- The beloved flower of summer, the Morning Glory
- Beauty in the morning
- Let’s take a look at a traditionally planted Asagao!
- You can even buy one!
The beloved flower of summer, the Morning Glory
What kind of flowers bloom in your country during the summer? Japan is now in the middle of its summer and the beautiful morning glory blooms early in the morning. If you visit during this time, you’ll see these round colorful flowers just about everywhere and can be found at places like schools and the on the verandas of old houses. It’s called “Asagao” in Japan and is said to be brought over by diplomats from China during the Nara period (710 to 794). The flower was originally used as medicine by noblemen, but due to its popularity during the Edo period, people began breeding them in high quantities.
Beauty in the morning
The potted morning glory is familiar among people in Japan.
The main way to plant Asagao is called “Andon-style” and its purpose is to get more sunshine by controlling the number of vines. By doing so, photosynthesis of the flower is fostered, providing nutrients resulting in a large flower. Asagao means ‘beauty in the morning’. Its a metaphor for a beautiful girl’s face, which might become less attractive in the afternoon. I think it captures the characteristics of Asagao well.
Let’s take a look at a traditionally planted Asagao!
In the Japanese gardens of Osaka (Sakai), traditional methods of planting Asagao have been passed down from the Edo period. In the time leading up to early August, you can see the large Andon-style Asagao. Bred Asagao can be seen from August 25th to early September. Check out rare Asagao at Daisen Koen Park’s, Japanese garden.
You can even buy one!
It seems difficult to grow Asagao Andon-style, but you can actually just buy one at the Asagao-ichi market! You can also find them at various markets around Japan.
Daisen Nakamachi, Sakai Ward, Sakai, Osaka Prefecture