my little back yard has raised bed planters. somewhere in (what is now) the jungle i planted an iris with a silver edge. possibly my favourite flower of all time.
in japanese tradition the iris – ayame, kakitsubata or hanashobu, depending on the variety – is associated with the spring, the warrior spirit, purification and protection in battle and from evil spirits abroad on the 5th day of the 5th month, known as boys’ day – tango no sekku (now children’s day – kodomo no hi).
in fabric design the iris is frequently shown in association with bridges, after a famous section of the c10th tales of ise. the hero travels far to yatsuhashi (“eight bridges”) and is so struck by the beauty of the iris that he composes a poem for his wife, left behind in kyoto. each line of the poem begins with one of the syllables of the flower name ka-ki-tsu-ha(ba)-ta. ever since, kakitsubata and zigzag wooden bridges have been linked as a motif in art and literature.
find out more: japanese iris
find out more: tango no sekku
drool a bit and add to your amazon wish list 😀 kimono and the colours of japan