it has been suggested that cherry-blossom, or saku-ra, has long formed a site of conflicting embodiments. Such dualism results from the third-century import from continental Asia of one version of Buddhism, and its State-organized diffusion. But why?
Both in Japan and elsewhere, cherry-blossom is commonly assumed to be the country’s national flower. In fact, and although a cherry-floret figures on every hundred-yen coin, this matter has so far received no legal ruling. And this cannot be unrelated to the fact that, in Japan, cherry-blossom forms a locus of conflicting, or contradictory, significances.