The Inked Expressions

Around this time last year the authorities of Tokyo’s plum park Umeno Koen, decided to uproot more than 1200 plum trees. The news came as a huge shock for everyone. But the authorities believed it was the only possible way to prevent the spread of notorious plum pox in the area. For years people came to visit Umeno Koen attracted by the sight of blossoming plum trees and dangling fruits. The custom of watching plum blossoms was celebrated with much enthusiasm. Though replaced by the revelries associated with watching the blooming cherry trees (hanami), the tradition is still followed in parts of the country. In places such as Hanegi Park in Tokyo, Kaju-ji and Dazaifu Tenman-gu in Fukuoka in Kyoto the tradition is kept alive. The last one boasts of more than 6000 plum trees! Yet, the loss of thousands of trees to disease continues to be a…

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