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 December, 2019
  • Latest newsletter: "Hiiragi (Holly osmanthus)"
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Latest newsletter: "Hiiragi (Holly osmanthus)"

December 02, 2019

Here is a "Haiku" in "Kikaku Hakkushu (Haiku collection)" written byTAKARAI Kikaku in 17c.
"Hure mizore Hiiragino hanano Nanokaichi"
Interpretation: The petite white flowers are flying down just like falling sleet onto the street in Nanokaichi.

When we start to feel a winter atmosphere in the cold weather, we begin to notice red and green Christmas decorations and Christmas event posters in town. European holly with red fruits is what Japanese people imagine as typical "holly" in Japan today. However, the "holly" in ancient times in Japan meant a different holly. It was "Holly Osmanthus" which blooms many white flowers from November to December. As Holly Osmanthus and European holly both have similar spiny leaves, European holly was named after the same, "Hiiragi", when it was brought into Japan. However, they differ in some aspects, Holly Osmanthus is the Oleaceae family while European holly is the Aquifoliaceae family. For example, leaves come out in different ways, as a matter of fact that they are not the same species.


Read the full article:
An evergreen guardian deity: Hiiragi (Holly osmanthus)

Translation by: Hitomi Kochi, reviewed by Chan Yee Ting

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