Miyakowasure (Gymnaster savatieri) Flowers

Spring in Japan starts with cherry blossoms, followed by peonies, azaleas, wisterias, and irises. Now that all representative beauties are gone, I saw Miyakowasure (都忘れ, Miyako=Kyoto, wasure=forget) flowers at Shinnyodoh (真如堂) temple and they were very beautiful.

Though the flower is not so eye-catching that you could easily pass by without noticing, its pale purple color is very pretty and elegant. The name Miyakowasure originates from the story of the emperor Jyuntoku (順徳天皇) in the Kamakura (鎌倉) period. As the emperor was beaten in the Jōkyū War (承久の乱) and was exiled to the Saso (佐渡) island, the emperor loved this flower blooming in the island. It was because he loved Kyoto too much and hoped to forget about his beloved capital by the beauty of this flower, even temporarily. He found a consolation in it, and eventually the story gave this flower this impressive name, which means "For the sake of forgetting Kyoto" in Japanese.

Akane Kibune

Kyoto Certificate 1st Grade


8 mins. on foot from Kinrinsyako ot Shinnyodohmae, Kyoto city bus.




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