Gold Foil Blue Irises and Red Poppy Greeting Card
Today Irises are known for their strong association to Japanese Gardens. Digging deeper, Irises have a more complex significance, less based on their flamboyant looks, rather, one relating more to Japanese Shinto folklore. The story goes that irises were used to decorate roofs, eaves, and bathtubs with 'sweet flags' on the occasion of the Boy's festival (the 5th day of the 5th month), a celebration for expressing the hope that each boy in a family will grow up healthy and strong. By association, Irises leaves, as sharp as a sword would cut through evil, protect and fend away danger. Perhaps this would explain why the cultivation of irises was taken up by the Samurai class as a quasi-martial art, one imbued with dignity and luxury.
With the above background, perhaps it is food for thought to reflect on Irises' more humble origins, not as colourful show stoppers, but as a representation of inner strength radiating protective power. Early cultivars were indeed much less showy, and in perfect Japanese wabi-sabi philosophy, it is the the less obvious shades, the more complex nuances of the iris rainbow which are the most beautiful.
Consider Issa's (1763-1827) Haiku:
from which that rainbows
This handmade type of expert printing makes for a very attractive sparkling and metallic finish suitable for any occasion.
It is accompanied by a handmade paper envelope with beautiful patterns set in the grain of the paper.
Makes for a very special piece of stationery indeed.