plum blossoms, one of the four noble gentlemen
The “Four Gentlemen”, also called the Four Noble Ones or Four Friends, in Chinese art refers to four plants: the orchid, or ran; the bamboo; the chrysanthemum, or kiku; and the plum blossom, or ume (italics are in Japanese). The term compares the four plants to Confucianist junzi, or “gentlemen”. A painting or decoration incorporating all four plants is also known as the “Four Gentlemen”. They are most typically depicted in traditional ink and wash painting. The “Four Gentlemen” belong to the category of bird-and-flower painting in Chinese art.
The Four Gentlemen have been used in Chinese painting since the time of the Chinese Song Dynasty (960–1279) because of their refined beauty, and were later adopted by artists in Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. As they represent the four different seasons (the plum blossom for winter, the orchid for spring, the Chrysanthemum for autumn, and the bamboo for summer), the four are used to depict the unfolding of the seasons through the year.
adapted from wikipedia.org
Zen Alarm Clock with Chime and Dream Kanji Dial Face
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