Cherry blossom (sakura in Japan) holds a significant meaning to the Japanese art and culture. For the Japanese people, sakura represents a time of renewal as well as the fragility and beauty of life. These beautiful, pink flowers are at their full blooms in the spring. But after two weeks, the blossoms start to fall. Their short life serves as a reminder that life is tragically short but is also overwhelmingly beautiful. In springtime when their beauty peaks, people around Japan hold ‘flower watching’ parties or hanami as part of the sakura festival celebration. Known for their remarkable fashion, Japanese people make sure to dress for the occasion. You can find a lot of sakura-inspired clothes, shoes and other accessories in Japan. And here’s another interesting item – a sakura-shaped parasol that will surely make the occasion more colorful.
This pink parasol shaped like a sakura flower is called the Sakura Casa. A parasol is one of the traditional umbrellas in Japan. In contrast with typical Western umbrellas which are mostly made of either cloth or plastic, Japanese parasols are surprisingly made of paper. This is because these types of umbrellas are mainly used to provide shade from the sun. Parasols come in different designs and you can find countless of options to choose from. As for the sakura season, it’s only fitting to use a sakura-shaped parasol to grace the occasion.
The Sakura Casa is produced by Gifu’s Handcraft Artisan House Casa which specializes in producing traditional items such as parasols, geta (Japanese sandals), toro (Japanese lanterns), and more. The company’s latest creation is the sakura-shaped parasol which is specially designed for the spring season. Each pink parasol is handcrafted by local artisans who strictly follow the traditional craftsmanship in making Japanese parasols. The frame is made of bamboo while the shade is made from three types of Japanese paper. It would typically take months to complete one parasol. This is because the craftsman has to make constant adjustments to the tension so that the umbrella opens and closes smoothly. Furthermore, it would require an attentive eye and a steady hand to carefully stretch the paper around the bamboo frame.
Traditional Japanese umbrellas such as this sakura-shaped parasol is made from Japanese papers stretched around a bamboo frame
Due to the meticulous process of making impressive parasols, it’s no wonder that they are high-priced. The Sakura Casa retails at a price ranging from ¥19,440 to ¥34,560 ($174.18-$309.73). If you really want to have this sakura-shaped parasol, you’ll need to contact the company to place your order. You can visit the Gifu’s Handcraft Artisan House Casa website to see more of their parasol designs.