The Sakura Shimbun, which started in Kyushu (Nishi-nippon Shimbun) last year and received a lot of attention on SNS and in the local media, has been expanded to newspapers in the Tohoku area to coincide with the northward movement of the blooming cherry blossoms.
The second edition of the symbolic newspaper advertisement has been published this year on the 30th page of the morning edition of the Nishinippon Shimbun on Sakura Day (27 March), and is intended to eliminate fear of missing out on this year's sakura season as COVID-19 retains its grasp on the world and Japan.

Even in the spring of 2021, the threat of COVID-19 continues to influence ways of life in countries around the world. Japan fares no better, and here, we have no choice but to refrain from the spring tradition of hanami (cherry blossom viewing) in Japan at the request of the government.

However, advertising company Kyushu Hakuhodo, has created the ‘Sakura Shimbun’ advertisement page as a way to remove negative feelings of being trapped and missing out on 2021’s sakura season.

This year the ‘Sakura Shimbun’ was published in the Nishinippon newspaper, as well as in newspapers throughout the Tohoku region on March 27th (Sakura Day).
The second edition of the advertisement expresses the theme ‘Believe in Spring’ with a motif of cherry blossoms in full bloom, and ‘feelings for calm daily spring life’ are expressed throughout the visuals and text.
This years ‘Sakura Shimbun’ isn’t just beautiful, with the advertisement also hiding various playful gimmicks throughout such as graduation/admission congratulatory messages, heart-shaped petals, and mysterious 7-digit numbers.

If you picked up a newspaper featuring the ‘Sakura Shimbun’, what did you find hiding amongst the petals? Post your findings on SNS using the hashtag #今年の桜

By - Connie Sceaphierde.