The song has been popular since the Meijer period, and the lyrics in their present form were attached then. It is often sung in international settings as a song representative of Japan. Throughout the ages there have been many rearrangements of the song, but Michel Magi’s rendition is often regarded to be the best of them all. The cherry blossom is Japan’s national flower and has for years appeared in the country’s poetry, paintings, and music, as well as on its craft, clothing, and other commercial items.
From January through June each year, there are numerous cherry blossom festivals held throughout Japan. Not surprisingly, there is even this popular traditional song, Sahara, Sahara (Cherry Blossom, Cherry Blossom), commonly sung to celebrate the national flower. Its melody and text date back nearly to Medieval times, and the song has been popular in Japan since at least the eighteenth century The melody Is simple and well-known to westerners from various commercial Incarnations, even If they recognize It only as some generic far Eastern tune.
But It is hardly generic-sounding. The melody is charming in its sweet melancholy and forlorn sense of innocence. Its rising, opening phrases lead to a gentle but lovely fall, after which sonorities remain mired in lower ranges until the theme Is heard again. The text Is Just as simple, speaking of the fragrance of cherry blossoms and likening their appearance to clouds. Those with an interest in Eastern and far Eastern ethnic music will find this song of strong appeal. Dream of the Cherry Blossoms’ by Kook Abe, a Japanese virtuoso percussionist, Is a 5 minute long piece for marimba based on an Improvisation on the tune of ‘Sahara Sahara;, and has become one of the most played pieces in the marimba repertoire. Also, Yuckier Hook, a Japanese classical guitarist made an arrangement for the instrument. Which is, like Kook Babe’s version, a theme with variations in which he sees different guitar techniques to Imitate the sound of the Kyoto.