“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.
There’s a nice essay on cherishing the brief beauty of the cherry blossoms by Diane Durston in today’s Washington Post, here.
The cherry trees in our neighborhood here in Stuttgart have just begun to bloom this week.
The first Tidal Basin Yoshino cherry trees — a gift from the city of Tokyo — were planted in 1912. The first organized celebration of them was held in 1927, when D.C. schoolchildren reenacted the planting. The first Cherry Blossom Festival, which became the annual event, took place in 1935.
There’s a good article on the 2014 cherry blossom viewing (hanami) in Tokyo — which starts this week — here.
The arrival of the cherry blossom is keenly anticipated, with round-the-clock news reports providing updates on exactly where and when the fabled flowers will appear alongside all manner of sakura-themed promotions. Advertisements currently on display in the Tokyo Metro suggest that drinking Kirin beer will enhance the hanami experience, and should you be feeling peckish, McDonald’s has helpfully introduced a “cherry blossom burger”, complete with “pink buns”.
— Adrian Bridge, The Telegraph
*Photography Collection, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs. A cherry blossom photo from the same collection here.
I want to share my recent discovery of D.C. Past, a tumblr blog that is “curating the photographic history” of Washington, D.C.
Kate Birmingham and Guillermo Esteves choose 19th and 20th century photos from the online catalogues of the Library of Congress and the National Archives. However, when shown on D.C. Past, the images are generally much larger and (pretty darn) sharp.
I love this early shot, below, of the Lincoln Memorial — the Reflecting Pool is still only a wetland.
Four years later. . .
You’ll have to go to D.C. Past, here and here, for the “much larger” part.