Past Exhibitions

Cherry Blossom Viewing at Kyoto National Museum
February 15, 2022 - March 21, 2022

Spring in Japan is synonymous with hanami – the celebratory viewing of blossoming cherry trees. In the Heian period (794–1185), hanami was included in the court’s official calendar of seasonal festivals. During the medieval period, these outings and "cherry blossom hunts" became popular with the ruling warrior elites, who used these celebratory viewings as opportunities to flaunt their wealth and influence. Stories of the extraordinary hanami held by Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa (1436–1490) at Ōharano in 1465 and by the warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537–1598) at Yoshino in 1594 and Daigo in 1598 were told for generations. As commoners of the Edo period (1615–1868) fell under the enchantment of the cherry blossom's beauty, hanami gradually transformed into the festive event of carefree merrymaking that we know today.
We look forward to once again celebrating hanami with the lighthearted enjoyment of pre-pandemic times. In the meantime, we hope that you enjoy viewing cherry trees in the museum.

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