You'll Get Shivers Once You Discover The Truth Behind These Sweet Cherry Blossoms

A beautiful way to say goodbye.

This is Iwaki Sogo High School in Japan. Back in 2011 it was scheduled to be demolished due to the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami.

A handful of recent graduates gathered to create a memorial on one of the school walls.

According to the Japanese webmagazine Tetoteonahama, students used 27 liters of bright pink paint to create this stunning blossoming alley of sakura trees. Koji Riken Komatsu

The shock factor lies in their technique. The vibrant flock of flower petals actually consists of hundreds of handprints pressed by each student.

The piece was titled Okurie following an artwork created by Yosuke Tan. Okurie involves painting murals on buildings that are destined to be demolished.

The name might come from a phrase okuri-bito, meaning to departure, as in funeral.

Okurie is used to create a living memory of the building and events that took place.

Koji Riken Komatsu

Yosuke Tan explained the beautiful project during an interview with his good friend Phil Bailey:

"Although it was too early to feel the advent of spring, a row of cherry trees stood there in full bloom <...> Hundreds of flowers were painted by the students pressing their handprints to the wall during the January chill. Wall, hand, flower, wall, hand, flower...
It was a [a] heartfelt expression of gratitude for the school where they spent their high school lives <...> It was as if the now-disused building reflected warmth of the people who were once there."

Koji Riken Komatsu

Translation via Phil Bailey

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