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What does it mean exactly when it says the Hanakotoba in japan is mainly a lost art?

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So I've been doing research on the Hanakotoba or language of flowers in japan and articles have told me its losing popularity/ a lost art used now. I was wondering, what is meant by this exactly? Does it mean flowers don't have meanings in japan or the idea of flowers having meaning isn't widespread? I ask cuz it seems that cherry blossoms have symbolism and I know red carnations are given on mothers day, which shows flowers have meaning. Or does it mean the traditional/native meaning of flowers is not common?
 

bentenmusume

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It's kind of the same in Western culture, isn't it? I mean, certain flowers still carry symbolic meaning, some more commonly known than others, but the average person nowadays is not aware or well-versed in the full range of meanings that each and every flower might have in the way that Shakespeare or someone living in Victorian England during the 19th century would be.

The same goes in Japan. Flowers can still have meaning, of course, but the symbolism of each and every flower is not an integral part of the average person's daily life and knowledge base the way it would have been for, say, a court poet back in medieval times.
 
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It's kind of the same in Western culture, isn't it? I mean, certain flowers still carry symbolic meaning, some more commonly known than others, but the average person nowadays is not aware or well-versed in the full range of meanings that each and every flower might have in the way that Shakespeare or someone living in Victorian England during the 19th century would be.

The same goes in Japan. Flowers can still have meaning, of course, but the symbolism of each and every flower is not an integral part of the average person's daily life and knowledge base the way it would have been for, say, a court poet back in medieval times.
A few things:
So what you're saying is, there is general/mainstream knowledge on what flowers mean like well known ones such as roses= romance but not for like each and every one. Like people in general know about the more mainstream ones but not for every little one?
 

Toritoribe

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"Symbolic meaning" and hanakotoba are different. 菊 Chrysanthemum reminds people of an image of funeral ceremonies, but I don't know hanakotoba of it. I don't know hanakotoba of cherry blossoms, red carnation or white lily, either. People in general only know just a few hanakotoba, I believe.
 
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"Symbolic meaning" and hanakotoba are different. 菊 Chrysanthemum reminds people of an image of funeral ceremonies, but I don't know hanakotoba of it. I don't know hanakotoba of cherry blossoms, red carnation or white lily, either. People in general only know just a few hanakotoba, I believe.
What do you mean symbolic meaning is different? I was wondering, in these articles,I notice they use hanakotoba
But I was wondering, curious, are they talking about hanakotoba the specific practice or flower symbolism in general/itself if that makes sense
 
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Toritoribe

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As I wrote, chrysanthemum has an image of funeral ceremonies (or Imperial families), but I don't know hanakotoba of it. The most common image of cherry blossoms is spring, graduation ceremonies, entrance ceremonies or like that, but I don't think these are hanakotoba of cherry blossoms. Red carnation is strongly related to Mother's day, but it wouldn't be hanakotoba of this flower, either.

White lily might be a symbol of 純潔 for the founder(s) of a girls' school 白百合学園, but you need to keep in mind that 百合 also represents lesbianism especially in some Japanese sub-culture.
 
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As I wrote, chrysanthemum has an image of funeral ceremonies (or Imperial families), but I don't know hanakotoba of it. The most common image of cherry blossoms is spring, graduation ceremonies, entrance ceremonies or like that, but I don't think these are hanakotoba of cherry blossoms. Red carnation is strongly related to Mother's day, but it wouldn't be hanakotoba of this flower, either.

White lily might be a symbol of 純潔 for the founder(s) of a girls' school 白百合学園, but you need to keep in mind that 百合 also represents lesbianism especially in some Japanese sub-culture.
A few things.
1. Where the articles talking about the Hanakotoba spefically of the white lily or just the image?

2. As I asked before, someone who lived in japan told me that lilies are associated with purity(not chastity, just purity in general, and that is relatively well known, not obscure again, like roses = romance. Is that right?

3. I'm aware of the lily being used for lesbianism, but its not mainstream/widely known and is obscure.
 

bentenmusume

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Just commenting on this:
I'm aware of the lily being used for lesbianism, but its not mainstream/widely known and is obscure.

Given that it (百合) is the name of a comic/fiction genre, that related content is among the first hits that comes up when you google 百合, and the fact there are Wikipedia entries several thousand words in length on it in both Japanese and English, I'd argue that it's not nearly as "obscure" or non-mainstream as you seem to be suggesting.
 
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Just commenting on this:


Given that it (百合) is the name of a comic/fiction genre, that related content is among the first hits that comes up when you google 百合, and the fact there are Wikipedia entries several thousand words in length on it in both Japanese and English, I'd argue that it's not nearly as "obscure" or non-mainstream as you seem to be suggesting.
Really, when I google it, I get the flower mainly.
Yes, I know its a genre and all but let me elaborate. I was told by someone whose LBGT/take parts in the culture and live in japan and those who study the genre that its niche. Like I was told that its not mainstream and most people won't make that association in japan. Same goes with Bara. I'm not saying its like non-existent, but it's still not mainstream.

