Arguably one of the most beautiful sights to behold, cherry blossom has for centuries been the symbol of life in Japanese culture. Every year a forecast is published predicting when cherry blossom will bloom across Japan and when exactly the best time to view it will be.
Attracting crowds of families and friends, the cherry blossoms become the focus of attention over a five-week festival of food and music. The tradition has even spread to Washington DC where cherry blossoms cause a stunning spectacle. A symbol of enduring friendship between the United States and Japan, Washington has celebrated the cherry blossom in an annual festival since they received a gift of 3,000 trees from Japan in 1912.
In Japan, cherry blossom is a reminder that life is a beautiful gift, but also tragically short. This powerful flower has been utilized in Japanese art, fashion and many other branches of the culture.
The traditional garment of Japan is the Kimono, literally meaning “a thing to wear.” These garments are t-shaped, straight robes worn to the ankle with wide gaping sleeves.
Kimonos are mostly worn by women and most commonly on special occasions. These handmade, hand-stitched garments require skilled and intricate work with the textiles being hand decorated and dyed beforehand.
Traditionally made of silk, repeating patterns are delicately transferred using a stencil technique. It is no surprise that cherry blossoms have been used as a popular decoration in Spring for hundreds of years.
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