Oops it's nearly Halloween.. I'd better prepare something for it...

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Higan-bana


Higan-bana, called hurricane lily or tiger lily (1*) in English, is a beautiful red flower (2*) which in Japan blooms in Autumn. "Bana" means flower. "Higan" literally means the "world beyond", and it is the name given to a festival time dedicated to paying respects to our ancestors. It happens twice a year, in Spring and again in Autumn; it is around the latter time when Higan-bana are supposed to open their petals.

Having such a name and also being a fataly poisonous plant, it is associated with death and bad omen in Japan.

You might hear elderly people say that Higan- bana are actualy the deceased reincarnated into the form of flowers. So it is sinful to pick them.

Another might say that if you pick and take a Higan-bana home, it will bring fire on the house; possibly because its bright red colour is associated with fire.

Higan-bana are also sometimes called shibito-bana (deadman's flower), jigoku-bana (hell flower), yurei- bana(ghost flower), kamisori-bana (razor flower) or kitsune-bana (fox flower).

The meanings attatched to Higan-bana are: "sad memories"; "you are the only one I love"; "Let us look forward to seeing each other again."



1* Genus: Lycoris radiata
2* In some rare instances, white flowers

All pictures are borrowed from wikipedia and the rights belong to them

14 comments:

  1. OMG! Lycoris!! Aka, spider lilies.

    Anyway, my surprise is because in a novel, .hack//AI Buster, there is a wandering AI (the setting is an online game) in a red dress named Lycoris; when we first see her, she can't see, hear, see, or speak (verbally - she can still communicate through text). She attaches (holds hands, hehe) to the protagonist, and asks him to collects strange items with names like "rae.exe"

    It makes a lot of sense later, especially... well, that spoils it. =]

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  2. This makes the flower change at the boss' death at the end of Metal Gear Solid 3 make more since.

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  3. Crap. My entire lawn is surrounded with tiger lillies.

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  4. Last night my dad and I were joking about this.
    Our yard is Japanese-person repellent.

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  5. I think these flowers are also in the anime Jigouku Shoujo. They bloom in Aii Enma's garden.

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  6. so bad things happen if you pick it
    what if you just pull up the whole plant and pot it?

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  7. I hope you keep expanding your Folklore series.

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  8. I think everybody should glance at this.

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  9. These flowers look so beautiful that no one would think that they are associated with death and bad omen

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  10. These flowers look so beautiful that no one would think that they are associated with death and bad omen

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  11. Higan-bana? I used to hear the legend about this flower's origin.

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  12. So this beautiful flower is higanbana xD try reading the manga "Higanbana no saku yoru ni" . Saya san xD

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  13. I got my answer to why these flowers are always seen appearing in anime before something bad happens xD yay!!

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  14. Oh wow, for someone who read Dokuhime, the story becomes more sense (as to why they died in the end in a romeo and juliet sense) when i read the flower meaning..

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