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  • Writer's pictureMiyuki Yoshikami

Who Is the Culprit?

The Kenwood area of Bethesda, Maryland is inundated with visitors, causing traffic jams and nuisance to this swanky neighborhood. Are cherry blossoms the blame? In a koto piece taken from the noh play, Saigyo Zakura, the hermit monk, Saigyo enjoyed his retreat in the Western hills of Kyoto but resented and complained about the cherry that attracted trespassers, disrupting his solitude.  That night he was visited by a spirit of an old cherry tree (like Stumpy) who reprimanded Saigyo for blaming the blossoms. Cherry blossoms cannot help but be what they are, beautiful. Saigyo relented, and the two then listed all the places in Japan celebrated for beautiful cherry blossom. 

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