New Year’s Cards of Sasabe

Jan. 15 (Mon.),2024

Hello everyone! In the last year, posting schedule for “All About Sakura” had changed to quarterly and the author has changed. We look forward to continuing this year.

There are many things that are associated with the New Year in Japan, such as osechi, New Year’s gifts, and greeting cards. In the past, many Japanese people worried about the design of New Year’s cards at the end of the year. However, the number of people sending these cards to their acquaintances is gradually decreasing nowadays, and many people are exchanging them via e-mail and social media.
As you may already know from our previous issues and exhibition introductions, Sasabe was a “Man of Sakura” who used cherry blossoms for everything around him. As he was such a man, the theme of his New Year’s cards was always cherry blossoms, regardless of the Chinese zodiac or lucky charms.

As mentioned in the previous issue, Sasabe chose some illustrations in his book collection and used them to the design of his cards.
For example, he made two designs of New Year’s cards using illustrations from collection of comical poetry “Chimito no Hana”.In 1952, he used an illustration of an old man lying down and looking at cherry trees with reading glasses in his hand, and in 1954, he used an illustration of a large cherry tree measuring the dimensions of it.

In the record Sasabe wrote at the time of purchase, “Copy of Documents Related to Cherry Blossom Trees Ⅵ”, he said, “There are many boring comical poetry in the world, but this book contains good comical poetry.” He was very fond of both the illustrations and poetry of this book.

Also, in 1951, Sasabe made a New Year’s card using illustrations from collection of comical poetry “Tsunokuni Yūran Kyōkashū”. A memo paper contemplating the text of a New Year’s card was tucked into the page that has an illustration of transporting a cherry tree. About this book, he recorded that he bought this because he liked this page.

In addition to these books, he borrowed designs from wahon (books on Japanese traditional style) illustrations and scrolls to make his own personalised cherry blossom New Year’s cards. He passed away on December 19th, 1978, but he had actually prepared a New Year’s card for the following year, 1979. The design for this year was the same as that of 1961.  

You can see all of these New year’s cards and wahon in Sasabe Sakura Reference Room Winter Exhibition “Man of Sakura’s Bookshelf”. 

This exhibition highlights Sasabe’s book collection such as magazines and dictionaries which were introduced previous issue. Please come to the museum and I hope you to ponder for his bookshelf.

Please look forward to the next issue!


I see. Mr. Sasabe’s love for sakura must have been like my love for sake.


I hope you’ll be interested in everything about sakura.