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Uba Zakura (姥桜) Part 1

  • Uba Zakura

    姥桜 Part 1

    姥桜 (uba zakura) is a popular name for cherry trees in which flowers bloom earlier than leaves appear.

    姥 (uba) means “old lady” and 桜 (sakura/zakura) means “cherry.”
    「姥」は “old lady,” 「桜」は “cherry” を意味します。

    In Japanese, both “tooth” and “leaf” have the same reading — “tooth” is 歯 (ha) and “leaf” is 葉 (ha).
    日本語では、”teeth” を意味する「歯」と、”leaf” を意味する「葉」は、同じ読みです。

    That is to say, 姥桜/葉がない桜 (ha ga nai sakura – a cherry tree with no leaves) is a metaphor for 歯がない姥 (ha ga nai uba – an old lady with no teeth).

    Also, “uba zakura” can be used for describing an appearance of a woman.

    Imagine what it describes.
    (To be continued.)

    Original sentence