In the olden days, Rindoh was often found on the ridges of rice fields on the outskirts of town. Recently, I don’t see much in country mountains. Even so, on the equinoctial week Rindoh is almost always attached to the flowers offered to the graves or to the flowers in front of the Buddhist altar. For some reason, it remains a bud. The Rindoh that blooms in the plateaus and mountains is dark purple and has bell-shaped flowers that bloom toward the sky. Along with Kikyo, it is a flower that represents autumn, and its chic colors heal our heart. Although it is written in kanji as “dragon’s liver”, it is also used as a stomach medicine in Chinese medicine and is very bitter, so it got this name. The flower language is “I love you best when you are sad”.
リンドウは昔は町外れの田んぼの畦道にもよく見かけたものです。最近は里山でもあまり見かけなくなりました。それでもお彼岸のお墓参りや仏前にお供えするお花には必ずと言っていいほどリンドウが添えられています。それも何故か決まって蕾のままです。高原や山野に咲くリンドウは濃紫色で釣り鐘状の花を空に向かって咲かせます。キキョウとともに秋を代表する花で、シックな色合いが心を癒します。漢字で「竜胆」と書きますが、漢方の胃薬としても使われ、とても苦いのでこの名がつきました。花言葉は「I love you best when you are sad（悲しんでいるあなたを愛する）」です。
Typhoon No. 12 did not land in the end, and it seems that it will move north over the eastern sea of Japan and become a tropical cyclone. It was good. This year’s typhoons have continued abnormally, and so far no typhoons have landed on the mainland (Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku, Hokkaido). It is said that landing 0 until September is the first time in 11 years. The first typhoon occurred on May 12th, which is unusually late, and the second typhoon in June and 0 in July mean that there are two typhoons that have occurred by July, so this is also abnormal. The number of typhoons increased in quick succession in August, and typhoon No. 10 that occurred on September 1 was a super-large one that was rarely seen in the history of observation and even issued a “special warning”, but it did not land in the end and we got it finished without large troubles. Typhoon No. 19, which landed in Chiba last year and caused enormous damage, was in early October, so it’s best to be alert. Anyway, it’s sure that the whole earth seems to be crazy.
This flower has various names such as “Manjushage”, “Manjushaka”, and “Higanbana”. “Manjushaka” is a name that comes from Sanskrit “manjusaka” and means “a flower that blooms in heaven”, which means a congratulatory flower. On the other hand, there are also some scary names such as “Dead person’s Flower”, “Ghost Flower”, and “Hell Flower”. At first glance, it is gorgeous, but it is a mysterious flower hiding devilish character. While the flowers are in bloom, there are no leaves at all, and when they are finished blooming, the leaves come out, and the bulb looks like lily bulb, but they contain deadly poison.
The golden rice is spreading all around, and the bright red cluster amaryllis are scattered and blooming. It is a blissful time and the paradise of this world to sit on the engawa where the cool autumn breeze blows, eat the hagi, and look at the scenery of the equinoctial week in front of me. Autumn equinoctial week is a time when only the lives that have survived the harsh heat, bloomed, and lived can be met and enjoyed.
When I go down the village road, it becomes a fork, and a small shrine stands at the corner. Jizo is enshrined inside and is watching over the people who pass by. It’s usually a murky and inconspicuous shrine, but the cluster amaryllis is in full bloom around it, and it’s a lively landscape even if there are no people. When I ring the bell with the red string and put the money in the money box of the candy can, the sound of some money will bounce back. It makes me heartwarming to think of Tsuji Jizo, who has been protecting the villagers and the passers-by on rainy days, windy days, snowy days, and hot sun days.
The annual “Scarecrow Contest” is held in September every year at the Tanada (the terraced paddy fields) in the “Inabuchi District” of Asuka Village, Nara Prefecture, which is famous for the Takamatsuzuka Tomb. The terraced paddy fields, which are one of the most famous spots for Higanbana (cluster amaryllis) in the prefecture, are lined with Scarecrows who applied from all over the country, and many tourists come to see the “original scenery of rural areas”. However, this year, as in the case of the whole country, both the “Scarecrow Contest” and the “Higanbana Festival” have been canceled to prevent the infection of the new coronavirus. Last night, I had a dream of having an online date with Scarecrow by means of ZOOM which became a hot topic this year.
“Neither heat nor cold lasts beyond the equinox”. It is the equinoctial week of autumn from today. The temperature this morning was 21 ° C and yesterday morning was 27 ° C, which is exactly what the saying goes. I admire this maxim because everything is record-breaking and extreme weather continues these days. The movements of the people at the radio calisthenics held in the nearby park are also freely. I could hear crickets crying from the grass, and I finally realized that it was autumn.
Once Kudzu has taken root, it entangles with utility poles, covers trees, spreads into the wilderness, and it can no longer be controlled. In North America, it was brought from Japan as a forage crop and for wilderness greening and soil erosion prevention, but due to its fertility, it is now designated as a harmful invasive alien species. However, starch that can be obtained from kudzu is used as a high-class foodstuff such as kuzdu-yu, and kudzu is a medical material for a popular cold medicine such as kakkonto, and is also useful as a material for textiles and handicrafts. Now, hiding in the leaves of Kuzunoha, sphenoid flowers that emit a sweet fragrance of dark blue purple are blooming beautifully in tufts.
Gerbera now has a variety of flower colors and flower shape variations such as single, double, spider bloom and semi-double, and it has a cheerful and bright atmosphere, and it is bustling with flower shops. The gerbera in the photo is called Gerbera jamesonii, which is an original species native to Africa. The crimson petals are thin and the number is small, but the looks is clear and it has the style of an African queen. By crossing with several other original species, a large number of horticultural varieties have been cultivated, and now there are 2000 varieties, and new varieties are born almost every year.
Hagi is one of the seven autumn herbs and is a representative plant of autumn. Nowadays, various flowers are on the market, and Hagi flowers are not noticeable. However, Hagi has been familiar to Japanese people since ancient times than the cherry blossoms that represent spring, and is the most read in the Manyoshu. Hagi is also a flower that symbolizes women, just as there is a truly passionate song in the tanka of Princess Shikishi, “Haji blooming on the coast of Mano is rubbing the flowers like waves coming together and is blooming like writhing with love”. It is a tanka by Princess Shokushi, who loves Sadaie Fujiwara but does not get what he wants, comparing her painful heart to Hagi flowers.