Monday, November 06, 2006

The Cherry Blossom Book

cherry blossom 1

cherry blossom 2

cherry blossom 3

cherry blossom 4

cherry blossom 5

cherry blossom 6

cherry blossom 7

cherry blossom 8

cherry blossom 9

cherry blossom 10

cherry blossom 11

cherry blossom 12

The passage of 85 years hasn't quite erased the delicate beauty of the flowers from a 2 volume work at Gifu Pefectural Library in Japan that recorded 112 varieties of cherry blossom trees. (2 pages of thumbnails) The plants were collected in 1920 by botany scholar Miyoshi and woodblock prints were produced the following year. Some background artifact was cleaned/removed from the above images.

UPDATE May 2011: The illustrations are still available via the Wayback Machine.


harlequinpan said...

Nice collection!

lotusgreen said...

oh wonder wonder wonder

Sam Wallin said...

Have you seen the National Library of Medicine's display of Historical Anatomies? It's at

phoenix said...

So pretty.

peacay said...

Thank you!
Sam, there's a large collection of anatomical links here. But the newly updated Canadian site is just fantastic.

annulla said...

Gorgeous, both the prints and the way you've presented them.

Kathy said...

I saw these images when you posted them years ago and was so haunted by them I managed to track down where I'd seen them to your blog. I tried following the link but it's no longer valid. I don't suppose you saved the whole book's worth of images did you? Or know how to track them down again?

Many thanks for your inspirational collection. I orginally came here looking for help with ornamental typography but found much more when I arrived :)

peacay said...

BoyOboy are you lucky Kathy! I haven't looked all the way through (or even beyond the landing page in fact), but I do see illustrations via the wayback machine - click on the highlighted calendar number. I'm really surprised about that.

They are haunting. I have a great love for these illustrations and although it's 5 years ago that this post was prepared/populated, I very well remember taking a long time getting these images ready: I spent AGES cleaning up the backgrounds: pedantic doesn't begin to cover it! It's something of a milestone post in that way: it kind of taught me that the outcome is way way better with diligent preparation. I would rank this post in the top 5 overall actually because of that: I mean that in a personal sense; not just because they are exquisitely beautiful illustrations, but because it stands as an important turning point in my development as a web curator (sorry, I hope that doesn't sound too indulgent or precious or vein or the what have you .. it's actually good for me to understand the history).

Kathy said...

Wonderful that they are still available on Wayback. In the past when I have used that site the images are all too often missing so they are very precious.

Your treatment of the images is very worthy of pride and what you say doesn't sound at all precious. It's always good to have insight in the process by which one has reached 'now' and how deep the roots can lie :) After all, I never guessed how my fascination with fonts would lead me into this wonderful world of ornamental typography and much else besides.

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