Japan Earthquake Relief: “I’m with you!”message greeting cards

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Let's Go to See Cherry Blossoms Together Next Year

by AkiSong
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Cherry blossoms (sakura) appreciation is an important part of Japanese people’s lives since ancient times.

Each spring, people go to see cherry blossoms with their family and friends. People sit on the ground chatting, and eating rice snacks. It is a very pleasant time of the year, as cherry blossoms bring the message of spring, and the beauty of living, even in transient form.

I incorporated this message into this hand-drawn card in sumie (traditional ink and brush) technique. It features two pieces of traditional Japanese snacks made of rice, with cherry blossoms on the top, and a few petals in and out of the plate. This is a close shot of the common tranquil daily scenery of Japanese enjoying the spring under a cherry tree with family and friends.

The characters on the left are Japanese, in traditional vertical order. It reads “Next year, let’s go together to see the cherry blossoms”. It is meant to convey warm feelings and hope of going back to daily life in the next spring, when cherry blossoms bloom again. We can imagine that by that time, those displaced would be back to new homes, and going to see the cherry blossoms again, just like before, with their beloved ones.

The theme is “daily life scenery”, therefore conveying the best wishes for the afflicted Japanese to “go back to daily life” as soon as possible. The reason I chose the time of “spring” is partly due to the time of the earthquake, which disturbed people’s life, when so many might have planned to go to see cherry blossoms. Another reason is that in Japan, many important events are held in spring, such as school opening ceremonies. Seeing the cherry blossoms would bring about all these positive associations and feelings to the Japanese. I wish they would feel a little bit happier when they see the card.

As to the background color of brown, I think this card design can be printed on used materials which would be more environmentally friendly.