This strange, ethereal warrior symbolizes the infamous Japanese cherry blossom, which is often associated with the samurai, as well the concept of bushido, or 'warrior's path'. You see, the flowers, though fragrant and beautiful, are very short-lived. They linger for about a week before they wilt and scatter from their branches. Asian philosophers have long seen them as a metaphor for the preciousness and fragility of life, especially referring to the samurai class, who more often than not lived fast and died young. Among these warriors, it was considered respectable to give one's life for their cause, and very few samurai lived to a natural life span. The strange young warrior depicted here embodies that idea, and just like the sakura, he waxes and wanes, arriving and disappearing with the passing seasons. It's sort of sad... just when people come to love him, to enjoy his comforting and gracious presence, to treasure the time they spend with him, he fades away, leaving no trace behind to indicate that he was ever truly there. Samurai no Sakura never stays long, never dawdles behind, just keeps moving on with the turning seasons... ...People can only question his purpose and existence, until he returns to verify their belief next year. The Japanese characters in the corner translate to 'White Dragon', which is my usual online screen name. Pigment ink, gouache, posted 5/5/07.