The beauty of the cherry blossom has inspired onlookers for centuries. Its significance in both Japanese and Chinese culture has been shared throughout the world. Each spring, cherry blossom festivals are held to celebrate the flower’s special blooming period. These festivals are also a ritual acknowledgement of springtime, namely, the symbolic ideas of renewal and rebirth. At KIM+ONO, romantic and tranquil scenes of birds and flowers—including the beautiful cherry blossom—adorn our silky kimono robes.
The co-founders of KIM+ONO, sisters Renee and Tiffany Tam, have centered their family heritage throughout their journeys. Their connection to kimonos started in their childhood days. Renee and Tiffany spent weeks with their parents visiting silk villages, meeting with vendors, artisans, and other craftsmen who have been preserving the art of kimonos for generations. Their experiences with traditional Japanese kimono impacted them for life. The rich history of handcrafted kimonos, along with their love for vintage Asian art and botanicals, spurred Renee and Tiffany to create modern silky floral robes inspired by natural beauty.
Today in the journal, we’re diving into cherry blossom symbolism, also known as sakura, as well as the heritage behind the cherry blossom festival. We’ll also share our favorite cherry blossom kimono robes in the hopes that you fall in love with them as much as we have!
The National Park Service describes the symbolism of cherry blossoms in Japan as similar to “the life of the samurai – a brief explosion of color, bright for the duration of their short life, before they wither and die.” In other words, the life cycle of sakura echoes their representation of the brevity and fragility of life. They serve as a reminder to cherish every moment we have since they bloom for only a limited period of time, which parallels the fleeting nature of life. The cherry blossom tree also has a short-lived timespan and acts as a symbol of impermanence. For all these reasons, cherry blossom season represents a time of renewal and transitions. We like to take this as a reminder throughout the day that new beginnings are always within reach, and that something as simple as setting a new intention can transform a moment completely.
In China, cherry blossom festivals are widely celebrated across the nation. Because of the varied climates among different provinces, cherry blossoms peak at various times over the spring season, resulting in many opportunities within the country to admire their beauty. There are several species of flowering cherry trees that are native to China, Japan, and Korea. In Chinese culture, similar to the Japanese cherry blossom symbolism, these gorgeous flowers represent the delicate, fleeting nature of life. They are a reminder that life works in cycles and that change is inevitable.
According to the National Park Service, the Japanese tradition of hanami, or “viewing the cherry blossoms” is more than 1200 years old! We’re in awe of the long, rich history behind the celebration of these famous flowers. The excitement surrounding festivals is like a “party to celebrate a new beginning.” In fact, the school year and the fiscal year both start in the springtime in Japan, so this celebration of new beginnings is perfectly timed. Picnics, play performances, singing, dancing, special snacks, and saké are all part of the cherry blossom festival tradition. What started as a religious rite centuries ago among the aristocracy soon grew in popularity among the working class as well. The history and heritage behind cherry blossom festivals or hanami is full of rich cultural meaning that carries on today! Here in the U.S., Washington D.C. holds a famous cherry blossom celebration every year, and there are countless botanical gardens around the country that invite community members to partake in the joy of observing these special blooms.
Our Cherry Blossom and Crane Kimono Robe is a beautiful charmeuse piece that is easy to clean and easy to wear. With its soft, gentle feel and luxurious drape, this cherry blossom kimono dressing gown makes you feel like the queen that you are. It’s perfect for lounging or layering, inside or outside the house. This pattern celebrates the beauty of both cranes and bold red cherry blossoms. Wearing cherry blossoms can serve as a beautiful reminder that you are always evolving through the transitory nature of life.
Another thing we love about our charmeuse collection is that it’s convenient to machine wash the pieces in cold water on the gentle cycle (ideally in a laundry bag for delicates), then hang to dry. It’s a practical choice, yet it still evokes luxuriousness and elegance. The Cherry Blossom and Crane Kimono Robe is available in long and short lengths, as well as in curve or plus size. The black pattern is also available as a kimono wrap with a touch of soft black velvet detailing and side seam pockets! With the pop of red cherry blossoms against a black background, this red and black kimono wrap is a bold and elegant choice.
We all have a few special pieces in our wardrobe that seem more like art. The Handpainted Cherry Blossom Kimono Robe is a top contender to be the highlight of your collection. Our handpainted silk kimono robes are inspired by acclaimed art collections from China. These delicate silk pieces take seven days to create from start to finish. First, they’re sketched by hand, then saturated in rich watercolors using a traditional brush. The skillful artisans we partner with put a unique human touch on each and every piece. Whether you’re looking for a black, pink, blue, silver, or green kimono, the wide range of beautiful colors available for this style make choosing difficult, but fun!
Available in both long and short lengths, this handpainted floral silk robe is the perfect gift for transition moments in life—the beginning or ending of a job, a wedding, a birth, or a gift for a big move. Because it’s painted by hand, it makes a unique gift that is one-of-a-kind. We think that the symbolism of cherry blossoms adds rich meaning and the spirit of tradition to this gorgeously patterned kimono robe.
Have we inspired you to take a moment and meditate on this season of renewal? By sharing the meaning of cherry blossoms and the heritage behind cherry blossom festivals, we hope to impart our love of this beautiful botanical. Every time you slip into a cherry blossom piece, we hope that you remember to cherish the moment you’re in.