Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Taisho Era Designs

Day fifty: Taisho Era Designs

These wagashi designs come from books published in 1922, towards the end of Japan's Taisho Era (1912-1926). The bound and boxed set includes 5 volumes, one for each principal season and one for designs pertaining to special occasions. The woodblock printed images indicate that wagashi makers of the day used an enormous range of materials and techniques. The variety of aesthetic approaches illustrated by each careful grouping also hint at the range of influences impacting Japanese culture at that time.

The deep purple Chinese Bellflower is a favorite sight of late summer and early fall.

Together, plum blossoms, bamboo, and pine are known as "The Three Friends of Winter".

Taisho-era Japan was strongly influenced by Art Deco art and design. Here the spring season's iris and hydrangea look almost crystalline.

No comments: