Hanami Then and Now

Cherry blossom viewing parties, called hanami, have been a Japanese tradition for more than a thousand years. And artists have been depicting them for nearly as long. Here are two depictions, one far more casual than the other.

In this image, the woman on the right prepares to write a poem inspired by cherry blossoms. The woman on the left interupts and holds out a cup for sake.

Cherry blossom gatherings are still a big deal in Japan, as shown here. This lunch box, which could be taken to _hanami, _is stuffed with many small delicacies, including one light pink fish cake in the shape of a cherry blossom.

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