What is meant by “Hana yoridango”?



桜前線予報とお花見準備 The cherry-blossom-front forecast and preparation for a feast

When the blossom forecast is announced, it feels as though spring has finally come. Checking the announcement, people try to assess the best time to throw a hanami party, because the short life of the hanami season lasts only a week or so. Hanami usually means an outdoor party under cherry trees. Some people, of course, enjoy the drinking and eating rather than the cherry blossom viewing. We call those with that attitude, “Hana yori dango.”


お花見の歴史 The history of cherry blossom viewing

In many places, paper lanterns are temporarily hung to enable people to watch yozakura (sakura meaning cherry blossom, at night) and to bring a cheerful atmosphere to the feast. The custom of hanami dates back many centuries. The chronicle Nihon Shoki records hanami festivals being held as early as the third century, while in the Heian Period, cherry blossom attracted more attention and hanami became synonymous with sakura. The custom was originally for the people in the Imperial Court, but soon spread to samurai society and to the common people as well in the Edo period.


なぜ日本人は桜が好きなの? Why do Japanese like cherry blossom?


So why do Japanese like cherry blossom so much? It is said that it is because cherry blossom symbolizes the ephemeral nature of life due to the way it blooms spectacularly but only for a short while. Well, I'll tell you why in the next article. Stay tuned!

でも、なぜ日本人はこんなに桜が好きなのでしょうか? なぜなら、その桜がパッと壮麗に咲いて、潔く散る姿が、もののあわれを象徴するからだとされています。その理由は、また明日見ていきましょう。


Some people enjoy feasting (drinking and eating) rather than looking at the cherry blossom. We call those with that attitude “Hana yori dango” in Japanese.




カナダ・オーストラリアに留学ののち、ボストン大学コミュニケーション学部修士課程ジャーナリズム専攻、東北大学博士前期課程人間社会情報科学専攻修了。通信社の国際金融情報部、出版社にて国内・海外の取材記事や交渉ほかを担当。海外通販会社の役員を経て、諸媒体の翻訳・執筆・プロデュース などを手がける。 著書に『コトバのギフト~輝く女性の100名言』(講談社)、『スティーブ・ジョブズに学ぶ英語プレゼン』(日経BP社)ほか多数。仕事と趣味で旅した国は50カ国を超える。