Monday, April 21, 2014

HANAMI: Japanese Cherry Blossom

"In the cherry blossom's shade there's no such thing as a stranger." --Kobayashi Issa
Cherry Blossom Viewing by Chikanobu (1838 - 1912)

Boat Ride under the Cherry Blossoms, 1893 by Nobukazu (1874 - 1944)

In Japanese culture, cherry blossoms signify light, airy clouds, and I can't think of a better way to describe the feeling of finally seeing buds on the trees after a long New York winter.
  For an afternoon frolic through the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, I was inspired by Japanese woodblock prints depicting hanami, the ancient practice of repose underneath the blooming cherry blossoms, or sakura.

Sakura are a popular subject for traditional woodblock prints, which originated in Japan in the Eighth Century.  The prints are most closely associated with the ukiyo-e artistic period, but the methods and techniques are still used today.  Click here to see my Hokusai wave dress.

I'm wearing a handmade jacket my grandfather purchased for my grandmother in Japan in the 1960s.  It is one of my most treasured possessions, and her name embroidered on the inside makes it even more special. (See the last time I wore it on the blog, 3 years ago!)

Jacket: 1960s vintage
Silk tank: Diane von Furstenberg
Silk pants: Tallulah
Headscarf: Fendi
Sandals: Botkier
Fan: gift from a friend

Photos by Hannah Kauffman; Woodblock prints from


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