Photo/IllutrationA cherry-blossom-shaped umbrella designed by Mikiko Kawai, shown in the Minatomachi district in Gifu (Shoko Matsuura)

  • Photo/Illustraion

GIFU--A cherry blossom-shaped umbrella made using traditional Japanese “washi” paper by a young designer here is being showered with attention after going viral on social media.

Winds of success began blowing for Mikiko Kawai after she gave “Mary Poppins Returns” star Emily Blunt one of her creations, and photos of the unique umbrella appeared online.

Kawai developed models in different colors because of the huge interest in the umbrellas that followed.

Casa, a Gifu-style Japanese umbrella shop in the Minatomachi district, started selling the elegant item on April 1 for use on “special occasions.”

The cherry-blossom umbrellas require a lot of time to create since they involve a more sophisticated technique compared with regular round ones.

Three kinds of Mino washi are applied to their surface to create a solid look and make the color gradations more similar to those of actual cherry blossoms.

Casa's manager, Ikumi Kawaguchi, 38, said the store often gets inquiries about the cherry blossom umbrellas from people who want to use them in wedding photos before their marriage ceremony, adding she sees it as a great decorative item as well.

Casa is the only dedicated traditional umbrella shop in the prefecture where more than 60 umbrellas are constantly available. Orders have been already placed for all the cherry-blossom umbrellas that will be produced and shipped through March 2020 and the sales plan from April onward is not yet decided, according to the shop's website.

The umbrella is priced at 200,000 yen ($1,793), excluding tax. For more information, visit Casa at https://www.teshigoto.casa/ (Japanese only). The store is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.