September 15, 2009

A Higan-bana (Lycoris radiata) flower in Engaku-ji temple

"Higan-bana" means a flower which blooms in the equinoctial week ("Higan" in Japanese) of autumn. In this Higan week, Japanese people customarily visit the graves of their ancestors in temples to conduct Buddhist memorial services. This plant is also called "Manjyu shage," which originates from Buddhist doctrine and means "a flower of heaven."

A Higan-bana flower is the typical and characteristic flower of autumn in the Zen gardens of Kita-kamakura and its vivid and graceful appearance declares the definite beginning of autumn.

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