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Hanakotoba : The Secret Meaning of 15 Language Of Flowers

Hanakotoba is the Japanese language of flowers, is tradition of using flowery language. Every flower has a meaning that is specific to the person it is being given to. The meanings are derived from flowers in nature and the cultural history of Japan. There are also rules and regulations that dictate when a certain flower can be given, what color it should be, and how long it should last. In the spring and summer it is normal for flowery messages to be given and in the winter one can find informal wishes or expressions. In the blog, we look at the meaning behind the language of flowers in Japan.

Hanakotoba – Language of flowers

Here are the list of 15 Japanese Hanakotoba or language of flowers that has different meaning that makes all these blooms unique and powerful.


Flower Name Blooming Season Color Symbolize
Plum blossom (Ume) Spring Pink Happiness and Hope
Camellia (Tsubaki) Winter to Early spring Pink and Red Beauty and love
Sakura (Japanese Cherry) Spring Pink Hope and new Life
Asagao (Morning Glory) Summer to Early Fall Blue Luck and Prosperity
Chrysanthemum (Kiku) Late summer to early Winter White and orange Longevity
Red spider lily (Higanbana) Late summer to early fall Red Final goodbyes
Sunflower (Himawari) Spring yellow Happiness and Joy
Kinmokusei (Orange Osmanthus) Late summer to fall Yellowish Truth and happiness
Sasanqua (Camellia Sasanqua) Late winter to Early spring Pink Adoration
Iris Flower (Kakitsubata) Spring to summer Blue Peace and Love
Sweet pea (Suitopi) Spring Red and white beauty and love
Wisteria (Fuji) Spring Blue Beauty
Lacecap Hydrangea (Gakuajisai) Spring Red and Orange Love
Sakurasou (Primula sieboldii) Spring Blue Honor
Momo (Peach) Spring White and Pink Friendship and Love


Plum blossom (Ume)

Plum blossom is a beautiful flower that is usually seen in spring. The flowers are usually white and they have a sweet fragrance. Plum blossom is a symbol of happiness, hope, and purity. There are many traditional Japanese beliefs surrounding plum blossom. One of them is that if you pick a single plum blossom, it will bring happiness and good fortune to your life.

John Morgan from Walnut Creek, CA, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Camellia (Tsubaki)

Camellia is the name of a genus of flowering plants with about 230 species. Tsubaki is a Japanese word for the camellia flower, which is also the name of a popular tea made from the camellia plant. In many ancient cultures, the camellia is a symbol of beauty, love, and life. The camellia’s white flowers have always been associated with purity and femininity. In Japan, camellias are also a symbol of friendship and loyalty. They are often planted in gardens as a sign of respect for the deceased.

Camellia (Tsubaki)
Alpsdake, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sakura (Japanese Cherry)

The Japanese sakura is a cherry blossom tree that is famous for its beautiful pink flowers. The flowers are so popular that they have become an important cultural symbol in Japan. There is a Japanese word that means “cherry blossom” and it is called “sakura.” This word means more than just the blooming of cherry trees in springtime. It is a word that also symbolizes hope and new life. It symbolizes the beginning of a new era.

The sakura is a very delicate flower that can only be seen for a short time. The flowers are typically in full bloom for about three days before the leaves begin to change color. The blooming period is known as sakura-zakura, which means cherry blossoms and leaves.

Cherry Blossom Symbolism

Asagao (Morning Glory)

The Japanese morning glory is a popular flower in Japan and is also known as the Asagao (Morning Glory) Flower. The Asagao is considered to be a lucky flower because of its many meanings. It is said that the Asagao flower has the ability to make wishes come true, thus making it a symbol of luck and prosperity. The Asagao also has deep cultural and historical roots in Japanese history. In ancient Japan, the Asagao was used as a sign of good luck for the military and royalty.

Asagao (Morning Glory)
Calvero, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Chrysanthemum (Kiku)

The Chrysanthemum is a flower that has been used in Japan for centuries and it is known as November Birth Flower. It has been used as a symbol of death and rebirth because it is believed that the flower blooms only when a loved one dies. The Chrysanthemum is also a symbol of health, happiness, and longevity. There are many types of Chrysanthemums including the Chrysanthemum cineraria, Chrysanthemum coronarium, and the Chrysanthemum leucanthemum.


Red spider lily (Higanbana)

The Higanbana is a Japanese flower that symbolizes death. It is known as the red spider lily all over the world. The flowers grow in late summer and early fall. The flower is also called the death lily, or the devil’s flower. The flowers are often planted next to graves in Japan. The flowers take about a week to bloom, and then they die within three days. The Higanbana’s blooming time coincides with the Buddhist festival of Obon.

