The bluebird and the cherry blossom are the universal symbols that Spring has arrived.  In Japan, the arrival of Spring brings with it the opportunity for renewal and hope of prosperity.

The two motifs are a favorite among the warrior class.  Both symbols have a certain sense of balance to them in regards to life.

Bluebirds symbolize happiness but their songs also represents perseverance in darker times.  I am sure a samurai in the heat of battle who had the awareness to hear the song of the Bluebird would think that it was a good omen and that their song might give him the strength to carry on.  It is said that the Bluebird carries the sky on its back and with it eternal happiness.

If Japan had a national flower, it could easily be the sakura or cherry blossom.  The Cherry blossoms usually only blooms for one to two weeks from the first blossom called kaika (開花) and full bloom called mankai (満開).  After mankai is reached the blossoms begin to fall off the branches.  There are five petals of the sakura flower and thus it said to represent human beings.  Therefore the falling of the cherry blossoms off the branch are reminiscent of a head being chopped off or life being lost.  The cherry blossom falls off the branch at the peak of its beauty and just as men are cut down on the battlefield in their primes.  The cherry blossom reminds us that there is no tomorrow and that we must live our lives well.

Spring has arrived!  Rejoice, get out, find happiness for there is no tomorrow.  Oh and come to class if you can.