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Nanakusa

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  • Japanese: 七草 (nanagusa)

Nanagusa, or "seven grasses," are a group of seven herbs traditionally eaten on the seventh day of the New Year, as part of celebrations of spring. This Nanagusa no sekku ("Festival of Seven Grasses"), or Jinjitsu no sekku ("festival of person-day") was one of the gosekku, the classical Five Festivals of the year.

These "seven grasses of spring" were paired or contrasted against "seven grasses of autumn," a classical symbolic grouping of plants, named in a Man'yôshû poem by Yamanoue no Okura.

The seven are bush clover (hagi), kudzu (kuzu), Chinese silver grass (susuki), mistflowers (fujibakama), pinks (nadeshiko), morning glories (asagao), and courtesan flowers (ominaeshi).[1]

References

  • Gallery label, Freer Gallery of Art, "Gosekku: The Five Ancient Festivals of the Imperial Court," Ikeda Koson, set of five hanging scrolls, c. 1830, F1999.5.1a-f.
  1. Plaques in Imperial Eastern Gardens, Tokyo.[1]
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