Yugiri-sou, a summer flower with a fragile atmosphere like an evening mist, is swaying in the wind blowing from the lace window. The flower cluster, which began to bloom at the time of the rainy season, swells like a cumulonimbus in the summer sky and is now in full bloom. White stamens stick out from each of the countless purple florets with lengthened, and when viewed from the whole flower, this appearance is reminiscent of evening fog. It seems to have originated from the Mediterranean coast, but the flowering season is relatively long from June to September, and it can not only play a leading role in flower arrangements, but can also play a supporting role to both Japanese and Western styles. It is called Trakerium in the place of origin, and it has the meaning of a medicine for the throat.
About 40 types of Suiren(water lilies) are distributed in the tropics, subtropics, and temperate zones around the world, and most of them are tropical Suiren that grow naturally in the tropics. Only one type of Hitsujigusa grows naturally in Japan. Both Suiren and Hitsujigusa are named because they close their flowers as soon as the sunlight weakens. The scientific name of the Suiren “Nymphaea” is said to be derived from the water spirit “nymph” that appears in Greek mythology. A nymph is a fairy who is said to have been abandoned by the hero Heracles and threw himself into the Nile to become Suiren. It is regarded as a symbol of the sun in ancient Egypt, and Suiren often appear in decorative motifs and myths. In this way, Suiren have been attracting attention all over the world for a long time. Among them, the painting of Suiren by French Impressionist painter Claude Monet is famous. At Giberny’s home, there is a Suiren pond, and he continues to draw the Suiren that bloom there until his death, and the number of his works exceeds 200. By the way, the English names of Suiren are “water lily” and “pond lily”, and the flower language is “pure heart”, “trust”, and “faith”.
Yamamomo(Bayberry) is planted in places on the promenade of the park, and many fruits are falling at the base. It has been picked and is no longer within reach. I lowered the branch with a trekking pole and finally got fruit. It is well ripe and has a sweet and sour taste that spreads in my mouth. Speaking of Yamamomo, I think that I often saw it in supermarkets about 20 years ago, but in recent years it has not been seen much. It’s because Yamamomo Fruits can be used for various purposes such as simmered foods, jams, and candied fruits, in addition to raw foods, but they are not widely distributed in the market due to their poor shelf life. Izu-Kogen area is said to be the northernmost point of fruit, and each station on the Izukyuko Line sells “Yamamomo Drink”, a soft drink of bayberry, at vending machines. Yamamomo is often used for tree planting for the purpose of greening, and is now often found in streets and parks as a roadside tree.
Perry Road is a 400-meter road where, after Perry and his men came to Uraga by Kurofune, they landed also in Shimoda, and marched to Ryosenji with 300 subordinates. This street, which still retains the remnants of the port town of Shimoda, has cobblestone roads along the smooth river. The rows of houses with Izu stones and Namako walls and the rows of willow trees create an atmosphere. Along Perry Road, an exotic retro atmosphere is created, and antique shops and cafes are lined up. Anchokuro, a shop opened by that “Tohjin Okichi” who was said to be the best geisha in Shimoda and later followed a strange fate, also remains in the nearby Hanamachi, and you can get a glimpse of the traces of city from the end of the Edo period to the Meiji era. By the way, the East India Squadron led by Perry departed Norfolk, Virginia, USA in November 1852, crossed the Atlantic Ocean, traveled around the Hope Peak at the southern tip of Africa, and entered Uraga in July 1853. It really took eight months.
When Tachiaoi(the hollyhocks) blooms , I feel the arrival of summer. Tachiaoi blooms in order from the buds at the bottom of the stem. It is said that the rainy season begins when it begins to bloom, and when the top flowers bloom, the rainy season ends. This year’s rainy season is a record-breaking speed, and it’s been three weeks since then, but it hasn’t rained like the rainy season, and “summer day” and “midsummer day” continue every day. Tachiaoi is already flowering to the top. Speaking of Aoi, it refers to this Tachiaoi, but Fuyuaoi is also a member of Aoi. Aoi is tough and its medicinal properties have been known for a long time regardless of east or west, and the English name Holioc also means that. One of the three major festivals in Kyoto, “Aoi Matsuri,” will be held on May 15th. They will put up a God Print on the Dashi (a kind of float with a variety of colorful decorations in festival parades) and decorate the Kikkei which twines Aoi and Katsura. Aoi symbolizes a woman and Katsura symbolizes a man. It is the oldest festival in Japan that has been passed down for 1,500 years. This may have been born from the desire to appreciate the strength and medicinal properties of Aoi. Aoi Matsuri also appears in the story of The Tale of Genji, and there are also scenes where “Aoi no Ue” princess sees it. The family crest of the Tokugawa family, Mitsuba Aoi, is also famous.
