Vintage landscape: Tokyo

Japanese festival, Library of CongressShichūhan’ei tanabata matsuri (The city flourishing, Tanabata Festival), 1857, by Andō Hiroshige, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

The print shows tall bamboo decorated with cutout ornaments and paper streamers bearing wishes above Tokyo’s rooftops during the festival, which begins on July 7. Tanabata, or “evening of the seventh,”  honors the yearly meeting of two deities/stars/lovers, Orihime (Vega) and Hikoboshi (Altair).

Vintage landscape: Edo blossoms

Cherry blossoms in Japan, Library of Congress“Higurashi no sato jiin no rinsen” (Temple Gardens, Nippori), 1857, a woodblock print by Andō Hiroshige, via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

The view is from Ueno Hill of Shūsō-in, one of three Buddhist temple gardens known as Hanamidera or Flower-viewing Temples. This print is one of fifty in an album of Edo (present day Tokyo) by Hiroshige.

Detail of print above.
Detail of print above.

There’s a nice essay on cherishing the brief beauty of the cherry blossoms by Diane Durston in today’s Washington Posthere.

Detail of print above.
Detail of print above.
The cherry trees in our neighborhood here in Stuttgart have just begun to bloom this week.