Van Gogh and Japan

Van Gogh Twelve SunflowersVincent Van Gogh loved Japan – and Japan loves Van Gogh. A new book, The Sunflowers are Mine by Martin Bailey, published this week, has some intriguing insights into both sides of the love affair, from Van Gogh’s admiration for Japanese prints to the sad fate of one of his sunflower pictures, bought by a Japanese collector. Continue reading

Tokyo Cherry Blossom 2013

Shinjuku cherry blossom

I know, I’m going into cherry blossom overload mode, but I just couldn’t resist sharing some more pictures with you. I took these at Shinjuku Gyoen (Shinjuku National Garden), which is a short walk from Shinjuku Station. I love it and always go there when I’m in Tokyo, so visiting in cherry blossom season this year was very special. Continue reading

Japanese chrysanthemum exhibition in Tokyo

Ozukuri chrysanthemumLast November I went to an exhibition of chrysanthemums at the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden in Tokyo.

They were carefully displayed in special decorative pavilions dotted about the main gardens and it seemed to me that they were typically Japanese in the way they aimed for perfection through artifice. Nothing like an English herbaceous border which is about glorifying nature in all its profusion.

Here’s some pictures to show you what I mean. See if you agree.

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