• Mariko Oku

春色に輝く木々のように生きる Live like trees shining with spring colors in a rapture of delight



七十二候の「桃始笑(ももはじめてさく)」季節となりました。

We are now in the season of "Momo Hajimete Saku," based on Japanese lunisolar calendar, which means that “The peaches will smile for the first time.”

桃が「咲く」ことを、「笑う」と表現されていることに、昔の人々のしなやかな感性を感じます。


The expression of "smile" when peaches "bloom" reminds me of the flexible sensitivity of ancient people.




桃は英語で「Peach」ですが、これはギリシャでの桃の名前のラテン語の古い学名「malum persicum(ペルシアの林檎)」からきており、そのうちにmalum が省略されてpersicum(ペルシカム)と呼ばれ、これが後に英語で「peach」と呼ばれるようになった経緯があります。


The word "peach" in English is derived from the old Latin scientific name for the Greek peach, "malum persicum" (Persian apple), and in time the word was abbreviated to "persicum," which later became the English word "peach. " This is how the word "peach" came to be used in English.




桃と聞くと、食べる桃がまず頭に浮かびますが、江戸時代には観賞用の桃の花を「花桃」と呼び、赤白紫といった様々な色や、八重咲きや枝垂れなど様々な品種が生み出されました。

When we hear the word "peach," the first thing that comes to your mind is edible peaches, but in the Edo period (1603-1868), peaches were common for ornamental purposes and were called "hanamomo" (flowering peaches). At that time, various varieties of flowering peaches were produced, such as red, white, and purple, double-flowered, and weeping types, etc.




そして桃は多くの実をつけることから、聖なる多産の象徴の木とされ、女性の魅力を表すことから、英語では「I am your captive(私はあなたのとりこ)」「unequaled qualities(比類なき素質)」という花言葉をも持ちます。


The peach is considered to be a holy tree of fertility because it bears many fruits, and it also has the flower meanings of "I am your captive" and "unequaled qualities" in English because it expresses feminine charm.



大地のエネルギーのように生命を生み出す力を持ち、そして男性性の陽のエネルギーの輝きを、「内助の功」である女性性の隠のエネルギーで補っていく、女性ならではの働きは、まさしくunequaled qualities(比類なき素質)と言えるのではないでしょうか。


Like the energy of the earth, women have the power to create life.

The feminine function of supplementing the radiance of the yang energy of the masculine gender with the hidden energy of the feminine gender, which can be called as “the power of a wise woman" can truly be called unequaled qualities.




また「桃」は「木」に「兆」と書くように「兆しの木」とも言われています。


The peach is also called as “兆しの木“ or the tree of signs, as written in the Chinese characters for "tree(木)" and "sign(兆).”



「桃は五行の精。邪気を圧伏し百怪を制す」として中国の古伝にも記されているように、未来を予知し魔を払う霊木と考えられましたので、「天下無敵」といった、女性らしさとは対照的な花言葉も持っています。

Peach has been thought to be a sacred tree that can foretell the future and ward off evil, as described in the ancient Chinese legend, "Peaches are the spirits of the five elements, subduing evil spirits and conquering a hundred demons.” That’s why it also has a language of flowers that contrasts with its femininity, such as "invincible".



古事記でイザナギが、追ってくる鬼女に桃を投げつけ、邪を祓う桃の力で退散させたお話は有名ですね!


Famous story related the power of peach is depicted in the Kojiki(Records of Japanese Ancient Matters).

In the story, the deity named Izanagi throwed peaches at a demons chasing him and dispelled them with the sacred power of peaches to purge evil.




梅のあとには桃が笑い、そしてもうまもなく桜が笑う季節となりますね。

After the plum blossoms, the peaches just started to laugh, and shortly, it will be the time when the cherry blossoms start to laugh.




毎年春になると、私が中学生の時の国語の教科書に載っていた、染色家の志村ふくみさんの印象的なお話を思い出します。


Every year, spring season reminds me of an impressive story by Fukumi Shimura, one of the famous dye artist in Japan, that I read in my junior high school Japanese textbook.



美しい桜色に染める「桜染め」がありますが、桜の花びらを集めて煮出すだけでは

綺麗な桜色にならず、ごつごつした黒い樹皮から染め上げると、目の覚めるような美しい桜色になるのだそうです。

There is a technique called "cherry blossom dyeing," in which cherry blossoms are dyed in beautiful cherry blossom colors, but simply collecting cherry blossom petals and boiling them does not produce the color.

But if you dye it using the rough black bark of cherry blossom, you will get a beautiful and eye-catching cherry blossom color from it.



そして、その桜色は一年中取れるわけではなく、桜の花が咲く直前の山の桜の皮をもらってきて染めると、上気したようなえもいわれぬ桜色が取り出せるのだと。

The cherry blossom color cannot be obtained throughout the year, but you can get the color when you dye using the bark of cherry trees in the mountains just before the cherry blossoms will bloom.



真冬の桜の樹皮の下では、着々と春色に桜の花びらを染める紅が息づき、そしてその樹皮の下で作られ溜められてきた紅が春になると、美しい桜色に花びらを染めて、一気にほころびはじめるのですね!

In the middle of winter, under the bark of the cherry trees, the rouge that dyes the cherry blossoms' petals with spring colors steadily comes to life.

In spring, the rouge that has been produced and stored under the bark begins to bloom and dye the petals with beautiful cherry blossom colors!




秘めていた生命の輝きを一気にほころばせる春の木々のように、


私たちも、この コロナの時代の転換期の冬の間を転機と前向きに捉え、自分自身と繋がり内在している無限の力に気付いた時、一番自分らしい色で、満開の輝きを放つことが出来るのだと感じます。


Just like the trees in spring, which will burst into full bloom with their hidden radiance of life power, I feel that we, too, can have the same mindset as spring trees in this difficult age with coronavirus issues, that is to say, when we can realize the infinite power that is inherent in us now, we will be able to shine in full bloom in the colors that are most like us in near future, overcoming this crisis.


日に日に春色に輝きを増す街並みをそぞろあるけば、そんな大切な心の学びを、美しい春の木々たちが教えてくれているようです。

As we stroll along the city streets, which are becoming more and more spring-colored day by day, the beautiful spring trees seem to be teaching us such an important lesson for our spirit.


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