Forget-me-not (wasurenagusa)

***** Location: Japan, other areas
***** Season: Late spring
***** Category: plant


fortet-me-nots, wasurenagusa
勿忘草, わするな草(わするなぐさ)
.... miyontisu ミヨソティス
..... aimijin 藍微塵(あいみじん)

Myosotis family.

Many Japanese haiku make a reference to the German name and European origin of this plant. They were introduced to Japan in the Meiji period. Some are now wild in the forests of Japan. I tried to grow some in my garden here, but they did not survive the rainy season.

Gabi Greve


The Forget-me-nots are the genus Myosotis of flowering plants in the family Boraginaceae.

There are about 50 species in the genus, and among them there is considerable variation. Nevertheless a considerable number of the species fit the same description, of a small (1 cm diameter or less) rather flat 5-petalled blue flower growing profusely on straggly stems, flowering in spring. Colour variation is not unusual within species, and white or pink forms are quite likely to be seen. They are popular in gardens, and cultivated forms often show a mixture of colours. The forget me nots need shade, not sun.

Forget-me-nots can be annual or perennial plants. Their root systems are generally diffuse. Their seeds are found in small, tulip shaped pods along the stem to the flower. The pods attach to clothing when brushed against and eventually fall off, leaving the small seed within to germinate elsewhere. The seeds can be collected by putting a piece of paper under the stems and shaking them. The seed pods and some seeds will fall out.

They are widely distributed. Most Myosotis species are endemic to New Zealand, though one or two European species, especially the Wood Forget-me-not, Myosotis sylvatica have been introduced in most of the temperate regions of Europe, Asia and America. Myosotis scorpioides is also known as scorpion grass.

In the United States of America, the forget-me-not is the state flower of Alaska, precisely the Myosotis alpestris.


The name was borrowed from Old French "ne m'oubliez pas" and first used in English in c.1532. Loans and translations of it can be found in most European and some non-European languages, like German "Vergissmeinnicht", Italian "Nontiscordardimé", Polish "Niezapominajki", Danish "Forglem-mig-ej", Dutch "vergeet-mij-nietje", Spanish "nomeolvides", Russian "Незабудки", Lithuanian "Neužmirštuolės", Greek "Μη με λησμονείς" (also connected to the victims of Cyprus in 1974, when the Turks invaded the island), Esperanto "neforgesumino", Chinese "勿忘我" (Don't forget me), Korean "물망초" (勿忘草, mul mang cho), Japanese "勿忘草" (Wasurenagusa), Hebrew "זכריני" (Zichrini), Persian "فراموشم مکن" (farâmusham nakon) Swedish "Förgätmigej", etc.

In the 15th century Germany, it was supposed that the wearers of the flower would not be forgotten by their lovers.

Legend has it that in medieval times, a knight and his lady were walking along the side of a river. He picked a posy of flowers, but because of the weight of his armour he fell into the river. As he was drowning he threw the posy to his loved one and shouted "Forget-me-not". This is a flower connected with romance and tragic fate. It was often worn by ladies as a sign of faithfulness and enduring love.

It is also told in pious legend that the Christ Child was sitting on Mary's lap one day and said that he wished that future generations could see them. He touched her eyes and then waved his hand over the ground and blue forget-me-nots appeared, hence the name forget-me-not.

Read more : WIKIPEDIA

Worldwide use


An meine Mutter

Siehe, von allen den Liedern
nicht eines gilt dir, o Mutter,
dich zu preisen, o glaub's !
bin ich zu arm und zu reich.

Ein noch ungesungenes Lied,
ruhst du mir am Busen,
keinem vernehmbar sonst,
mich nur zu trösten bestimmt,

wenn sich das Herz unmutig
der Welt abwendet
und einsam seines himmlischen Teils
ewigen Frieden bedenkt.

Eduard Mörike (1804-1875)

To my mother

See, of all the songs
not one is adequate, o Mother,
To praise you, I think!
I am too poor and too rich.

A still unsung melody,
holds me to thy bosom,
nothing else can provide,
such comfort to me,

when this heart in pain
turns away from the world
and alone its heavenly part
considers eternal peace.

Eduard Mörike (1804-1875)

Look at a beatiful illustration HERE !

Ajimijin, the White Version



his last moments home -
the widow breaks a bowl
with forget-me-nots

Cristina-Monica Moldoveanu

This is about the funeral tradition to break a fragile glass or pottery object right before the coffin leaves home.

Things found on the way


memories linger
forget-me-nots for Robbie
thirty years passing

I live in Japan, but I am from Alaska. My brother died there in an accident about thirty years ago. His favorite flower was the forget-me-not which bloomed everywhere on Wrangell Island where we lived.
This poem is for him.

Kathy, Japan 2007

Thank you for sharing this with us, Kathy san!


a tall glass of iced tea
forget-me-not seeds stuck
to my pants legs

© Heather, Summer 2003


he died in battle
between pages of Manyoshu
dried forget-me-not

© Naomi Y. Brown


park bench
a wilted bouquet

© Edward
More in the Shiki archives.


she's kept for years...

hortensia anderson

Related words

***** Missing Children's Day International

***** ALASKA Saijiki

***** EUROPA Saijiki




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