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Japanese chrysanthemum: how to cultivate the plant and its symbolism in Japanese culture (in Japan).
With the termJapanese chrysanthemumwe can refer to two different plants and concepts:
- Japanese chrysanthemum, a plant of the composite family native to Asia.
- Chrysanthemum, a plant of the genus Chrysanthenum which is considered by us to symbolize the feast of the dead but which in Japan symbolizes life.
On this page we will analyze both cases starting from the first. For themeaning of the chrysanthemum in Japango to the paragraph "Chrysanthemums Japan"
Japanese chrysanthemum: plant
It is called by the names:japanese chrysanthemum,Pacific chrysanthemumor golden mimosa. It belongs to the Composite family and is an evergreen shrub native to Asia. In Japan, this plant grows wild and is valued for its bushy structure.
It can reach a maximum height of 70 cm and blooms between the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. Its flowers are gold, grouped like an umbrella. It is in autumn that theJapanese chrysanthemumit is loaded with flowers similar to small, completely yellow daisies. There are also some varieties of Japanese chrysanthemum with pink or white flowers.
How to grow Japanese chrysanthemum
The plant needs alkaline soil rich in draining material. It can be grown in pots or in the ground. It needs a very bright location: sunny or in partial shade.
This plant resists the cold well. When grown in pots, this flowering plant will need to be grown every 15 days. THEyellow chrysanthemumsthey have a high durability and will bring a touch of color to the autumn garden. In case of potted chrysanthemum, repotting must be done every 2-3 years.
Chrysanthemums in Japan
How do you say:country you go, custom you find.
If for us Italians ichrysanthemumsare theflowersof the deceased, in Japan themeaningof this flower is quite different. Not just Japan.
- Chrysanthemum in Korea and China is considered to be the flower to use for birthdays, anniversaries and other joyful celebrations.
- In Japan, the chrysanthemum is the flower of life so much so that it has been chosen as the national flower.
One of Japan's five national holidays is calledKiku no sekku(菊 の 節 句) which translated literally meansChrysanthemum day. This national holiday has very ancient roots, when, in the 17th century, a Japanese emperor set up a floral show where the undisputed protagonist was thechrysanthemumas a symbol ofJapanese Imperial House.
Chrysanthemum Day is celebrated on 9 September and coincides with the start of the coldest season and the end of the year's creative cycle.
THEsymbolsof Japan perceived by us Westerners as such are the cherry blossoms, the koi goats, the cranes, the Zen gardens… How many of us thinking of Japan visualize a chrysanthemum bud? Yet, every year, the Japanese celebrate the chrysanthemum bloom with a national holiday!
Chrysanthemum: meaning of the flower in Japanese culture
In Japan thechrysanthemumit is a symbol of strength, life and endurance. Blossoming in autumn, in fact, ichrysanthemumsthey have to face the adversities of the cold and despite these, they continue to flourish, year after year.
It is a symbol of longevity and youth. An ancient popular custom involved the use of chrysanthemum petals as a wish for long life and hope to preserve youth. The ritual consisted of wetting the plant tissue of the chrysanthemum and rubbing it on the skin during the celebrations of theChrysanthemums Day. Chrysanthemum Day is celebrated on the 9th day of the 9th month of the year.
The meaning of thechrysanthemumit must also be sought in human virtues and nobility of mind. The symbol of the Japanese imperial family is a chrysanthemum: originally this flower could only be grown inside the imperial gardens. The reproduction of the image of this flower could only be made by artisans authorized directly by the imperial family.
THEchrysanthemumsthey have the ability to survive even in arid places, they resist frost without losing the beauty of the petals. Even when they wither, the chrysanthemum is slow to drop its petals. It is for the characteristics of the plant that this flower is a symbol of vitality and strength.
In Japan, China, Korea and a large part of Asia, alchrysanthemumhealing and medicinal properties are associated. Infusions of flowers, leaves and stems were used by the Taoist magicians of China as an elixir of life.
Today, thechrysanthemums in Japanthey are not used to prepare infusions but are used for the preparation of kiku sake, an alcoholic drink flavored with sake petals. Healing virtues are associated with this drink: it is popular belief that it can prevent diseases and prolong life.
To know how to cultivate chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum plants which in Japan are a symbol of strength and life), you can consult the page: growing chrysanthemums.