US $270

Kiku – Chrysanthemums
Papers – Washi, Fabriano, Optix
Framed size 640 x 450 mm
What is it?
Chrysanthemums or “kiku” in Japan represent longevity and rejuvenation. The Chrysanthemum is considered the flower of autumn, as it starts blooming in September. In Japan each month and season has its representative flower, and people gather to admire them in gardens and parks.
Red chrysanthemums represent love and white chrysanthemums are used in funerals and on grave sites. White is the colour of mourning in Japan.
When the Chrysanthemum was first introduced to Japan during the Nara period (710 – 793 AC), the Japanese Royal Family was fascinated with it and used it on their official seal and on their throne.
Since that time, the term “chrysanthemum throne” refers both to the actual throne as well as the emperor himself. Thus, the chrysanthemum became a symbol of the emperor and imperial family.
In 1333 Emperor Go-Daigo tried to break the power of the shogunate and was exiled. He adopted the seventeen-petal chrysanthemum to differentiate himself from the Northern Court's Emperor Kōgon.
During the Meiji period, no one was permitted to use the Imperial Seal except the Emperor of Japan, who used a 16 petal chrysanthemum with sixteen tips of another row of petals showing behind the first row. The symbol is a yellow or orange chrysanthemum with black or red outlines and background.
It remains the symbol of the emperor today, called kikumon in contrast to the Paulownia Seal used by the Japanese government.
Fun Facts
  • They are used in coinage, on passports, and printed on fabrics.
  • There is even an award called the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum. It is the highest honor in the country. Only Japanese citizens are eligible for this prestigious award.

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