Saturday, March 14, 2009

March 2009 Cherry Blossom Special

I am debuting our new blog with Cherry Blossoms as this week's theme. Go to the Search Box at the top of any page of the Art Neko website and enter the word Cherry. This should bring up two pages showing most of the items on the Art Neko website that are somehow related to the word Cherry or Cherry Blossom, including images of stamps, sheets of stamps, sets of stamps or decorative papers. Click on the small image of any of these items to get the complete information for the item.

The flowering cherry (Sakura) and flowering plum (Ume), common motifs in Chinese and Japanese art are often confused by westerners. Both are considered harbingers of the coming of spring with the plum blooming at the end of winter in February and the cherry in April when spring is in full sway. In addition, cherry blossoms are generally very pale to pink while plum blossoms are usually white or a much darker pink to red than the cherry (although they are depicted in just about any color on Japanese decorative papers). The petals of the plum are generally smoothly rounded while the cherry generally has a slight notch on the edge of the petals.

The two flowers have differing symbolism in Japan and China. In China the plum blossom (really more of an apricot than a plum) is much more highly revered than the flowering cherry whereas in the 9th Century the cherry overcame the plum in popularity in Japan. In China the plum is more representative of winter than spring as it is in Japan. In Japan the plum is believed to be a charm to protect against evil. In China the Plum represents resiliency and perseverance and the cherry is representative of feminine beauty and love. In Japan the flowering cherry represents the transient nature of life owing to the brief period, though spectacular, that the trees are in bloom. It is traditional in Japan to have picnics under the blossoming trees and to celebrate this time of year with festivals and other Cherry Viewing activities.


Lyn S said...

Congrats on the new blog Candice! Beautiful artwork by Adrienne and Bonnie too!

Kristy said...


Pretty blog. Hope you are doing well!