Pure white plum blossoms
slowly begin to turn
the color of dawn.
Spring is shining with first blossoms – Ume. Ume (Prunus mume), or which are commonly known as Japanese apricots or Chinese plums are widely cultivated around the country. Following plum, soon season of cherry blossoms is going to arrive.
Ume is the only tree that blossoms during the winter, while snow still covers the ground. Its blooming signifies that Winter is almost at an end, and Spring is on its way. It is the symbol of new beginning and looking forward to a brighter future. It is also a protective charm against evil and misfortune.
Baigiantis žiemai Japonijoje savo žiedus pradeda skleisti japoniškos slyvos. Jomis japonai gali grožėtis truputėlį anksčiau nei sakurų žydėjimu, Mirkant slyvas alkoholyje taip pat gaminamas japoniškas alkoholinis gėrimas – slyvų vynas (jap. umeshu).
Nowadays, Japanese people prefer cherry blossoms to Ume blossoms but in ancient times in the Nara period (710‐794), they were Ume lovers and really appreciated the beauty and scent. They have been depicted in Japanese art repeatedly and have been an important motif in Japanese classic poetry. In addition, many traditional family emblems have a variety of Ume designs.
The Plum Blossom also became one of the primary symbols for incense in Japan. From Chinese literature it is know as “The Flower of Peace” until this day in Japan. Lady Murasaki used this symbolism in the “Plum Branch Chapter” (Umegae) and brought together the images and contrast presented in a background of incense contests and perfume creation. Incense was used as perfume by the people of the Heian era. Clothes were scented overnight by the smoke of exotic kneaded incense, many of which were ancient formulas of Chinese culture.
There is a long tradition of floral scents in Japanese incense making, especially variations on Plum Blossom. Baika, which means plum is one of the most famous Japanese incense formulas. Kneaded with aloeswood and other materials, including Lotus honey or Plum, it was buried under the eave’s of homes for several years in clay pots to mature.
With plum blossom scent, this sudden sun emerges along a mountain trail Basho