'Sakura' (Cherry Blossom) pattern has been favoured by Japanese since the Heian period (794-1185). It symbolises new beginnings, renewal (early Spring), beauty and the transience of life. It is said that Hanami (cherry blossom viewing) parties were held and the cherry blossom pattern is painted in the hopes of a good harvest. 'Sakura fubuki' (Blossoms falling) refers to the simultaneous falling of petals and the beauty of such state is admired as part of Hanami.
The Cherry blossom pattern was popularly used in the costumes of Oiran Geisya and wearing second hand Cherry blossom kimonos was popular among common people during the Edo period (1603–1868). Many Ukiyo-e Cherry blossom Kimono prints were produced, promoting the pattern of actors and Oiran geisha costumes.
This is one of around 400 Japanese katagami stencils which are part of the Silver Studio Collection. The stencils were produced in Japan as a way of applying patterns to fabric, mainly kimonos. The katagami collected by the Silver Studio were used by their designers as reference material to produce their own Japanese-inspired patterns.