Island Cove Artists Embrace Symbols of Japan

October 21, 2017

Island Cove Artists Embrace Symbols of Japan

In preparation for Island Cove's Twilight Garden Party on October 28th, our artists have been drawing inspiration from Japanese folklore and symbolism. Read on to discover some of the island nation's most well-known icons and symbols.   

Lotus Flowers

  • Often used as an example of divine beauty, the lotus flower's unfolding petals suggest the expansion of the soul. 
  • In many Asian cultures the lotus is present in figurative form, representing elegance, beauty, perfection, purity and grace
  • The lotus flower is revered in Japan for its ability to rise from the dirty, murky waters to bloom into a beautiful pure flower. This process symbolizes attaining enlightenment, according to The Japan Times.
  • Debbye Mika has bead embroidered Japanese cabochons to create beautiful necklaces. Gold and silver toned lotus flower charms will also be available in the eShop.
Bead embroidered Japanese pendants  Lotus flower jewelry charms

    Koi Fish

    • Carp were bred for color in Japan beginning in the 1820s, but the outside world was not aware of the development of color variations in Japanese koi until 1914, when the Niigata koi were exhibited at an annual exposition in Tokyo.
    • Koi fish are symbols of love and friendship in Japan.
    • The Butterly or Dragon Koi fish variety originated in the 1980s and is notable for its long and flowing fins.
    • Original koi paintings by artists Catherine Valle (shown below) and Barbara Kuzin will be available for purchase, as well as silver butterfly koi fish beads at our upcoming Japanese Twilight Garden Party event.
    Japanese butterfly koi fish painting  silver koi fish beads


    Cherry Blossoms

    • The cherry blossom is considered the national flower of Japan.
    • Japan gave 3,020 cherry blossom trees as a gift to the United States in 1912 to celebrate the nations' then-growing friendship. The gift was renewed with another 3,800 trees in 1965.
    • In Japan, cherry blossoms symbolize clouds due to their nature of blooming en masse. The transience of the blossoms, the exquisite beauty and volatility, has often been associated with graceful acceptance of destiny and karma; for this reason, cherry blossoms are richly symbolic, and have been utilized often in Japanese art.
    • Artist Jerri Heer has crafted beautiful cherry blossom gem trees (see below) for the event and Island Thyme Soap's limited batch of cherry blossom scented bars will be on sale. Andrew Ewart will be folding Japanese origami (shown below with cherry blossom origami paper) throughout the evening to raise money for a local children's charity. 
    Jerri Heer cherry blossom gem tree  Island Thyme cherry blossom soap  Japanese origami crane


    Ningyo: "Magical Mermaids of Japanese Folklore"

    • In Western folklore, mermaids are generally regarded as beautiful, seductive beings who would lure men to their deaths. As for the Japanese mermaid or "ningyo," there is no such standard story, as these creatures not only vary in the way they look, but also in the way they are said to interact with human beings, according to Ancient Origins website.
    • The ningyo are believed to have mystical abilities. For example, they are often said to be able to cry tears of pearls or foretell the future.
    • Shop our new ceramic mermaid tail pendants and necklaces by Mermaids Bejeweled that will be on display during the Japanese Twilight Garden Party.

    Mermaids Bejeweled - mermaid starfish necklaces  Mermaid tail pendants

    If you haven't RSVP'd for the event, please respond to the event invite on our Facebook page or Sign Up here. We look forward to welcoming our community of artists and clients later this month for an enchanted evening of Japanese art, jewelry, food and festivities.

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