What is higanbana? Dignified and fragile bright red flowers.
Written by aki
Do you know the flower called higanbana?
This flower originates from China and is characterized by its bright red petals.
In Japan, these autumn flowers bloom from around September to the end of October.
This autumn period is called “Higan(彼岸)” in Japan.
They are called higanbana(彼岸花) because they bloom at the time of higan.
*花 means flower here.
What is “Higan” in the first place?
Higan is a Buddhist term that directly translates to the Pure Land of Paradise.
This time of year in autumn is considered to be the day when this world and the Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss come closer together.
In Japan, it is customary to hold ancestral memorial services on Higan day.
Do higanbana bloom on graves? History of higanbana
Higanbana are often found in rice paddies and along footpaths, as well as on graves.
There is a reason why they are blooming on the graves.
In the past, burial was the norm in Japan.
To protect the bodies from moles and animals, a poisonous flower, higanbana, was planted.
The flowers, leaves, stems, and roots are all toxic, so be careful.
Famous place for its higanbana flower blossoms
You may have had a slightly scary image of higanbana.
However, its straight, bright red flowers seem to have a somewhat strong will.
There are several places in Japan famous for higanbana.
In autumn, about 3 million higanbana bloom.
The reason why so many higanbana are blooming here is that they were planted by local residents in 1990 to recreate the world of the Japanese fairy tale “Gongitsune.
There is a cluster of higanbana near the temple, and the sight of them all blooming at once is breathtaking.
Josenji Temple, also known as “Flower Temple,” is a place where red and white higanbana bloom in the fall.
Although the flowers have a slightly fragile impression, in recent years, some colonies of these flowers have become tourist attractions.
This flower blooms only during a limited time in the fall, so if you see it, try to take a picture!