It was in 2010 that the cherry tree preservation activities we started at Mount Yoshino in Nara Prefecture in 2008 got fully on track. We were informed that "Not only at Mount Yoshino but throughout Japan an increasing number of cherry trees are nearing the end of their life span and losing their vigor."
The Someiyoshino cherry trees grown widely in Japan are thought to have a life span of 50 to 60 years and the trees were said to be weakening throughout the nation.
Aware of this issue, we came into contact with AUN, a pair of Japanese musical instrument performers who had been appointed official "cherry tree ambassadors" by Yoshino Town. AUN were involved in giving performances of Japanese musical instruments to children and giving them a chance to try them for themselves. This led to our launching the Sakura Project in partnership with AUN. Targeted primarily at elementary and pre-schools, the project aims to use Japanese musical instruments to pass on the wonder of Japan’s heritage to the children who will be responsible for its future.
In the five years after starting in fiscal 2010, the Sakura Project had toured 38 different municipalities and visited 130 elementary and pre-schools throughout Japan to give Japanese musical instrument performances and plant cherry trees.
We talk to the elementary school children as we put soil around a cherry tree: "To plant cherry trees is to plant life. To grow a tree is to grow life. So treating trees as precious is the same as treating life as precious, and I hope you all treat as precious your own and other people’s lives."
A single slender cherry sapling will one day grow large and produce beautiful blossoms.
It will be a wonderful thing if, one day, the elementary school children with their families can gather under this tree, and we would love to think that the memory of this cherry tree may come back to them one day when they are feeling down.
We hope that on such a day they will catch the sound of a taiko drum, shamisen, or shinobue (bamboo flutes) carried on the wind.
So that the Sakura Project of Daiwa House Industry will always remain with them, we hope to pass on these thoughts to the children who will make up the next generation of Japan.
Ryohei & Kohei Inoue
AUN, Japanese musical instruments performers
Enjoying Japanese musical instruments and cultivating cherry tree saplings around Japan
First kindergarten, then school, … finally graduation.
Cherry trees are forever part of our memories.
We provide powerful performances of Japanese musical instruments and conduct cherry tree plantings in the wish that the sight of fallen cherry blossoms will give children a sense of the spirit of great harmony and lodge wonderful memories in their hearts.