Chrysanthemum Wood Block Prints 1893
In Japan, the chrysanthemum, or kiku, is not just a beautiful flower, but the symbol of the sun, perfection, long life, power and nobility. It is the official flower of Japan and the seal of the Imperial family of Japan, as well as the insignia on every Japanese passport. The Emperor, representative of the oldest continuing hereditary monarchy in the world, rules from the Chrysanthemum Throne, symbol of the state and the unity of the people.
Artist Keika Hasegawa translated the graceful beauty of the flowers to the page in One Hundred Chrysanthemums, printed in 1893. Each delicately-colored woodblock print features a perfect bloom balanced atop a long single-stemmed plant. In life, cultivated through the art of ogiku (“single stem”), these plants can reach six feet tall with enormous blossoms the size of softballs.