Spider Lilies Meaning

Sunflower (Himawari)

The sunflower is a popular flower that is well known for its beauty. The sunflower is also a plant that is very easy to grow, and it’s one of the easiest flowers to pollinate. Sunflowers are pollinated by bees and other insects, but they also self-pollinate which can help preserve this species. The sunflower’s beauty is just one of the many reasons why it is so popular. The sunflower also has a very interesting meaning in Japanese culture. The sunflower is representative of Japan because it blooms in the spring, when the Japanese people start to feel hopeful about their future. The sunflower’s meaning in Japanese culture helps give hope to the Japanese people, who are often very pessimistic about their future.


Kinmokusei (Orange Osmanthus)

Kinmokusei is the Japanese word for ‘orange osmanthus’, a flower which is native to Japan and China. Its name comes from the orange color of its petals and flowers, which are made up of five sepals, five petals, and ten stamens. These flowers come in different colors, but the most common colors are red, orange, and yellow. Kinmokusei is also known as the ‘Symbol of Happiness’ because of its shape and color. The orange osmanthus symbolizes happiness because it has five petals that are arranged in a triangular pattern and it has a bright orange color. Kinmokusei is also used in traditional Chinese medicine as a remedy for depression because it has a calming effect on the mind and body.

Kinmokusei (Orange Osmanthus)
TANAKA Juuyoh (田中十洋), CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sasanqua (Camellia Sasanqua)

Camellia Sasanqua is a plant native to Japan and is now cultivated in many parts of the world. It is an evergreen, deciduous shrub or small tree that has been classified as a species in its own right, Camellia sasanqua. The flowers are pale green with red on the inside and they appear in late winter and early spring. The leaves are green and glossy with a shiny surface. They are long and narrow, with a point at the end. This plant was named after the Japanese botanist and researcher, Dr. Koyama Sasanuma, who first discovered it in 1877.

Sasanqua (Camellia Sasanqua)
Schurdl, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Iris Flower (Kakitsubata)

The Iris flower is a member of the iris family. It is a perennial flowering plant that has three leaves that grow from the base of the stem. There are many variations of this flower, with many different colors and sizes. The Iris flower is known for its use as a symbol of peace, love, and beauty. It is said to represent these things because it has three petals that grow from the same point on the stem, which symbolizes the three parts of love.

What Does The Iris Flower Mean In The Bible

Sweet pea (Suitopi)

The sweet pea (Suitopi) flower is a symbol of the soul, and it is also one of the most beautiful flowers in the world. The sweet pea flower has been a symbol of beauty and love since the Victorian era. It has been used as a symbol of beauty because of its deep red color and delicate shape. The sweet pea flower is often associated with love because it is a flower that blooms in the springtime, which is when people are more in love. The sweet pea flower has also been used in fashion for many years because it is so delicate and unique.

Sweet pea (Suitopi)
Aftabbanoori, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Wisteria (Fuji)

The Japanese Wisteria, also known as Fuji, is a flowering vine with beautiful fragrant flowers. It is a symbol of Japan and the Japanese culture. The wisteria was introduced to Japan in the seventeenth century by the Dutch traders who had seen it in China. The wisteria was brought to Japan in order to decorate the Tōshō-gū, a Shinto shrine in Nikkō, Tochigi. The wisteria is one of the most important symbols of Japan and one of its national treasures.

Wisteria (Fuji)
さかおり, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Lacecap Hydrangea (Gakuajisai)

The Lacecap Hydrangea (Gakuajisai) is a flower that is native to Japan. It is a unique looking flower because it has a white center with red and orange petals. The flower symbolizes the word “love” in Japanese. This flower is also a popular choice for wedding flowers.

Lacecap Hydrangea (Gakuajisai)
Yoko Nekonomania, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sakurasou (Primula sieboldii)

The Japanese cherry blossom tree, or sakura, is one of the most beautiful flowers in the world. This delicate flower is most often seen in Japan during the spring, when it is in full bloom. In ancient Japanese folklore, the sakura tree was said to represent the soul of a person. The tree’s leaves are said to be a reminder of a person’s soul and a reminder that they must live with dignity and honor.

Sakurasou (Primula sieboldii)
Øyvind Holmstad, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Momo (Peach)

The peach flower(momo) is a symbol of love, beauty, and friendship. China has many of these flowers and it is also known for there national flower. The peach blossom is a symbol of the South China Sea and is a symbol of the Chinese culture. The peach flower has a round shape with eight petals and eight stamens. The flowers are considered to be the most beautiful in China.

Momo (Peach)
KimonBerlin, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Wrap Up

Red Lotus Flower Meaning
Red Lotus Flower Meaning

I hope you enjoyed our blog about the Language of Flowers in Japan. The Language of Flowers in Japan is not only famous, but also reflects a lot of cultural significance of various flowers. It is not a surprise, however, that many people are unfamiliar with the Language of Flowers in Japan. This may help to get your knowledge to next level. Thanks for reading.

Amelia Clark

I am Amelia Clark, An experienced gardener with 6 years expertise and this is my blog talk about plants and flowers. See more about me.

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