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VOX POPULI: Autumn revives Japan’s ‘love affair’ with ‘hagi’ bush clover

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Standing tall and proud, "higanbana" (red spider lilies) look as if they expect us to admire their graceful posture, while I can imagine "kinmokusei" (fragrant olive flowers) inviting us to enjoy their perfume.

But the flowers of "hagi" (Japanese bush clover) do neither. They quietly announce the arrival of autumn with modesty.

Back in the Nara Period (710-784), however, people apparently could not take their eyes off them.

The most written-about plant in "Manyoshu" (Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves), the hagi was the subject of more than 140 poems in this oldest extant collection of Japanese verse compiled in late Nara Period.

An ebullient........

© The Asahi Shimbun

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