Wednesday, November 12th, 2008...8:36 pm

Chrysanthemums In Japan

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TheGardenLady has just returned from a two week tour of Japan with an artist who was raised in Fukuoka but now lives in the US.  She knows Fukuoka very well and takes small groups with her to visit the area around Fukuoka which included Nagasaki and Kyoto. TheGardenLady was most interested in the flora and gardens of the area and to this end took many photos; but since the tour was not specifically plant oriented, ThisGardenLady would love to return to Japan some day to visit the botanical gardens as well as more of the formal gardens.

This time of year is the chrysanthemum festival. Many of the gardens or shrines have displays of chrysanthemums for visitors to gaze at.

According to Wikipedia “Chrysanthemums were cultivated in China as a flowering herb as far back as the 15th century BC.  An ancient Chinese city was named Ju-Xian, meaning “chrysanthemum city”. Then, according to the chrysanthemum society “around  the 8th century A.D., the chrysanthemum appeared in Japan. So taken were the Japanese with this flower that they adopted a single flowered chrysanthemum as the crest and official seal of the Emperor. The chrysanthemum in the crest is a 16-floret variety called “Ichimonjiginu.”

Family seals for prominent Japanese families also contain some type of chrysanthemum called a Kikumon – “Kiku” means chrysanthemum and “Mon” means crest.  In Japan, the Imperial Order of the Chrysanthemum is the highest Order of Chivalry. Japan also has a National Chrysanthemum Day, which is called the Festival of Happiness.”

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