This character is a combination of 木 tree and 毎 every/each. One explanation is that here 毎 is simply a phonetic element expressing “big,” giving “big tree.” In this case, the meaning of “plum/plum tree” came about as a borrowing. Another explanation claims that 毎 is being used in its early sense of “fertile growth,” and that the plum was a favorite fruit of pregnant women and therefore associated with pregnancy and procreation/fertility. This would mean that 梅 literally means “tree of fertility,” or a “plum tree.”
I did some extra classes at school today as I usually have Fridays off. I was working with Yoshiko San at Shugakuin and we decided to cycle to Kiyomizu-dera Temple after class for the night viewing of the cherry blossom, which is only happening for a few days. When school finished I cycled to Takano and collected my wages from Mitsumi. I then cycled home, made some food and packed my work stuff for Soul Scramble and my camera into my rucksack. Yoshiko cycled to my house for 19:30 and we headed down from there. From the bottom of my hill it’s just 1 straight 25/30 minute cycle down hill to Kiyomizu.
The ride down was horrendous, the rain was so so bad, I could hardly see! We finally made it to the temple and the good thing about the rain was that it was pretty much empty. It was very humid, just t-shirt weather, so the rain didn’t bother me as much! I
I haven’t been here for months, last time I came was when Jay was still in Japan! Despite the weather it still looked beautiful, maybe even more so with the low cloud and the rain dripping off the cherry blossom.
In Osaka Castle, Japan, the garden of Prunus mume cultivars (Japanese apricot, Japanese plum) was flowering. These distinctively pruned small deciduous tree were producing a haze of white and pink flowers. These become highly-scented flowers as they warm in late winter and early spring sunshine and occasionally they are followed by edible but bitter, yellow fruits. Unfortunately I could not read the Japanese cultivar names but they were still beautiful and inspiring the local artists.
Osomatsu - 富士山と松 Mt. Fuji and pine tree
Karamatsu - 薔薇と牡丹 rose and peony
Choromatsu - 鯉 koi/Japanese carps
Ichimatsu - 猫 cat
Jyuushimatsu - 虎 tiger
Todomatsu - 鶯と梅 Uguisu/Japanese bush warblers and Japanese plum tree