The cherry blossoms are finally in bloom in Washington, D.C., and what better way to celebrate these beautiful Japanese gifts than with a haiku? Our callout on Facebook and Twitter yielded hundreds of spring haiku submissions. With the help of Ellen Compton, Roberta Beary and Kristen Deming of the Haiku Society of America, we selected 20 and made videos inspired by the top three.
In Japan, March is a time of new leaves, both in a figurative and literal sense. Cherry blossoms are blooming and students are graduating. And despite all the joyous celebrations brought on by warmer weather and new opportunities, it can also be a stressful season for those who have yet to line up a job.
Tokyo University of the Arts student Maho Yoshida beautifully illustrates all the anxieties of shu-katsu, an abbreviated term for job hunting. In the 7 and a half minute video the protagonist, which seems to be Yoshida herself, is peacefully enjoying school life when she begins to notice that her friends are behaving oddly. Before realizing it, she is suddenly swept up in the whirlpool that is, “Japanese ceremonial job hunting.”
There’s no dialogue so you don’t have to understand Japanese to appreciate this animated gem.