|Every year they celebrate the flowering of cherry trees. The tradition is called Ohanami and means 'go and watch the Sakura blossoms'|
|Koishikawa Korakuen garden in Tokyo was created in 1629 and is now surrounded by office buildings.|
|Totoro and friends making the trees grow.|
Their traditional dress is Kimono. It literally means ‘thing to wear’
|A little bit fancier than it's name suggests!|
|Vintage Japanese doll in Samurai armour|
Kimono have no pockets, so to carry their medicines, brushes, tobacco or money, wearers would either tuck them in to the sleeves, or wear them on their belts in hanging Sagemono (little boxes). The boxes were hung from a cord with ojime (a sliding bead) and the cord was passed behind the belt and held in place with a netsuke to stop it from slipping through. It’s the netsuke that particularly appeals to me. They are little carvings, made from wood, precious stones, ivory, shell or metal and could be seen as a giant bead.
|Wearing an Inro (medicine box) held in place with a netsuke.|
|Plum Blossom Netsuke|
|Rabbit with the moon|
|My favourite subject - a running hare|
Disclaimer: This post does not in any way condone the use of ivory. The sample shown is purely for art appreciation purposes and should be viewed in the context of the time in which it was created.