Origin : Japan
Made of : lacquer
Classification : plants / flowers
Maker : ?
About "lacquer" (shikki - 漆器) :
Lacquer has been used in Japan since the Jomon period, 7'000 years ago. The lacquer varnish comes from trees and is applied, layer by layer, on wood. The result can be mat to very shiny with even a 3D effect often obtained by applying gold powder. In the Edo period (1603–1868), Japanese developed special techniques to produce lacquerware of the finest quality.
About "cherry blossom - Sakura" (sakura - 桜 or 櫻) :
From the Heian Period (794 - 1185), the cherry blossom (sakura) has been revered by Japanese. The word 'Sakura' is believed to be a corruption of the word 'Sakuya' (blooming) from the name of Princess Kono-Hana-Sakuya-Hime who is enshrined on the top of the Mount Fuji.
The cherry blossom is the most important flower for the Japanese. Its brief blooming time and fragility represents the transience of life. The life of the samurai was compared to the short life of the cherry blossom as the samurai was always ready to die for his master.
The 'Sakura' is a very common motif on kimonos, lacquerware, pottery and other decorative items and is one of the favorite theme of artists.
Japanese also admire the beauty of falling petals falling like snow in the spring breeze. People organize picnics with drinks, music and songs. The jox of viewing the sakura is called 'hanami'.