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釋克啓プロフィール写真90px Hi! My name's kaxtukei (克啓).
I live in Kagawa. Born and raised. I'm 28 years old. I'm Buddhist monk in Enryuji Temple. Nice to meet you.

Do you know why Spider lily is called Hell Flower in Japan?

投稿日:2017年9月27日 更新日:

Hello. My name is kaxtukei. Please call me kay. I live in Japan.

In Japan, gorgeous red flowers are blooming from mid September. We call O-Higan (お彼岸) a total of 1 week within three days of Autumnal Equinox Day.

Therefore, this red flower that is prospering at this time is called Higanbana (彼岸花).

On the other hand, in English, Higanbana is called "red spider lily" or "lycoris radiata".

"Why red spider lily is a name of sinister name Hell Flower?"

beautiful lycoris radiata

In Japan red spider lily (Higanbana) has many different names.

Again, in Japan, red spider lily is commonly referred to as Higanbana as a flower that blooms during the Time of the Autumn Equinox(O-Higan).

Higanbana use the name of the season as the name of the flower as it is, so it is easy to understand, but this flower has many other names.

  1. “manjushage” 曼殊沙華
  2. “doku-bana” 毒花(Poisonous flower)
  3. “shibito-bana” 死人花(Dead man flower)
  4. “yuurei-bana” 幽霊花(Ghost flowers)
  5. “zigoku-bana” 地獄花(Hell flower)

Here showed only five as an example.

Actually there are many aliases, but the other names are very minor. One thing is said that there are over 1000 aliases of Higanbana in Japan.

Please refer to this URL『http://www.kumamotokokufu-h.ed.jp/kumamoto/sizen/higan_name.html』. Although it is a Japanese site, I mention aliases of over 1,000 Higanbana.

Many names are words that give a bad impression.

The five names listed above are all bad names except "manjushage"(曼殊沙華).

A spider lily blooming at the water's edge.

Why is it given a bad impression name? There are two reasons.

There are two reasons why red spider lily(Higanbana) has a bad impression name.

Red spider lily are many that are blooming in graves.

Tombstone and red spider lily.In Japan, we often see Higanbana flowers are dense in the grave and bloom.

A grave is a place that fills a deceased person.

In Japan, there is a custom to go to always grave in the equinox.

Higanbana flowers are blooming so as to surround the tombstone is I think in was easy to be had a very sinister image.

It is also because I come out exactly every year at the time of the equinoctial week.

Spider lily is exactly blooming every year at the time of the equinoctial week.

There is a poison to all parts of red spider lily.

Higanbana flowers contains poison in bulbs, flowers, stems and leaves.

Higanbana flowers cannot be eaten because they are all poisoned. You may die when you eat again.

It will be called Dokubana(poisonous flower)for commandments.

On the other hand, "manjushage" is a wonderful name.

The only name, “manjushage” 曼殊沙華 , gives a very wonderful impression.

Manjushage is a flower related to Buddhism.

It is a flower that appears in the Buddhist scriptures, and it is a flower that does not exist on the ground.

For example, the following part comes out in "Myōhō Renge Kyō(妙法蓮華教)".

是時天雨曼陀羅華 摩訶曼陀羅華 曼殊沙華 摩訶曼殊沙華 而散仏上 及諸大衆

When Buddha is trying to talk about Myōhō Renge Kyō, it means that “mandarage” and “manjushage” have fallen from devaloka to the Buddha and the audience.

It is a cluster amaryllis(Higanbana) that was named the heavenly flower that does not exist on the ground.

Why red spider lily is a name of sinister names Hell Flower in japan?

Red spider lily are triploid and do not increase in nature.

It was planted in cemetery and paddy fields by human hands.

Of course, there is a reason for that.

  • To avoid roughening the dead in the ground of creatures such as the Mole.
  • In order not to be able to damage the banks and ridges.

In old Japan, burial that buries the bodies directly in the ground was common.

The burial method by burial is generally a way to fill up the bodies which make up the soil, and the soil is flattened as the corpse inside the soil decays and decomposes normally.

However, the buried body becomes corrupt or difficult to decompose properly due to foxes, raccoon dogs and moles that live on the ground.

Therefore it is said that they planted toxic flowers around the grave and the banks so as not to bring the animals doing that mischief close.

Red spider lily is a flower that has been appreciated by people in the past.

However, in modern times it is buried in the state of bone, so we no longer need to plant red spider lily.

As a result, in modern times, seeing the cluster amaryllis in the grave is disliked because it associates with death.

Also it is said to be the color that sucked the blood of the people by the color of that red flowers was buried.

It is said that it looks like a ghost, as the flower part moves swaying greatly.

In addition, there are superstitions that bringing red spider lily flowers home will be a fire.

In modern Japan Higanbana is the flower that is having the ominous impression.

It was an emergency food in Higanbana in the past.

It is red spider lily that has poison in all parts. But in fact, exposure to water for a long time allows poisons to escape and be able to eat.

Therefore, in Japan when eating starvation was eating red spider lily as an emergency food. Especially Okinawa I think that it is famous.

Red spider lily are widely known as hardy plants even in the present age.

Plants with a poison are often seen in the temple. For example, ginkgo and cycad were also emergency food at the time of the famine.

Because it is not something to eat normally, it is said that an ominous name was given for the admonition.

Bud of Higanbana flower. Before flowering.

Red spider lily that flowered. Unique shape.

Finally. Summary.

As I introduced this time, in Japan red spider lily because the bloom brilliantly in the autumn equinox(お彼岸), it is said that Higanbana(彼岸花).

There is also a wonderful alias called Manjushage(曼殊沙華) which appears in Buddhist scriptures.

However, there are many bad words like hell flowers and dead man flowers in alias other than Manjushage.

Burial It was beneficial plant for the people in the old days was the mainstream.Also at the time of the famine they had been eating the poison excl.

However, because now is always blooming in time to go to the grave, from the part of the people has become easy hated plant.

At the end. If you look closely, this flower will feel like a very beautiful flower.

When coming to Japan in the fall, please by all means of observing the flowers carefully.

It will start to bloom since September 15th.

→Japanese version page " 彼岸花(曼殊沙華)は毒があるから悪い印象の別名も多いよね "

By the way, the middle day of O-Higan (Autumnal Equinox Day / Spring Equinox Day) is the only Buddhist national holiday in Japan.

I introduced what kind of day O-Higan is. " Equinox Day (Higan): What does it mean by Japan holiday in Buddhism? "


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