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‘Sakura‘, the Japanese word for cherry blossom, is one of the most symbolic images of Japan and our trademark product, the sakura tartan, is the result of a Japanese-Scottish collaboration and has caught the imagination of people worldwide.

 

The cherry blossom (sakura) is Japan's unofficial national flower. It has been celebrated for many centuries and holds a very prominent position in Japanese culture.

 

There are many dozens of different cherry tree varieties in Japan, most of which bloom for just a couple of days in spring. The Japanese celebrate that time of the year with hanami (cherry blossom viewing) parties under the blooming trees.

 

The most important factor in determining the blooming time of cherry trees is the geographical location. On Japan's southern, subtropical islands of Okinawa, cherry blossoms open as early as January, while on the northern island of Hokkaido, they bloom as late as May. In most major cities in between, including Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, the cherry blossom season typically takes place around the end of March and beginning of April.

 

Most varieties produce light pink to pure white blossoms, but there are also cherry trees with dark pink blossoms. The blossom colour of some varieties may change while they are in bloom. For example, a blossom may open as a white flower and change colour to pink over the course of a few days. The colour of the fresh leaves differs between the varieties. In most cases, the fresh leaves are green, coppery brown, or something in between.

 

The design of the Sakura tartan uses the unique weave of Scotland’s great icon to blend the colours of the cherry blossom into a living symbol of Japan’s great annual festival in celebration of the wonder and beauty of nature at the arrival of Spring.

 

Appealing to men and women of all ages and all nationalities, the design has been incorporated into a wide range of products, some traditional and some new, but always appropriate.