|DATE||Edo Period (1615-1867), 18th century|
|MEDIUM||Ink, pigments and gofun on gold-leaf ground|
|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.
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Inventory Nr: 811