The crisp crunch of fresh winter snow underfoot, the sweet scent of budding springtime flowers, the heady buzz of cicadas chirping in the summer’s shade and fallen leaves swirling in an autumnal breeze.

The Japanese word 'fuubutsushi', marks the moment of nostalgic anticipation we feel for the changing seasons. It’s the understanding that each precious moment in the flow of our lives is fleeting, and each of these changes will bring with them, a new season.

A love letter to both the natural history and cultural heritage of the great kingdom of Japan. The four main islands in the archipelago, Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu, are represented by the seasons winter, spring, summer and autumn respectively. The islands are then chronologically linked by moon brides, symbolizing the transition from one season to the next.

Each island houses ancient Shinto shrines, temples and monuments local to their region, and beside these landmarks sits a rich tapestry of endemic seasonal flora and topiary. Lastly, beneath the islands lay sleeping giant kami, represented by the animals only found in Japan, the elusive giant catfish, giant salamander, samurai crab and stone turtle.

A fine art illustration depicting a lively river kingdom with islands that represent the seasons.
An illustration that shows two islands connected by a Japanese moon bridge and a giant crab.
Illustration of a Japanese island showing a snow covered temple courtyard with bonsai trees.
Fine-line illustration of an ornate giant catfish opening its mouth widely in a river stream.
Tea-stained illustration depicting the base of a large Japanese castle surrounded by Spring flowers.
Illustration of a giant samurai crab hiding underneath an island in a river.
Fuubutsushi River · Aizuri-e
Large staged interiors shot by the Sanderson Design Group showcasing an illustrative wallpaper.
Staged interiors photograph by the Sanderson Design Group showing illustrative patterned curtains.
Close-up image of an illustrated samurai crab printed onto bamboo wallpaper.