood when the eldest in this shoot was just a first grader and his little brother was just learning how to talk.  So you can see we’ve been neighbours for quite a while!!  We’ve all had plenty of conversations on the front lawn, a beer here and a yummy Japanese onigiri there, and their kids kindly hanging out with our younger ones.  We are so happy to have them as part of our lives on our beautiful and kind street.

Mama-san gave her husband this gift as  milestone birthday present.   When the cherry blossoms came this year, I just knew this had to be the place for their photos.  I contacted her on Sunday and we made it happen on Monday.  I loved our session.   Really, really loved.  I saw Mom wiping away a couple tears here and there.  Her son is about to graduate from high school.  It’s their first family photos in a long time.  The kids are so big!   It was just meant to be.

Here you are, sweet tomodachi!   I hope you love them!  (more to come)

and Wi-ru-san…. O-tanjobi, omedeto gazaimasu!!!






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