Days of Cherry Blossom Trees

May. 15 (Sun.),2022

Hello! It is already mid-May and the cherry blossom trees have become full of green leaves after the flowering season. You still can enjoy cherry blossom viewing through the Spring Exhibition: The Sasabe Sakura Collection “Days of Cherry Blossom Trees” which is being held at the Sake Museum until June 5.

This exhibition brings together various works pertaining to the delight cherry blossoms bring to our daily lives. The exhibition features six themes: drinking, eating, living, painting, composing poems and learning. This article will highlight the theme “living”.

“Days of Cherry Blossom Trees” Exhibition: The “Living” Theme

At age 52, Sasabe Shintaro, collector of the Sasabe Sakura Collection, appeared in the magazine “Osaka Puck” (published in 1939) under the title “The man with a law degree who would commit double suicide with the cherry blossom trees”. Sasabe had a degree in law having graduated from Tokyo Imperial University, faculty of law, department of political science. In the magazine, it was said that everything that Sasabe surrounded himself had a cherry blossom motif. The title may have sounded a bit overstated, but indeed, Sasabe collected many items related to cherry blossom trees, and the content of the article was what Sasabe intended.

Sasabe collected cherry blossom items mainly for two purposes. The first purpose was to deepen his own knowledge of cherry blossom trees through the items. For example, the paintings created by the painters of the Mikuma School (which we introduced in our May 2021 article) helped him gain knowledge about the trees in the Edo period (1603-1867). The second purpose was to connect with more people regarding his research, and to glean from others regarding the trees that existed at that time. In the days before the internet, Sasabe was able to make his research known to people through word of mouth and magazines such as Osaka Puck.

Sasabe collected a wide variety of items. From his collection, items for everyday life have been especially selected and displayed under the theme “living”. The items include desk accessories such as ink brush cases, inkstones, water droppers (for calligraphy) and pen cases, as well as other items such as incense containers, smoking devices and ornamental hairpins. We particularly recommend seeing the nageshi nail. The head of the nail is in the shape of wild cherry blossoms. Nageshi is a horizontal piece of timber used to connect pillars. When hammered into pillars, the nail head looks as if it is blooming on the pillars.

Nageshi Nails with Wild Cherry Blossoms

The spring exhibition will be held until June 5. Please visit the museum to find your favorite items.

We look forward to your visit to the museum.


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.