Hanakotoba (花言葉, flower-language) is the Japanese language of flowers.

Since after World War II, the Japanese way of thinking, lifestyle and habits have been influenced by Western thoughts, therefore today it is not uncommon to find young Japanese people unaware of their own traditions, including the one about flowers and their meanings. They usually refer to the flower language of European origins, instead of their own.[1]

Also, greeting cards made in Japan follow the codes in this flower language.

Flowers and their meanings

These flowers will be listed in alphabetical order by their names in English.

Kanji Name Romaji English Meaning Image
アマリリス Amaririsu Amaryllis Shy
File:Amaryllis belladonna.jpg
アネモネ Anemone Anemone(White) Sincere
File:Anemone narcissifolia.jpg
躑躅 Tsutsuji Azalea Patient/Modest
アムブロシアー Amuburoshiā Ambrosia Pious
File:Ambrosia 5977.jpg
ブルーベル Burūberu Bluebell Grateful
File:Hyacinthoides non-scripta (Common Bluebell).jpg
カクタス Kakutasu Cactus Lust/Sex
File:Cactus flower closeup03.jpg
椿 Tsubaki Camellia (Red) In Love
File:Camellia japonica natural.jpg
椿 Tsubaki Camellia (Yellow) Longing
File:Camellia japonica Alba plena.jpg
椿 Tsubaki Camellia (White) Waiting
File:Camellia japonica 'Nobilissima'.jpg
カーネーション Kānēshon Carnation Disappointed
File:Gartennelke 1.jpg
Sakura Cherry Blossom Kind/Gentle
 黄菊 Kigiku Chrysanthemum (Yellow) Imperial
File:Zoo19feb (1).jpg
白菊 Shiragiku Chrysanthemum (White) Truth
(四つ葉の) クローバー (Yotsuba no) kurōbā Four-leaf clover Lucky
File:Four-leaf clover.jpg
水仙 Suisen Daffodil Respect
File:Daffodills (Narcissus) - 25.jpg
天竺牡丹 Tenjikubotan Dahlia Good taste
雛菊 Hinagiku Daisy Faith
File:Bellis perennis white (aka).jpg
エーデルワイス Ēderuwaisu Edelweiss Courage/Power
勿忘草 Wasurenagusa Forget-me-not True love
File:Forget-me-not closeup 2005 01.jpg
フリージア Furījia Freesia Childish/Immature
梔子 Kuchinashi Gardenia Secret love
ハイビースカス Haibīsukasu Hibiscus Gentle
忍冬 Suikazura Honeysuckle Generous
File:Lonicera ciliosa 10769.JPG
紫陽花 Ajisai Hydrangea Pride
File:Light mauve hydrangea.jpg
アイリス, 菖蒲 Ayame Iris Good News/Glad tidings
File:Iris sanguinea 2007-05-13 361.jpg
ジャスミン Jasumin Jasmine Friendly/Graceful
File:Jasminum polyanthum0.jpg
ラベンダー Rabendā Lavender Faithful
File:Single lavendar flower02.jpg
白百合 Shirayuri Lily (White) Purity/Chastity
File:Lilium candidum 1.jpg
小百合 Sayuri Lily (Orange) Hatred/Revenge
File:2000px lillium michiganese.jpg
百合 Yuri Lily of the Valley/Spider Lily Sweet
File:Convallaria majalis l.jpg
鬼百合 Oniyuri Tiger Lily Wealth
彼岸花 /
Higanbana /</br /> Manjushage Red Spider Lily Never to meet again/Lost memory/Abandonment
File:Red spider lily October 2007 Osaka Japan.jpg
蓮華 Renge Lotus Far from the one he loves/Purity/Chastity
File:Nelumbo nucifera1.jpg
マグノリア Magunoria Magnolia Natural
File:Magnolia wieseneri.jpg
ヤドリギ/ホーリー Yadorigi/Hōrii Mistletoe/Holly Looking (Single and "--")
File:English holly.jpg
朝顔 Asagao Morning Glory Willful promises
File:Morning Glory Flower.jpg
水仙 Suisen Narcissus Self-Esteem
File:Daffodills (Narcissus) - 25.jpg
パンジー Panjī Pansy Thoughtful/Caring
File:Viola (pansy) - 4.jpg
雛芥子 Hinageshi Poppy (Red) Fun-Loving
File:Corn Poppy (Papaver rhoeas).jpg
芥子(白) Keshi(Shiro) Poppy (White) Rejoice
File:Matilija poppy closeup.jpg
芥子(黄) Keshi(Ki) Poppy (Yellow) Success
File:Stylophorum diphyllum - woodland poppy - desc-flower open.jpg
桜草 Sakurasō Primrose Desperate
File:Floare galbena bgiu.jpg
紅薔薇 Benibara Rose (Red) Love/In love
File:Small Red Rose.JPG
薔薇 Bara Rose (White) Innocence/Silence/Devotion
黄色薔薇 Kiiroibara Rose (Yellow) Jealousy
桃色薔薇 Momoirobara Rose (Pink) Trust/Happiness/Confidence
File:Bridal pink - morwell rose garden.jpg
スイートピー Suītopī Sweet Pea Goodbye
File:Sweetpea closeup.jpeg
チューリップ Chūrippu Tulip (Red) Fame/Charity/Trust
File:Wild tulip in the steppe of Kazakhstan.jpg
チューリップ Chūrippu Tulip (Yellow) One-Sided Love
File:Fringed tulip.jpg
美女桜 Bijozakura Verbena Cooperative
File:Verbena Purple 1.JPG
バイオレット Baioretto Violet Honesty
File:5p pwy pansies.jpg
百日草 Hyakunichisou Zinnia Loyalty
 ?  ?  ?  ?  ?

Appearance of Hanakotoba in popular culture

  • Flower language is used in many movies and animation in Japan, such as Weiss Kreuz and Shuffle!.
  • Japanese musician Miyavi uses the lotus as his insignia sitting below the kanji for his name, which means elegance.
  • In the anime HeartCatch PreCure!, when Cure Blossom and Cure Marine rescue a person's Heart Flower, either Cure Blossom, her grandmother, or Chypre and Coffret, two mascots, will interpret that flower's language.

See also

External links


  1. Sugizo, Obata (2006-10-10). "Meaning of Japanese Flowers". Archived from the original on 2007-11-22. Retrieved 2007-05-12. The following is info about the Japanese flower language which is called hana kotoba. 

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