Rape blossoms (na no hana)


Rapeseed flowers (na no hana, nanohana)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Late Spring, and see below
***** Category: Flower


The translation of this name is a bit difficult, since
rape - has another meaning altogether.

I prefere rapeseed.


rapeseed blossoms, rapeseed flower,
na no hana 菜の花

..... hana na 花菜(はなな). nanohana
rape seed blossoms, rapeseed flower,
natane no hana 菜種の花(なたねのはな)
..... natane na 菜種菜
abura na, aburana 油菜 "oil leaf"
mustard flowers, granola flowers (in Canada)

aburana あぶらな【油菜】 Turnip rape, Chinese colza
Brassica rapa L. var. nippo-oleifera, (syn. B. campestris L.)

. aburana 油菜(あぶらな) colza, Brassica campestris .
leafy vegetable for winter, kigo for winter, fuyuna 冬菜


nanohana choo ni kasu 菜の花蝶に化す
a rape blossom is reborn as a butterfly

菜花蝶に化す (なのはなてふにくわす)
The blossoms are compared to a butterfly, which flutters in the spring wind.

nanohana no ka shitaru choo ya Hooryuuji

rapeseed flowers reborn
to be butterflies -
temple Horyu-ji

Matsuse Seisei 松瀬青々

. Haiku and Temple Horyu-Ji  

. . . . .

© Photo Gabi Greve, April 2007

WASHOKU : Dishes using rapeseed blossoms


- quote -
Rapeseed (Brassica napus), also known as Rape, Oilseed Rape, Rapa, Rapaseed and (one particular variety) Canola, is a bright yellow flowering member of the family Brassicaceae (mustard or cabbage family). The name is derived through Old English from a term for turnip, rapum (see Brassica napobrassica, which may be considered a variety of Brassica napus). Some botanists include the closely related Brassica campestris within B. napus.

The rape plant, which grows to a height of 50 to 100 cm, flowers in spring with petals measuring about 1 cm. After blossoming, it bears slim fruit with bill-shaped projections. Once ripe, the fruits eject very small dark brown seeds, which are squeezed to produce rapeseed oil. The fatty acids extracted and refined from this oil contain high amounts of erucic acid.
© Wikipedia

aburana あぶらな【油菜】 Turnip rape, Chinese colza
Brassica rapa L. var. nippo-oleifera, (syn. B. campestris L.)

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

Ichimen no Na no Hana / Rapeseee Flowers Everywhere

”一面の菜の花”: いちめんのなのはな


nabatake ni hanamigao naru suzume kana

in a field of rapeseed
they enjoy the blossoms -
these sparrows

Written in 貞亨2年, Basho age 42
This hokku has the cut marker KANA at the end of line 3.

Nozarashi Kiko 野ざらし紀行
. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .


yamabuki no tsuyu na no hana no kakochigao naru ya

dew on the yellow mountain roses
the rapeseed flowers make a face
of envy !

Tr. Gabi Greve

Written in 延宝9年, Basho age 38
This hokku has the cut marker YA at the end of line 3, which is quite unusual.

The dew on yamabuki has been the subject of poetry since the Heian period. But nobody ever wrote about the dew on rapeseed flowers.
Just like people write poems about the lotus leaves, but not about the leaves of sweet potatoes.

. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .


yabu no na no damatte saite itari keri

rapeseed flowers
in the thicket, hushed
have bloomed

na no hana ya nishi e mukaeba zenkôji

flowering rapeseed --
and looking west
Zenko Temple

Issa (Tr. David Lanoue)


菜の花や 引残したる 窓の前
na no hana ya hikinokoshitaru mado no mae

Renshi 蓮之


. Yosa Buson 与謝蕪村 in Edo .

na no hana ya tsuki wa higashi ni hi wa nishini

rapeseed flowers -
the moon is in the east,
the sun in the west

(Tr. Gabi Greve)

・菜の花や 鯨もよらず 海暮れぬ
・菜の花を 墓に手向けん 金福寺 - Buson "菜の花" 与謝蕪村

mustard flowers
with the moon in the east
the sun in the west

Tr. Ueda Makoto
Further discussion of this haiku

But why did Buson choose this flower for his poem (it comes with a lovely haiga by Buson, I could not locate yet...)

In his homeland, rapeseed was grown everywhere to prepare supplies of rapeseed oil for the lamps of the growing town of Edo. So the farmers were producing the "light" that could turn the night of Edo into a day.
This is a kind of nioizuke 匂い付け, letting us smell something ...

At the same temple Buson wrote

na no hana ya maya o kudareba hi no kururu

rapeseed flowers -
walking down from Maya temple
it is getting dark

. Maya Temple Visit  

- - - - -

na no hana ya tsuki wa higashi ni hi wa nishi ni

mustard flowers
with the moon in the east
the sun in the west

Tr. Ueda

Part of Ueda's comment:
"The scene described here was probably observed around the tenth of the lunar second month, when the moon rises before sunset. Buson must have read one of T'ao Ch'ien's 'Miscellaneous Poems':

'The bright sun sinking on the western bank
and the pale moon rising above the eastern ridge,
the earth looms in the rays of light that spread far out
and reach all the corners of the spacious sky.'

. Tao Yuanming  陶淵明 Too Enmei, To Enmei .
Chinese poet 365~427


rapeseed blossoms
the earth filled
with sunshine

 © Gabi Greve / Spring in the Rice Fields 2007

Related words

***** natane maku 菜種蒔く (なたねまく) sowing rapeseed
kigo for late autumn


kigo for early summer

natane kari 菜種刈 (なたねかり)to harvest rapeseed leaves
..... natane karu 菜種刈る(なたねかる)
natane hosu 菜種干す(なたねほす)to dry rapeseed leaves
natane utsu 菜種打つ(なたねうつ)to thresh rapeseeds
nagara 菜殻(ながら)rapeseed husks (after taking the oil out)
..... natanegara 菜種殻(なたねがら)
natane taku 菜種焚く(なたねたく)burning the rapeseed husks
nagarabi 菜殻火(ながらび) fire for burning the rapeseed husks

After the rice planting, rapeseed is cut, dried and the oil pressed out.

observance kigo for early spring
. Kitano natane goku 北野菜種御供 (きたのなたねごく)
ritual for rapeseed blossoms .


***** . Takana 高菜 mustard greens .
Leaf mustard, Indian mustard, Rai, Brown mustard, wild mustard
Brassica juncea var. integlifolia

***** Flower, Cherry Blossom and Hana





Anonymous said...

a blue butterfly
over the rapeseed flowers -
some poppies

Gabi Greve said...

Yosa Buson

nanohana no kinaru mukashiwo aotakana

nanohana ya hiru hitoshikiri umi no oto

nanohana ya hôshi ga yado wa towade sugoshi

nanohana ya kujiramo yorazu umi kurenu

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

abura uri 油売り oil vendor
in Edo

The most common was rapeseed oil for lamps (tane abura 種油).

Gabi Greve said...

nanohana no naka ni fun hiru hikyaku kana

the fast messenger
shits in the middle
of a rapeseed field

夏目漱石 Natsume Soseki
MORE about the hikyaku messengers