March 29, 2011
Haiga 556 Sakura haiga
Haiku and photo by myself.
In the area where I live, sakura flowers have begun to bloom. The photos are taken from about the same spot. The one below was taken in February. These sakura trees are the first ones that bloom in my town, Tenri.
In the northern area affected by the disaster will have to wait a little longer, perhaps a couple weeks, before their sakura blossoms. The area will be still in mess then, but the sakura will certainly brighten the mind of people in distress.
New sakura -
always a symbol and
a hope for Japan
I'm a priest of Tenrikyo, and here is what our church is doing now for the disaster response. (Quotation from CNN Blief Blog: http://bit.ly/gXPQWh)
"Since the March 11 earthquake and the resulting tsunami, many new religions have mounted extensive aid campaigns. Tenrikyo, one of the oldest organizations of this kind, was founded in 1838. From the late nineteenth century, the group was integrated into state-sanctioned Sectarian Shinto, but it rejected this affiliation after World War II to become independent.
Tenrikyo has established a disaster response center at its headquarters in Tenri City. The group’s long history of volunteering is rooted in its religious practice of hinokishin, a contribution of voluntary labor through which adherents express their gratitude toward the divine.
Tenrikyo Disaster Relief Hinokishin Corps is equipped to work with local governmental agencies and provide assistance in emergencies. A division from Niigata Prefecture is now at work in quake-ravaged Sendai to repair broken water lines. In addition, Tenrikyo has organized a vast, multinational fundraising campaign through its branch churches in Japan and around the world."