The Japanese name Suikazura means “sucking kudzu”, and there is nectar in the back of the elongated flower tube, which grows widely in the fields and mountains of Japan. The name comes from the fact that children loved to hold flowers in their mouths and suckled sweet nectar. The bush with honeysuckle flowers was a convenient hiding place for hide-and-seek and sometimes I completely forgot about hide-and-seek while I was suckling many times. In Chinese characters, it is written as “忍冬”, which is a Chinese name and has been used for a long time as a folk medicine that is effective for antibacterial, antipyretic, diuretic and pain. Another name is Kinginka(Golden and Silver honeysuckle), which is derived from the change in flower color from white to yellow. The English name is “Japanese Honeysuckle”, and “suckle” means to suckle, so it is semantically the same as the Japanese name. However, it does not seem to be welcomed as the same harmful alien species as Kudzu in the United States.
When I was walking down the road, Hagi flowers were blooming in the shrubberies. Even though the rainy season is yet to come into production, autumn flowers are already in bloom. Hagi also has a flowering season from July to October, but it is common sense that it is an autumn flower. Since Kigo(seasonal word) is indispensable for traditional haiku, I am tempted to stick to seasonal words, but when it is natural for flowers to bloom out of season, and there are flowers that continue to bloom across seasons like Lantana, I have a hard time choosing Kigo. In that respect, if there is no Kigo and no limitations of 575, I am easy to create Haiku, but although “even if you cough” (Ozaki Hosai) or “straight road is lonely” (Taneda Santoka) is still allowed, like Shikunro Aoki, if he says that a short phrase with only two sounds, such as “kaho” or “iro,” is a haiku, I can’t help but resist. I’m thinking about the meaning of Basho’s words, “Haiku is fluid and transitory while also being eternal and immutable”, again.
Kujakusaboten(Epiphyllum) is spreading bright red flowers in the sunlight of the rainy season. Kujakusaboten is a forest succulent plant native to Mexico. The same fellow Gekkabijin(Queen of the Night) blooms only overnight, but Kujakusaboten blooms for a few days during the day. It grows with a flat stem with jagged edges straight up and does not have the sharp thorns of a typical cactus. It has thin, shiny, transparent petals, with delicate stamens like silk threads, beautiful flowers on long fleshy leaves, and beautiful flowers like peacock feathers. It came to be called the peacock cactus in time. The flower language of Kujakusaboten , which has both fragility and luster, is “transient beauty” and “lustrous beauty.”
Lupines under cloudy weather stand and the ground is a blue sky. Lupine is a leguminous plant that originates in the Americas and the Mediterranean coast and has more than 200 species distributed in South Africa. It was cultivated in the country of origin for more than 3000 to 6000 years and was used for food and fertilizer, but it seems that it will be cultivated for ornamental use by the development of an improved variety by British gardener George Russell in 1911. It is a tall flower that grows straight, and its spikes look like wisteria flowers turned upside down. For this reason, Japanese names such as Nobori Fuji, Tachi Fuji, and Hauchiwamame, which are likened to wisteria flowers, are given. On the other hand, GlassGemCorn is a colorful corn created by breeding by Native American farmer Carl Burns, and its popularity has expanded at a stretch since it was posted on Facebook in 2012.
I still remember the shock of finding Sankayo flowers in Daisen, which I visit in spring, summer, autumn and winter. After the opening of the mountain in June, small translucent flowers are blooming between large butterbur-like leaves at a distance from the mountain road where the rainy season is frequent. As I get absorbed in taking pictures, it becomes more and more transparent. It’s mysterious. When I got home and checked it immediately, it was Sankayo. Sankayo is a wild grass with a plant height of 50 to 70 cm, which blooms from May to July and is distributed from north of central Honshu to Hokkaido and Sakhalin. It is a small flower of about 2 cm and is usually pure white, but it gradually becomes transparent when it is hit by rain for a long time. The life of the flower is about one week, it is vulnerable to impact, and it will not become transparent unless it is hit by rain for a long time, so it seems that it is quite difficult to see transparent flowers in good condition. It’s a quiet boom on SNS now. The principle of becoming transparent is the same as when frosted glass gets wet, it becomes transparent, and when white underwear gets wet, the skin can be seen through. By the way, it is called a skeleton flower in English.