Sorry, don't want to offend.
 
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Toritoribe

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当初は、女性同性愛を意味する隠語であったが、1983年にレズ(レズビアン)作品である日活ロマンポルノ映画『セーラー服 百合族』(現在は『制服 百合族』に改題)が人気を得たことにより、百合は隠語ではなく、女性同性愛を意味する言葉になったという。ただし、現在の意味で普及したのは2000年代前半くらいから。『マリア様がみてる』ブーム、百合ブーム[注 4]があり百合という言葉が使われるようになった。性的指向を率直に表す「レズ」という言葉に比べ、「百合」は軽めの女性同性愛を意味する言葉として定着していった。しかし時には、官能的な女性同性愛のことも百合と称される場合がある。

It's your choice after all, which you believe, someone's words whom you wouldn't actually know, or description in wikipedia, which has sources and people can correct it if it's wrong. I bet this meaning of 百合 is more widely known than hanakotoba of it. If you mean "most people know it" by mainstream, hanakotoba of 百合, i.e., 純潔 is not mainstream, either.
 
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当初は、女性同性愛を意味する隠語であったが、1983年にレズ(レズビアン)作品である日活ロマンポルノ映画『セーラー服 百合族』(現在は『制服 百合族』に改題)が人気を得たことにより、百合は隠語ではなく、女性同性愛を意味する言葉になったという。ただし、現在の意味で普及したのは2000年代前半くらいから。『マリア様がみてる』ブーム、百合ブーム[注 4]があり百合という言葉が使われるようになった。性的指向を率直に表す「レズ」という言葉に比べ、「百合」は軽めの女性同性愛を意味する言葉として定着していった。しかし時には、官能的な女性同性愛のことも百合と称される場合がある。

It's your choice after all, which you believe, someone's words whom you wouldn't actually know, or description in wikipedia, which has sources and people can correct it if it's wrong. I bet this meaning of 百合 is more widely known than hanakotoba of it. If you mean "most people know it" by mainstream, hanakotoba of 百合, i.e., 純潔 is not mainstream, either.
Sorry, my word choice was not clear on the yuri subject. I'll just ask one last thing. To clarify, I wasn't really asking about the hanakotoba of white lilies/lily meaning purity, more like the symbolism/general meaning. I was told that lilies = purity not as hanakotoba but a more common meaning, like roses = red is relatively well known/not obscure and those who have little knowledge of flowers will know it. Is that more accurate than saying that the hanakotoba is mainstream.

And again , are these articles referring to hanakotoba or just symbolism in general
 

bentenmusume

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One thing that I can say for certain is that you are more obsessed with this topic than 99% of Japanese people, or people in general.

You are single-mindedly looking for absolute, authoritative answers to questions that don't have them, because what a flower means to a person will depend in part on how much that person thinks about these things, and very, very few people in the modern world (in Japan and otherwise) spend as much time and effort thinking about the meaning of flowers as you clearly do.
OlympusRoyalMon said:
roses = red is relatively well known/not obscure and those who have little knowledge of flowers will know it
Well, of course that's not obscure because red is literally the color of a rose and anyone who's seen a rose will know what color they are.
 
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One thing that I can say for certain is that you are more obsessed with this topic than 99% of Japanese people, or people in general.

You are single-mindedly looking for absolute, authoritative answers to questions that don't have them, because what a flower means to a person will depend in part on how much that person thinks about these things, and very, very few people in the modern world (in Japan and otherwise) spend as much time and effort thinking about the meaning of flowers as you clearly do.

Well, of course that's not obscure because red is literally the color of a rose and anyone who's seen a rose will know what color they are.
Sorry, roses = romance, typo
 

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Sorry, my word choice was not clear on the yuri subject. I'll just ask one last thing. To clarify, I wasn't really asking about the hanakotoba of white lilies/lily meaning purity, more like the symbolism/general meaning. I was told that lilies = purity not as hanakotoba but a more common meaning, like roses = red is relatively well known/not obscure and those who have little knowledge of flowers will know it. Is that more accurate than saying that the hanakotoba is mainstream.
I don't have such an image about white lily. I asked my wife, and she doesn't, either. My mother said that it has an image of funeral ceremonies.

are these articles referring to hanakotoba or just symbolism in general
Those sites are mostly talking about hanakotoba.
 
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I don't have such an image about white lily. I asked my wife, and she doesn't, either. My mother said that it has an image of funeral ceremonies.


