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Like Manna from Heaven?


The cherry-blossing viewing festival O-Hanami is a time when Japanese people gather beneath the cherry trees to celebrate the return of spring and the fleeting evanescence of life (suggested because the flowers bloom, fade, and fall so quickly). It's also a time of parties, of drinking and singing.


A wandering guitarist in Kyoto's Maruyama Koen sings Yu-no-machi Erejii

[Hot Spring Resort Elegy], a popular ballad written in 1948, with lyrics by Toshio Nomura and music by Masao Koga--


Izu no yamayama tsuki awaku

On the mountains of Izu, the moon lights faintly


Akari ni musebu yu no kemuri

The steam of the spa is sobbing in the light


Aa, hatsukoi no

Ah, my first love


Kimi wo tazunete koyoi mata

Searching you, I came here again tonight


Gitah tsumabiku tabi no tori

I play my guitar, I am a wandering bird


Kaze no tayori ni kiku kimi wa

People say that you are


Ideyu no machi no hito no tsuma

Married to a man in a spa town


Aa, aimite-mo

Ah, even if we could meet each other


Harete katarenu kono omoi

I never can tell my feelings openly


Semete todoke-yo nagashi-uta

I wish you might hear my song at least


Awai yu no ka mo roji-ura mo

This faint scent of the spa and even the back alleys


Kimi sumu yue ni natsukashi-ya

Make me feel nostalgic, because you live here


Aa, wasurarenu

Ah, I shed tears over a yearning


Yume wo shitaite chiru namida

For the unforgettable dream


Koyoi gitah mo musebi-naku

And my guitar weeps too, tonight


Later, the party erupts into the traditional folktune Sakura [Cherry Blossoms], one version of which goes--


Sakura - sakura - noyamamo satomo

Cherry Blossoms, cherry blossoms. On mountains, in villages.


miwatasu kagiri

As far as you can see.


kasumi-ka kumo-ka - asahi-ni niou

They look like fog or clouds. They are fragrant in the morning sun.


sakura - sakura - hanazakari

Cherry blossoms, cherry blossoms. In full bloom.