Sakura season has spun around again. Maybe it was the endless drudgery and chill of winter this year, maybe it was the poignancy of fragile flowers blooming under heavy rainclouds and wind, but the sakura this year just seemed to glow. Single trees, slender and so organic, within Osaka’s concrete, bed-room communities, were breath catchingly beautiful. Carpets of pink, fallen petals, reflected the more tenacious. foliage above. When overnight, one of the trees in Ikoma lost all of its petals, it made my day a little darker (though the sight of light green maple leaves cured it). Ah, sakura, is this why so many people have written poems to you? Carved wood into prints of you? Bought BBQ grills, and blue sheets, and staked out spaces overnight, in order to enjoy you?