Dirty Word of the Day: Oubaitori

January 13, 2024



Oubaitori is a Japanese philosophy concept of appreciating your own self and growth. The word is pronounced oh-buy-toe-ree. Each Japanese character individually represents a different flower: cherry, apricot, peach, and plum. These trees bloom in spring, a season that is a wonderful spectacle of colors in Japan, bathing the landscape in shades of pink, mauve, blush, and white. Often these trees grow close together, but each bloom in a specific order, shape, and time.

They all bring something unique to the landscape. Each embellishes it in their own way. For this reason, the Japanese word oubaitori contains the notion of non-comparison. Although all these trees produce beautiful flowers that mature into juicy fruits, oubaitori celebrates the uniqueness of each one. Therefore, neither its flowers nor its fruits are comparable. We don’t compare cherries to peaches, nor apricots to plums. We can’t. They all taste different, look different, but each one is distinctive unto itself.

Oubaitori is a Japanese concept that takes this idea and applies it to people. Each flower, which grows according to its rhythm, with its own colors, aromas and final fruits, is a permanent reminder that we are all following a once-in-a-lifetime journey. That means that it makes no sense to compare ourselves with others, but it is much better to focus on our growth and value what makes us special.

Just as flowers grow differently, people also develop differently. We are all different. We have different skills and passions. We follow different paths. We

have different goals. And we should be proud of what makes us unique. As are our gardens. They have different plant species, different designs, different materials, different purposes. Be proud of your uniqueness, your garden, and yourself. Great goal to strive for in 2024.


Suarez, Jennifer Delgado, “Oubaitori, the Japanese Philosophical Concept Inspired by Flowers.” Www.Psychology-Spot.Com, Blog of Psychology, 31 Jan. 2019, www.psychology-spot.com/oubaitori-meaning-concept-japanese-philosophy/.

Rocca, Lucy. “Oubaitori.” Lucy Rocca, 28 Sept. 2021, www.lucyroccalifecoaching.com/post/oubaitori.

Photo credits and graphic: Teresa Watkins, Wikimedia

Photo: Teresa Watkins

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