Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Hanakotoba & The Victorians

Hanakotoba is the Japanese language of flowers. I get a monthly e-mail newsletter from the and this fascinating piece was in today's mail. Mandy Maxwell wrote that "Not only did the Western world have its own coded, flower language, the East had one as well— Hanakotoba, the Japanese language of flowers. Although, obviously not as popular today as it once was, Hanakotoba is still used in many Japanese movies and animations." I'm wondering if this is knowledge I can use with haiku.

I have added the Western (Victorian) meanings for the flowers given in the Hanakotoba list. I wanted to see if there is an intersection of meanings in the two cultures. There frequently is. Now we know.

Kanji English Hanakotoba meaning Victorian meaning
アマリリス Amarylis shy pride, pastoral poetry, radiant beauty
アネモネ Anemone (white) sincere forsaken, anticipation
椿 Camelia (red) in love you're a flame in my heart
椿 Camelia (yellow) longing not given
椿 Camelia (white) waiting you're adorable
カーネーション Carnation passion fascination, woman's love, pride
Cherry Blossom kind, gentle not given
黄菊 Chrysanthemum (yellow) imperial, elegant slighted love
白菊 Chrysanthemum (white) truth, self-esteem truth
水仙 Daffodil respect regard, unrequited love, you're the only one. The sun is always shining when I'm with you, chivalry
天竺牡丹 Dahlia good taste dignity, elegance, good taste
雛菊 Daisy faith innocence, loyal love, purity, I'll never tell
勿忘草 Forget-me-not true love true love, memories
フリージア Freesia immaculate trust, innocence
梔子 Gardenia secret love, pure you're lovely, secret love
紫陽花 Hydrangea/td> pride frigidity, heartlessness. Thank you for understanding.
アイリス / 菖蒲 Iris noble heart, good news Your friendship means so much to me. Fleur-de-lis, emblem of France, faith, hope, wisdom and valor. My compliments.
白百合 Lily (white) purity virginity, purity, majesty. It's heavenly to be with you.
百合 Lily of the Valley sweet, promise of happiness sweetness, tears of the Virgin Mary, return to happiness, humility. You've made my life complete.
鬼百合 Tiger Lily wealth wealth, pride
マグノリア Magnolia natural, love for nature nobility
雛芥子 Poppy comfort eternal sleep, oblivion, imagination
紅薔薇 Rose (red) love, in love/td> love, I love you.
薔薇 Rose (white) innocence, devotion innocence and purity, secrecy and silence. I am worthy of you. You are heavenly.
桃色薔薇 Rose (pink) trust, confidence thankfulness, perfect happiness, Please believe me.
黄色薔薇 Rose (yellow) noble decrease of love, jealousy, try to care
チューリップ Tulip charity, trust perfect lover, frame, flower emblem of Holland


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