Those sites are mostly talking about hanakotoba.
Ok, well just some other things

1. So does what this person told me about lilies = purity inaccurate/wrong then? I mean, they live in japan well and did research on flowers and said it is not obscure/relatively well known as they live amongt japanese people. Would you call them incorrect them or for your situation as you mentioned, it is your personal experience

2. What do you mean by mostly? Do they mention general meaning? If so what was it
 

Toritoribe

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1)
I was born, raised, and is living in Japan. I would say it's their personal experience if what I wrote is my personal experience.

2)
What you are asking is a hard work. You can get the gist of it by yourself with Google Translate or something.
 
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I was born, raised, and is living in Japan. I would say it's their personal experience if what I wrote is my personal experience.

2)
What you are asking is a hard work. You can get the gist of it by yourself with Google Translate or something.


Ok, sorry, won't ask for translations. I'll ask this once more. When you said Hanakotoba of white lily isn't mainstream, I was wondering, was this based on your personal experience, like say people haven't recognized this or was it a guess as I mentioned before, the person told me it's not obscure
 

Toritoribe

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The latest bentenmusume-san's post can't be the answer? People in general don't think about/care about such a thing like you. Period.
 
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The latest bentenmusume-san's post can't be the answer? People in general don't think about/care about such a thing like you. Period.
Is it the same as white lilies = funeral that people do not care for that as well.

As well any reason why you think the association with lesbian romance would be more known than purity. From experience or just a guess
 

bentenmusume

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Good heavens. Why on earth are you so obsessed with this topic?

How hard is it to understand that certain flowers may symbolize certain things, but the degree to which individual people are aware of or concerned about these associations will depend on their personal experience and interest level, and that many, many people simply don't give much thought to the meaning of flowers.

People who are familiar with "yuri" as a genre (even if they are not particularly interested in it) will know what it refers to regardless of whether or not they care in general about the meaning of various flowers, which⁠—again⁠—the overwhelming majority of people these days do not.
 

Toritoribe

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Is it the same as white lilies = funeral that people do not care for that as well.

As well any reason why you think the association with lesbian romance would be more known than purity. From experience or just a guess
やれやれ、堂々巡り。。。

Then, believe what you want to believe. There is nothing I can do for you anymore. Period.
 
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やれやれ、堂々巡り。。。

Then, believe what you want to believe. There is nothing I can do for you anymore. Period.
Ok, you know what, I'm sorry for asking so much. I am overthinking things, which is a bad habit of mine I really have. I apologize for troubled you. I didn't want to assume anything. I was asking as I was doing readings on the yuri meaning and got carried away as I was confused. The last thing I want to ask is there any particular reason why you think the genre is more known than the purity thing. I won't ask anymore, sorry for all this
 

bentenmusume

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OlympusRoyalMon said:
The last thing I want to ask is there any particular reason why you think the genre is more known than the purity thing.
Toritoribeさん and I have both already given reasons why we think this. To rephrase what has already been said, the simplest reason for this is that, in general, genres of fiction and subculture are more a part of modern people's daily lives than the idea of using a flower to represent "purity".

Since we have been so patient in answering your questions over and over, perhaps you return the favor and answer one of mine: why does all this matter? Why is it so vitally important for you to know which of these interpretations is more "mainstream"? Is it not enough to know that a flower might symbolize something, but that meaning/interpretation might not be familiar to many people, especially those who aren't as obsessed with flowers as you are? What are you looking to get out of all of this?

This goes for the questions you asked me via private message as well. You don't have to apologize, but it is incredibly frustrating to be asked variations on the same questions over and over again. Perhaps if you could explain why you are asking these things it would be easier to answer.
 
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Toritoribeさん and I have both already given reasons why we think this. To rephrase what has already been said, the simplest reason for this is that, in general, genres of fiction and subculture are more a part of modern people's daily lives than the idea of using a flower to represent "purity".

Since we have been so patient in answering your questions over and over, perhaps you return the favor and answer one of mine: why does all this matter? Why is it so vitally important for you to know which of these interpretations is more "mainstream"? Is it not enough to know that a flower might symbolize something, but that meaning/interpretation might not be familiar to many people, especially those who aren't as obsessed with flowers as you are? What are you looking to get out of all of this?

This goes for the questions you asked me via private message as well. You don't have to apologize, but it is incredibly frustrating to be asked variations on the same questions over and over again. Perhaps if you could explain why you are asking these things it would be easier to answer.
Its more of me overthinking as I have a huge issue with this overall
Second, I was doing research on ikebana
 
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bentenmusume

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I agree that you have an issue with overthinking things.

Why is it important for you to know _precisely_ how well-known or "mainstream" each bit of flower or animal symbolism is relative to each other?

There is no definite answer to this question. Is it not enough to simply Google this stuff and get a general sense of things?
 
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