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  Seven Flowers of Autumn Blog  
  In Japan, the phrase “aki no nanakusa (i.e., seven flowers of autumn)” refers to the flower species mentioned in the following 8th century poem written by Okura Yamanoue(憶良 山上).  
  Seven Flowers of Autumn Poem  
  This poem and the flowers it mentions are still popular in Japan today, with one change to the original set of seven flowers; namely, asagao (Japanese morning glory) is often replaced by kikyō (balloon flower). Whenever a Japanese artist has drawn an autumn scene (s)he typically included a subset of these flowers to indicate to the picture viewer that the season depicted is autumn. Two examples, chosen from the Reader Collection, are given below, followed by a close-up picture of each of the autumn flowers, also drawn by Japanese artists.   

Two examples of seven flower art

  Eight Autumn Flowers  

Additional Reading

Munroe, Alexandra. 1983. Autumn Grasses and Water Motifs in Japanese Art. Japan Society, Otsuka Kogei-sha, Japan.


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