Viewing the Irises at Horikiri, Japan.


Plate IV.

Iris, beds, Tokio, Japan, Josiah Conder, water plant, floral art, artist, painting,
Iris beds, near Tokio.



by Josiah Conder

IN June, the popular flower is the Ins or Flag, which is cultivated in large marshy flats near to some river or lake. In many gardens, watered by a stream, a loop or bend in the water-course is spread out into a marshy expanse, planted with Flags, and crossed by fancy plank bridges of zigzag shape.

There are four distinct species of Iris, known by different native names, but the kind most seen is the Acorus calamus, or Sweet Flag, which the Japanese call Hana-Shobu. In the case of displays of Iris flowers, a mass of varied colour is delighted in, the purple, white, and variegated blossoms being grown together, indiscriminately, and with no attempt at pattern or design.

Irises, Horikiri, Japan, Josiah Conder, water plant, floral art, artist, painting,
Viewing the Irises at Horikiri, Japan.

The most noted place for shows of this flower is Yatsuhashi, in the province of Mikawa; but the popular resort nearest Tokio is a spot called Horikiri, close to the river Sumida, to which place it is the fashion to made excursions, in pleasure boats, early in June. Here the beds which contain the Flags, in every variety of colour, are surrounded by elevated grassy banks, dotted with summer-houses, from which visitors can look down upon the rich variegated carpet below. Narrow wooden bridges give further picturesqueness to the scene, crowded in the season with a brilliant throng of visitors, whose pretty costumes almost vie in gaiety of colour with the flowers.

Horikiri, Iris, Flower, Garden, Tokio, Japan
Horikiri, Iris Flower Garden at Tokio

The Iris, as a water plant, is associated in art with the Kingfisher, Water Rail, Mandarin Duck, and other water birds.

Source: The floral art of Japan: being a second and revised edition of the flowers of Japan and the art of floral arrangement by Josiah Conder (1852-1920). Tokio: Kelly and Walsh, Ltd. 1899.

red, sun, Japan, Mon, Nisshōki, Hinomaru

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