While the UK is witnessing record-low temperatures and snow is still falling over the country, Japan is confidently moving forward towards a warmer season. Spring, officially beginning on March 21st, is more than the end of winter but is associated with a variety of powerful symbols in Japanese society.
The most obvious one is certainly “Hanami”, a long-established flower viewing custom that dates back to the Heian period (794-1185). The term is a portmanteau word composed of “Hana” (花, “flower”) and “Mi” (見, “to see, to view”). Although the term is generic, it is implied that people contemplate the pink of cherry blossoms (桜 or 櫻, pronounced “sakura”) as the wind blows away their soft petals. This post contains the cherry blossom forecast across the whole country, from March 16th to May 10th. People take the opportunity to pause from their busy routine to sit together with colleagues, friends, family around a light picnic. The warm weather, incensed breeze and coloured sky is said to appease people’s hearts and fill them with a sense of renewal.
This sense of renewal is not only figurative but has a profound impact throughout society. At school, the new academic year starts every year in April and marks a new beginning for millions of young children as well as university students. Most Japanese firms end their financial year late March and begin a new year in April. At SoftBank Telecom Europe, we wish you the best for this upcoming season and hope to be part of your success in advertising throughout Yahoo! Japan!