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2009年3月21日 (土)

余録:「そこの村全体が多くの苗木園で網羅され…

(Mainichi Japan) March 20, 2009
Early cherry blossoms send out climate change warning signal

余録:「そこの村全体が多くの苗木園で網羅され…

When the Scottish Botanist Robert Fortune (1812-1880) visited the Edo village of Somei (present-day Komagome, Tokyo), he was apparently overwhelmed by the abundance of young trees, writing that the entire village was covered with tree nurseries, and that the straight path connecting them extended for over a mile. He wrote that he had never seen commercial horticulture on such a large scale, noting that each gardener's land took up three to four acres and that several thousand plants were being well cared for.

 「そこの村全体が多くの苗木園で網羅され、それらを連絡する一直線の道が1マイル以上続く。私は世界のどこでも、こんな大規模に売り物の植物を栽培しているのを見たことがない。植木屋はそれぞれ3~4エーカーの地域を占め、数千の植物がよく管理されている」

At the time, the village of Somei was famous for gardening. While there are differing theories on the origins of the Somei Yoshino cherry trees, one says that they were cultivated in the village between the mid Edo period and the final days of the Tokugawa shogunate. The former glory of the gardening village survives to this day through the tree's name.

    幕末、英国の植物採集家フォーチュンが園芸で名高い江戸の染井村(今の駒込)を訪れ、その壮観に驚嘆した時の記述だ。異説もあるが、桜のソメイヨシノはこの染井村で江戸中期から幕末にかけ育成されたという。かつての園芸村の栄光もその名によって今に残ることになった

Each year, announcements on the blooming of Somei Yoshino cherry blossom trees ring in spring across Japan. This year the cherry blossom front is quickly moving north, causing Japanese, who love to anticipate the seasons, to rush about in preparation for spring. There have been many areas in Kyushu and Shikoku where the cherry blossoms have come out at the earliest time on record, with trees already having flowered in Fukuoka on March 13.

▲例年そのソメイヨシノの開花情報とともに各地に広がる日本の春だ。今年は季節先取りが大好きな日本人もあわてるほど早い桜前線の北上が続いている。13日に開花した福岡はじめ九州や四国では観測開始以来最も早いという地点も目立つ

In Tokyo this year, the blossoms are forecast to come out as many as seven days earlier than normal. There is no doubt that the warm spell that's brought the cherry blossom front forward quicker this year is a temporary phenomenon. But also crossing our minds is the recent analysis by a Kyushu University team, saying that if global warming progresses, then by the end of the 21st century, Somei Yoshino cherry trees could bloom up to four weeks earlier than they do now.

▲東京でも平年より7日も早い明日が開花予想日となった。桜前線の北上を早めた陽気はむろん一時的なものに違いない。だがどうしても頭をよぎるのは「地球温暖化が進めば、21世紀末にソメイヨシノの開花日は最大4週間近く早まる」と先日報じられた九州大のチームの分析だ

It's said that Somei Yoshino cherry trees will not bloom unless they are exposed to cold temperatures of 10 degrees Celsius or less for two months during winter. Some predictions say that rising temperatures during winter could result in cherry trees not fully blooming or not flowering at all in some areas of southern Kyushu and neighboring areas.

▲なにしろ冬の間、10度以下の寒気に2カ月はさらされないと花を開かないというソメイヨシノである。先の今世紀末の予測によると、南九州などでは冬の気温上昇により満開にならなかったり、まったく花が咲かない地域も出てくるという

It was a foreigner who came to Japan and described the seasonal flowers as "a timeless calendar." Somei Yoshino cherry trees could be described as a timeless calendar masterpiece that Japanese have created by themselves, but divergences in the calendar have become noticeable, and are a matter of concern for the future. ("Yoroku," a front-page column in the Mainichi Shimbun)

▲日本における季節の花を「永遠の暦」と呼んだのも来日外国人だった。日本人が自ら作り出した「永遠の暦」の傑作といえるソメイヨシノだが、目立ち始めた暦のズレがこの先心配だ。

毎日新聞 2009320日 東京朝刊

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