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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:

steeple333 said...

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. =]

Anonymous said...

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

Catty said...

Crap. My entire lawn is surrounded with tiger lillies.

Catty said...

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

Anonymous said...

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

Anonymous said...

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

iktikn said...

I hope you keep expanding your Folklore series.

www.cocinas.tv said...

I think everybody should glance at this.

sasusaku said...

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

sasusaku said...

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

LemonedIScream13 said...

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

Ariya Vanna said...

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

stranger said...

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

Aiyie duFreaqoe said...

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..