Monday, 6 September 2010

Reddish Yellow Osmanthus (English translation of Post on 5th Sep 2010)

When catching the scent of Osmanthus, we are already rushing for no reason just feeling the winter is coming soon...

Readers in Japan might find it difficult to recall the days in Autumn in the lingering heat of this summer.

But the season is definitely changing moment to moment.

Osmanthus is an evergreen shrub or small tree growing to 3–12 m tall.

In spite of the fact originally coming from China, it is a very common tree in Japan, and we often find it in the gardens.

The trunk and brunches are dark brown, and the thick-set dark green leaves are 7–15 cm long and 2.6–5 cm broad, with an entire or finely toothed margin.

Osmanthus gives an impression of being evergreen all year around, but between the mid October and the beginning of November (in my hometown, Yamanashi), bloom cute lovely blossoms.

The blossoms are orange-yellow, small (1 cm long), with a four-lobed corolla 5 mm diameter; they are produced in small clusters.

Its strong sweet fragrance cannot be expressed with words!
Its scent is so fragrant that you can smell even 50 meters away!!

In China, it is commonly known as 桂花 guìhuā, (literally "cinnamon flower" or "cassia flower").
The blossoms are also used to produce osmanthus-scented tea, jam , sweet cakes, dumplings, soups, and even liquor.


There must be quite a few of us who realised, with this sweet scent, that Osmanthus trees are actually here and there only at this time of the year.

And its blossoms are also recognised  as being "short-lived" - they don't stay long and scatter at once.
Its blossoms do not flutter in the wind like Cherry blossoms, but fall on the ground one after another.

Osmanthus is one of the trees which appeals its existence especially in Autumn.

Let's move on to Fujifabric's song called "Reddish Yellow Osmanthus".
I personally think that there is no other songs but this, which could express the feeling and the scenes in late Autumn through Osmanthus.

At the beginning of the song, please listen to the guitar played by Mr. Shimura - those quavers remind us how the tiny blossoms scatter on the ground one after another, don't they?

Next, please find the part in lyrics, "Was it because it stayed so cold this summer     That time somehow flew this year so fast".

When the cold weather continues in summer, the end of the summer and also the beginning of the autumn 
comes earlier than usual, and therefore, the winter time comes earlier, we feel.

Before winter comes, we have a lot to do and we feel very rushy.

This is my belief that the climate gives a strong influence on the character of the people living there, and in Japan, due to distinctive four seasons, which never stay still, we always have to think ahead what to do next.

If doing nothing, in the late autumn, we will be in a big trouble of sustaining our life.

I am not sure whether it is due to the fact that there is such an information in our DNA, being inherited from ancestors in succession, or it has become our habit over thousands of years... 

That's why, "What I want to do in what’s left of the month     I made up my mind, speeding up my steps".

Let's look at the part, "shadows on the ground stretched and disappeared".

Shadows stretch at the time of sunset, especially in autumn and winter time, altitude of the Sun at noon changes as the Earth's axis being tilted to its orbital plane - which simply means the sun does not go up as high as in summer time!

This is observable more clearly in high- latitude countries.
In Thailand, where I live, we do not notice that much.

Shadows stretching long at dusk, the scent of Osmanthus blossoms,  my way home when my heart starts racing for no reason...

An autumn evening in Japan.

Mr. Shimura recommended to listen to this song in the open air when the song was release.

Please picture such a scene in your mind, enjoy listening to Fujifabric's "Reddish Yellow Osmanthus"
Thank you for reading.

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