Paravento raffigurante Hana-mi

A party under the cherry blossom

A four-panel folding screen 

 

DATE Edo Period (1615-1867), 18th century
MEDIUM Ink, pigments and gofun on gold-leaf ground
DIMENSIONS 138.5 by 245 cm

 

Hanami is the Japanese traditional custom of enjoying the beauty of flowers, in this case almost always meaning cherry blossoms (sakura). The subject of this byobu is in fact a small party with a dancer and people enjoying tea  with the traditional dango which are sold nearby by a young woman.

Hanami was used as a term that meant "cherry blossom viewing" for the first time in the Heian era novel Tale of Genji (chapter 8,  Hana no En). The presence of the Minamoto mon on the tent could refer to this famous scene.

At the beginning, the custom was followed only by the Imperial Court, but the samurai nobility also began celebrating it during the Azuchi-Momoyama Period (1568–1600). In those years, Toyotomi Hideyoshi gave great hanami parties in Yoshino and Daigo, and the festivity became very popular through all the Japanese society. The festival was also important for farmers, as a good cherry blossom was intended as a good omen for the following harvest.

 

INVENTORY NR: byo-811

Japanese screen  for sale. Price on application.

 

 

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