Monday, 30 April 2018

Pretty in Pink [And Black!]

In my childhood home, we always had a tin of black Cherry Blossom shoe polish, and nowadays, I have some green Cherry Blossom 'renovation cream' for my favourite Clarks brogues. 
A recent post by Kezzie reminded me that in Japan right now it is the end of the Cherry Blossom Season [find out more here] It is the time of hanami [viewing] Families and friends go out to look at the beautiful blossoms, and picnic under the trees, sit in the park and play music, and sing...for a brief few days, everyone celebrates these delicate flowers. Every year, the trees bloom, wreathing their branches in pink clouds - then fall, carpeting the grass with petals, all in the space of a fortnight.

Kezzie said there are two cherry trees in her school grounds, and she taught her pupils to sing Sakara, the traditional Japanese song celebrating the beauty of these blossoms. She went on to say
"Then a day later, at playtime, I walked through the playground to see a multitude of young children under the Cherry Blossom with their hands out stretched catching the delicate pink petals as they fell like confetti and screaming in wonder and awe.  The cutest was one child who stood there, saying, in an awestruck voice, "Sakura, Sakura!" over and over again. Oh what a joy to see that the lesson you have taught has stuck in such a way."
What a thoughtful, gifted teacher Kezzie is - and how good to think that these Essex children are learning to enjoy the beauty of nature in the same way as little ones in faraway Japan.
I wonder why the Mason Brothers first decided [in 1906] to name their prosaic black boot polish after these fine pink petals? 
and I wonder why the logo on the lid is a bunch of cherries - not the actual flowers?

CB polish is still going strong and is the only remaining British shoe polish manufacturer, producing in excess of 2 million tins a year, regularly winning the "Best Shoe Care Brand of the Year" award.
Thank you Kezzie, for inspiring this post!


  1. Awww, I'm glad it inspired you! That's very curious about the cherry blossom polish. Maybe they wanted to give it a very cheerful, stand out name?x

  2. I'm interested by the singing because I am working my way through the OT chronologically and have just covered all the books of the laws. And what I loved, in the midst of the detailed instructions, was that the people were told to rejoice. Had to be reminded to rejoice? I like the idea of a festival with rejoicing. Cherry blossom does make you want to sit underneath, and maybe sing!

  3. High Park is just a couple of subway stops away from where I live and we are currently on Cherry Blossom watch - it will probably be another couple of weeks as it has been a cold Spring. The Sakura trees were gifted from Japan a number of years ago and the viewing crowds are enormous - last year this huge park had to be closed down as there were so many people on a particular Sunday. The restaurant - which is open 365 days a year - had to close as they ran out of food!
    I always go super early in the morning and it is worth the trek in to where the trees wind down a hillside to the large pond - one of the truly beautiful signs of Spring.
    Over here it is Kiwi Shoe polish - and I have no idea why it's called Kiwi but there is a Kiwi bird on the tin.

  4. Marie, thank you so much for your story. We have Kiwi Polish too. It was first marketed in Australia in 1906, and named Kiwi in honour of the manufacturer's wife, who came from New Zealand


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