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September 08, 2011


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Interesting blog. I came here through a link on Salon. You know of course that now September ninth is National Emergency Preparedness day and was chosen because the pronunciation KYU, KYU (きゅう、きゅう) means both 9-9 and urgent (急). Quite a change from the charms of the patient chrysanthemums. It is also, by coincidence, my wedding anniversary.

Hi Kelly! Thanks very much for stopping by-- and happy anniversary! There are so many books about the old calendar ("koyomi")-- It's funny, because I almost didn't post this as I thought, "who would be interested?" But in fact, I guess the calendar remains a fascinating topic to many people! I linked to my favorite book on the kyomi above and really recommend it.

Thanks again for your comment.

At one point I always had chrysanthemums in my garden, not for the flowers as much as the pungent fragrance of the foliage. One doesn't seem to find this in the florists varieties but in the garden…
I can certainly see why they would be considered medicinal.

Glad you decided to post this. I find all your posts interesting. (Even the Heidegger!) First you provide us with unusual factual information (at least to a western reader like myself) then you then place it in a highly personal context. Here is what history says about chrysanthemums; this is why I find it interesting.
Thanks for another lovely post.

I am so pleased you commented MW, because when I was debating whether to post this one or not, I decided to post because I thought **you** might like it!

(And, I promise, no more Heidegger for awhile...)

Have a great evening.

Thank you for this post. I am doing research for a book and have looked everywhere for information in the Chrysanthemum festival--you are the first to relay real information, so thank you very much! Cheers, SM

Suggested reading: "The Chrysanthemum Vow," Ugetsu Monogatari.

I learn so much from your posts. They're small, well written, bite-sized history lessons. And always interesting. I'm curious about the chrysanthemum flavored wines. Would they be plum wines? I wonder what the effect would be in, say, a Pinot Noir? Has anyone ever tried that? Wonder if the old saying "dressed to the nines" has something to do with chrysanthemums?

Thanks Sterling!!! chrysanthemum wine is not actually made from chrysanthemum but rather has floating chrysanthemum flowers in the wine and is imbibed for good luck! Did you know in the Heian period, women on the Double Nines would leave pieces of silk over the flowers and let the dew collect over night and then in the morning would place the dew-drenched silk on their faces as a beauty treatment-- beauty and longevity!!!
And my favorite wine is homemade plume wine (umeshu)..... I love it warm!

Thank you so much for this !

When I was a kid, my aunt (an avid gardener) used to call these plants 'Octobers'. Have you ever heard of this before? We had them all over our property line (along a fence) when I was a little girl & every autum had bouquets of Octobers all around the house.

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