Wednesday, June 19, 2013

<あじさい Ajisai, Hydrangea >


Last time, Our teacher Yada-sensei wrote about Kamakura.
Kamakura is famous  for  Ajisai (Hydrangea).
This time, Our teacher Murasaki-sensei wrote about Ajisai (Hydrangea).
We offer not only business Japanese course but also daily Japanese course in Tokyo and Yokohama area.

Please enjoy our article;


<あじさい Ajisai,  Hydrangea

 梅雨ですね。「梅雨」という言葉は、日本の雨の季節にだけ使います。意味は梅(plum-blossom)の 雨(rain)です。

他の国のrainy seasonは、雨季(うき)と書きます。
It's June, the rainy season. We call the rainy season “tsuyu” in Japanese.  This means “the plum-blossom rain”.

The other countries’ rainy season is called “uki”



Tsuyu is not so comfortable to be in because it is very humid, but, we can still enjoy beautiful flowers such as Ajisai, hydrangea.

Perhapes you have seen them. It look like this;








Ajisai comes in two colors, blue and pink. Actually, the both color are the same species.

It is depends on the nature of the soil. Isn’t it interesting?

When the soil is acid, the flowers are blue, when the soil is alkaline, they are pink.

Even in one the same tree, flowers of both color can grow.
The flower's color depends on what kind of soil under them.
あじさいは、実は日本が原産(げんさん=native, original)です。



こんな花です。 見たことがありますか?

Interestingly, hydrangea came from Japan originally.
I heard its Latin name is “japonica” plus somewords.

However, old original hydrangea is different species. You still see a lot of places with old hydrangea flowers. Its name is “gaku ajisai”. It looks like this;

その花を江戸時代にヨーロッパ人がヨーロッパに持って行って、品種改良(ひんしゅかいりょう= improvement of a species )して、今のきれいな形になりました。


A European brought that original flower to Europe and they improved of the species to modern beautiful species, which you see everywhere today.

That person was none other than Siebold, the eminent scholar in Japanese studies.
あじさいは、今はとても人気がありますが、品種改良される前の江戸時代は、あまり人気がありませんでした。青い色が、幽霊(ゆうれい=ghost)を連想(れんそう=associate, remind)させたからです。


Ajisai is very popular these days, but, it was not popular in the Edo period (1603-1867). This is because its blue color was associated with ghosts.
There's an interesting fact about Ajisai. The calyx ( the part of the flower that usually cradles the petals) folews, while the real petals are tiny and don't look like folews.
あじさいの豆知識(まめちしき= trivia)でした。
Now you know everything you need to know about hydraingea.

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