- 1 Seasonal Use, Exceptions & Pairings
- 2 Motif Examples
- 3 Motif in Literature & Other Usage
- 4 Article Notes
- 5 References
|English||Japanese Morning Glory|
Asagao (English: Japanese morning glory, botanical: Ipomoea nil) is a climbing plant from Convolvulaceae family, with trumpet shaped flowers. It is one of the most popular summer plants in Japan, very often depicted in yukata and other summer wafuku items. The pattern is also known as kengoshi, which usually means the medicinal asagao seeds but can refer to the plant itself.
Seasonal Use, Exceptions & Pairings
Motif Connotations & Symbolism
According to Yumioka Katsumi, asagao symbolises summer especially in Edo. It was a favorite flower among commoners and was extremely popular in the Bunka era. Asagao blooms splendidly, everywhere at once, but only for a short while.
Common Motif Pairings
Identification & Style Variations
Asagao has trumpet-like, often pink or blue flowers. It has five petals, which create a five-pointed star form inside the flower. This star is a key feature in identifying asagao. It's usually white, but especially in stylised patterns, can be of other colours as well. Unblooming buds are tightly shut, with swirling lines denoting the future trumper-shape. It is a slender climber and the leaves are three-fingeres, shape varying. Asagao flowers are usually seen with the leaves, although they may appear alone.
Asagao in its simplest form is a circle with a thin five-point star inside.
|NOTE: See more relevant images in our corresponding gallery.|
Handkerchief with more realistic asagao. Copyright Chrissy Yenowine
Asagao on uchiwa, a very typical summer item.
Glass obidome with embossed asagao.
Motif in Literature & Other Usage
Asagao is the title of Chapter 20 in the Tale of Genji, after the eponymous princess Genji tries to woo in it.
Chiyo (福田 千代尼):
|朝顔に||asagao ni||The morning glory|
|釣瓶とられて||tsurube torarete||the well-bucket entangled|
|貰い水||morai mizu||I go ask the neighbor for water|
|あさがほに||asagao ni||by the morning-glories|
|我は飯くふ||ware wa meshi kuu||I am this rice-eating|
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Authors & Contributors