A farewell to the old year. This is the last post of 2010 so we thought we’d celebrate Christmas by showing a lovely comic print of a snowman by Hirokage from 1859. It illustrates a man pausing to adjust his shoe beside a gigantic snowman; a dog can be seen lifting a packet of fish that the man has put down behind him.
The Japanese have a strong feeling for snow. The finest ukiyo-e landscapes feature snow scenes… I’m thinking here especially of the superb renderings of Fuji and the winter landscape by Hiroshige.
Although Christmas is a Christian festival the Japanese have embraced it and celebrate December the 25th with enthusiasm. Whilst not a public holiday in Japan, young people go out for romantic dinners and businessmen pick up special cakes on their way home from work on Christmas Eve. Businesses and individuals put up Christmas trees and lights and all of the decorations familiar in Europe and America.
For those with a sweet tooth, here is a link to a Japanese Christmas cake recipe. Strangely, Christmas cakes have been sold in Japanese department stores since 1920. Happy Christmas from Toshidama Gallery and we wish you a prosperous New Year.