Daigo Cherry Tree


Daigo Cherry Tree 醍醐桜 Daigo-zakura

***** Location: Ochiai Town, Maniwa County, Okayama Province, Western Japan
***** Season: Spring
***** Category: Plant



The Daigo cherry tree is a huge tree in the Chugoku mountain district in Western Japan, its age is presumed to be more than one thousand years, its height is 18 meters, and its trunk is 9 meters round. It is located on a predominant hill within a steep valley in a small mountain community in Ochiai, Western Japan.

In the 14th century, when Emperor Godaigo passed this area, he already admired this cherry tree. Therefore this tree is called the Daigo cherry tree in his memory. During the flowering season many visitors come from all over Japan to enjoy this majestic tree and maybe compose a haiku in his honour, which is then posted in the box placed nearby at the little tea stall. Since the tree is so old and huge, he is supported by many wooden poles and his trunk is fortified with concrete to support the enormous weight of all the branches. The local villagers take really good care of their oldest friend.

Godaigo lived in troubled times. In exile in Yoshino he came to love cherry trees.
“When Shogun Takauji drove Godaigo out of Kyoto and set up a rival emperor, Godaigo and his partisans, Kitabatake, Kusunoki, and others, withdrew to the mountainous Yoshino region south of Nara, where Godaigo and three imperial successors maintained for almost 60 years a rival court, called the Southern Court because of its location. During this period, known as the Yoshino period, or the Period of the Northern and Southern Courts, civil war convulsed Japan.”
The time is 1336–92.
- reference -


- Daigozakura in Ochiai -

Things found on the way

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is one of Tokyo’s most beautiful, Japanese style landscape gardens. Built around 1700 by Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu, Rikugien literally means "six poems garden" and reproduces in miniature 88 scenes from famous poems.


konkuriito ga inochi no hashira yo daigo  sakura

Your pillar of life
made of concrete!
Old Daigo Cherry tree

(Tr. Gabi Greve)

kuru hito ni Daigo-zakura no shizuka naru

so many visitors –
yet the old Daigo Cherry tree
remains in quietude

Chonosuke Sakura Haiku

Related words

Three most Famous Sakura Trees

- source : sakura/sandai

***** Kyodai-zakura: giant cherry tree 巨大桜
For example the Garyuu-zakura (Cherry tree like a streached dragon) and the Shoogawa-zakura (Shoogawa River Cherry tree)

***** Ippon-zakura: one lone cherry tree 一本桜
There is even a book about this subject by Mr. Arita, visiting the most famous 100 lone-standing cherry trees in Japan. Mr. Arita thinks, the power of the trees which stand alone for more than one thousand years is very strong. They have to withstand nature all alone, nobody around to help them or encourage them. Cherry trees in a park have more kindred spirits of the same kind around them, so their life power is much weaker and many do not live more than 70 years or so.


okuretaru ippon-zakura aware nari

Natsume Soseki

flowering late
one lone cherry tree
so pityful . . .

(Tr. Gabi Greve)





1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Sakura trees called Shookawa Sakura

> falling cherry blossomes
> tell us the story
> 450 years of your life

> etsuko yanagibori


There are two large Sakura, or cherry trees, at the Nakano observation platform near Miboro lakeside, and these trees are said
to be over 450 years old. They are both Azuma Higan Sakura cherry trees. Originally, these cherry trees were in the precincts of
Shorenji and Korinji Buddhist temples, which are now submerged under the dam lake. The local village people loved these trees dearly.

So, in 1959, the first President of J-POWER, Tatsunosuke Takasaki, visited this site during the dam construction. He felt it would be a
pity for these two magnificent cherry trees to be submerged under the dam lake. J-POWER requested the leading researcher in the field of cherry trees, Shintaro Sasabe, the Sakura doctor, to undertake the transplanting of these two trees, and this was successfully accomplished. This was a major transplanting project without precedent worldwide that many experts in the field said would be impossible, and it was completed in December 1960.

These trees are now known as the Shokawa Sakura, and since that time, we have cared for these trees.

(at the bottom of the page)

A giant cherry tree transplanted in Mihoro Dam lakeside (national road No.156) in Shokawa village of Ono District, Gifu Prefecture.

This cherry tree was transplanted from the temple precinct which was to be submerged with construction of Mihor Dam, and was designated to Gifu Prefecture natural monument in 1966.

One person appeared who was impressed by this cherry, and planned to connect Nagoya City and Kanazawa City with a row of cherry trees. This report described realization of this plan in part of the section and the start of
replanting of the second generation Shokawa cherry.


from the book "Looking for the Lost: Journeys Through a Vanishing Japan," by Alan Booth, Kodansha Globe, 1996, p.349:

"The cherry trees, according to their sign, were 450 years old and had been registered as prefectural assets five years after the dam
was constructed.

Their huge, twisted, moss-covered trunks and their branches, which spread from the lake to the highway, propped up on posts the size of telephone poles, presented a stark contrast to the unluckier trees, drowned and black, whose branches stuck up, unsignposted, out of the fammed green water."

Mihoro Lake--
Shoukawa cherry petals
drift over drowned trees...



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