Cherry Blossoms of Kyoto
A Seasonal Portfolio
Cherry trees, symbol of the Japanese spring, flower in a riotous blaze of glory from late March through early April, suffusing the surrounding landscape with color. The peak viewing season, however, is extremely short, blossoms scattering without trace in little over a week. Despite the fleeting nature of the spectacle, the cherry blossom has occupied a special place in the hearts of the Japanese since earliest times.
Doing its utmost to dazzle during its short life, the cherry blossom is seen as an ideal model for life and death, and a symbol embodying both the glorious and ephemeral natures of human existence. As such, for centuries it has provided inspiration for poets, painters, and many other artists.
Identifying a sublime spirituality in nature that transcends external beauty, and elevating that spirituality to an art form lies at the core of Japanese culture. For over a millennium, the city of Kyoto has made this aesthetic sensibility its own, continuing to refine it even today.
This book features forty-eight superlative cherry blossom viewing locations captured by three photographers born and raised in Kyoto, who have made documenting its beauty their life work. In these pages we are confident you will find a rare fusion of centuries-old culture and natural splendor.
About the Author
Photographer, born 1968 in Kyoto. Bewitched by its beautiful landscapes and amazing historical and cultural legacy, Mizuno has made a career of photographing his hometown, mainly its shrines and temples. Coauthor with Kayu Mizuno and Yasutaka Ogawa of Autumn Colors of Kyoto, also published by Kodansha International.
Photographer and essayist, born 1969 in Kyoto, who takes life in her hometown as the central theme for her work. Winner of numerous awards at the Kyoto Contemporary Photographers' Exhibition, including the top prize. Director of the Machiya Photo Museum.
Photographer, born 1975 in Kyoto. Ogawa has made capturing Kyoto on film his life work since first photographing the city around 1999. Continues to present his photos in various publications, mainly magazines.