In the Japanese tradition, a group of 3 plants are know as Suihan Sanyou, the “Three Friends of Winter". The reason is that during winter, while most of the plants are losing their green, the pine (matsu), the bamboo (take) and the plum (ume) (plum), even under the snow, are resistant to the winter’s cold. Taken together, the Suihan Sanyou are symbols of perseverance…
But taken separately, these 3 plants are also symbolizing traditional values: the bamboo, because it bends in the wind but never breaks, is a symbol of flexibility, while because it is green all around the year is a symbol of longevity.
More than this, in Japan the bamboo is sometimes planted next to shrines or temples to protect them against evil spirits. And in some cases, the temple was built next to a bamboo forest, like the Tenryu-ji from Kyoto, built next to the beautiful bamboo grove from Arashiyama…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: