Winter peony flowers(寒牡丹)

Have you ever seen winter peony flowers (寒牡丹 kanbotan) in Japan?

There is a place to see the flowers in Ueno park and it’s called Botan-en(牡丹苑).

Botan(牡丹) is peony flowers and En(苑) is a garden in English, so Botan-en(牡丹苑) means a peony garden.

It is open in spring and winter, but if you want to see the winter peony flowers please visit there from January to the end of February. This place was opened in 1980 to memorialize Japan-China friendship and now there are many kinds of the flowers from China, America, France and so on.


The flowers have straw umbrellas in order to avoid snow covering flowers. It looks beautiful and brave. Also it teaches us patience by standing straight on the ground and keep the beauty  freezing cold outside.

There are some wooden boards beside flowers and poems related with the flowers were written on the boards. We can enjoy seeing both the flowers and the poems at the same time.


This is the Japanese apricot trees blooming flowers and a bird is visiting the flowers for nectar. The place has some other flowers for winter like the Japanese apricot or daffodils.


Flowers are beautiful and give us feelings of the seasons. These flowers and birds tell us the coming of winter.

If you have a chance to visit Ueno, please try to see these flowers!

Hieroglyphics of Chinese characters

Are you interested in the history of Japanese language?

In the 7th-8th century Japan had only Kanji and at that time sentences were lined as Chinese. What is the roots of Kanji?

t02200234_0370039412138537248The roots of Kanji is these pictorial symbols to represent objects or meanings. Kanji is based on shape of objects like hieroglyphs of Egypt. This is called shoukei moji in Japanese.

Also Kanji has some kind of roots in addition to above.

t02200174_0356028212138537249This is called shijimoji which means the words to instruct. Shijimoji originally expressed abstruct meanings by illustrarions.

t02200145_0321021212138537247 This is called kaiimoji which puts two words together to produce another meaning.

Though Kanji is daily used in China, Japan, Singapore and Korea (Korea abolished the use of Kanji in 1970’s but still some people can read ), but pronunciation is different in each area. That’s why even if Japanese people can understand what Chinese are written about by reading Kanji we can’t speak Chinese at all and vise versa.

If you want to know more about Kanji, please try to read books on Kanji!