Picture: "The Actor Iwai Hanshirō IV as Sakura Hime, the Cherry Princess" by Torii Kiyotsune, Edo period (1615–1868)
A delightful spring night
vanished suddenly while we
watched the magnificent Sakura
The most celebrated haiku poet of all time, Basho, was profoundly moved by the spectacular annual blossoming of Japan’s cherry trees, known as ‘Sakura’.
Without fail, the nation engages in a frenzy of blossom appreciation during the week to 10 days of peak flowering time that sweeps across its warmest prefectures and slowly moves throughout the islands before reaching Hokkaido.
The appearance and gentle floating of cherry blossoms in a snow-like flurry is highly anticipated and cherished in Japanese culture. The remarkable natural phenomenon is an embodiment of ‘mono no aware’, a Japanese aesthetic concept referring to the pathos of things evoked by an awareness of their impermanence.
For many centuries, the Sakura metaphor was used to describe the noble life of a Samurai. The very thought of Sakura can conjure the pain of the finiteness of things and the knowledge that transience is an essential part of their beauty or essence.
In Japanese mythology, the goddess of Mount Fuji and all volcanoes was known as ‘Sakura’, or the blossom-princess. Her love story with the deity Ninigi and his refusal to marry Sakura’s older sister, the rock-princess, was believed to have caused the ephemeral, Sakura-like nature of human life instead of its stone-like endurance.
Picture: Yayoi asukayama hanami by Kitao, Shigemasa, 1739-1820. Shigemasa's 18th-century hanami (flower viewing) party scene shows three women and a man at Asukayama Park, opened by Japanese Shōgun Tokugawa Yoshimune (1684-1751) who had its famous cherry trees transplanted there in 1720.
Above the image is a haiku poem describing both arboreal and human "blossoms": Murekitaru / Hana mata hana no / Asuka-yama : All flocked together / Blossoms upon blossoms / Asuka Hill
In Japan, it is widely believed that when cherry blossoms are blooming, anything is possible. Marking the beginning of spring, the Sakura season brings optimism, hope and renewal. It encourages mindfulness, gratitude and an appreciation of life. During this mystical time, it is good to reflect on life by comparing ourselves with this beautiful, fleeting and very fragile flower.
Stenzhorn’s Sakura expresses an admiration for this cyclical, mesmerizing act of nature, and the deep philosophical and enduring aesthetical impact it has made on this ancient culture.
The collection is a celebration of beauty and the joy of life. In many cultures, a cup is considered symbol of life itself, and for this reason we decided to embody the curves of the blossom and its petals in this shape.
Sakura colours vary from a joining of white and rose gold, combined with ruby blossoms, shading into delicate pink sapphires, and Carrè cut diamond.