We blossom into spring

Our April party continued our recent spate of themed parties by honouring sakura, the season of cherry blossom, which has always been a big deal in Japan, when special hanami parties are held to appreciate the fleeting beauty of the trees at this time. In the 1920s urban Japan experienced a sudden shift, as women obtained more freedom and adopted the modern fashions of the West, listened to jazz music, drank cocktails and smoked cigarettes. The term for these Japanese flappers was moga, short for modaan gaaru ("modern girl"). But this didn't necessarily mean that they rejected ancestral traditions, such as sakura, and for a while a rich hybrid culture emerged. Advertising imagery and movies from the time show mogas shoulder-to-shoulder with women the same age in traditional dress, geishas with bobbed hair and fags on the go, flappers with paper parasols and drop-waisted dressed made from traditional fabrics.

We saluted this exciting period with a cocktail menu of oriental ingredients and flavours, and a dinner menu of Asian cuisine. Live music came from the Waruli Otoko Swing Orchestra (their name means "bad boy" or "gangster", but they are quite nice people really) and our host for the evening was cabaret songstress Madame Ware, welcoming you into our den of Western decadence.

More photos from the night in the album on Flickr.