Sunday, July 24, 2011

Hozuki Market


Hozuki is a plant with a fruit that resembles a lantern when it's ripe. In this photo it's still very green but in a couple of weeks it'll be a dark orange color.

It's used as a decoration during Obon, a Japanese Buddhist holiday, where people welcome the spirits of their ancestors back into their homes. The Hozuki represents the guiding light from the grave and back again when Obon is over.

At the Kagurazaka Festival they had a Hozuki market in a lot of the stalls. Many people bought the plants to take home and grow. Obon is in a couple of weeks and the plant will probably be ripe just in time for it.

Have you ever seen a Hozuki before?

19 comments:

  1. I never have Kaori, it certainly does have that lantern shape to it, will you be able to show us some photos when Obon starts or is it a private thing?

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  2. I would LOVE to share our Japanese Obon traditions...unfortunately I was raised a Christian and don't really celebrate Obon. It's not somber or anything though...almost like a big family reunion with the ancestors :-D

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  3. I love the symbolism of the Hozuki plant for your Obon holiday.

    I used to have this plant in my garden, Kaori. Had to take it out because it's a very invasive plant and it was taking over the whole garden. But it's perfect in a pot! :)

    Have a great day!

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  4. Wow, you had this in your garden? Did you eat the little fruit inside the "lantern?" I had no idea it was such a strong plant :-D

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  5. Beautiful and very strange!

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  6. I think I'd remember if I'd seen this Hozuki plant... so I haven't. Showed your photo to my honey who was raised in China and he does not recognize it either. It's very interesting looking... as you say, like lanterns!

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  7. What a great picture. Yes, I think this is a type of gooseberry. Now that I know the myth, I'm going to plant one.

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  8. This is new to me, it looks very interesting. I suspect my climate would be too dry to grow it.

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  9. sadly, not yet..
    but it's interesting.
    i wonder what it looks like once it blooms. ^0^

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  10. For a minute I thought you were going to say that it was edible. Pretty, pretty.

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  11. I had a friend whose nickname was Hozuki-chan because of her round face. But I have no idea why they called her that (ha ha).

    Talk about lanterns. And from that to this.

    Now where did I put my chopsticks? Maybe I’ll remember if I have a sip of this cocktail.

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  12. We see cuttings from this plant in the fall, because its orange lanterns fit with the orange, red, yellow and brown colors of autumn floral arrangements.

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  13. We didn't dare try the fruit. It was in the garden with other plants and our neighbors spray their lawns with nasty stuff... so, better not. :S

    Have a great evening, Kaori!

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  14. Kaori, thanks for posting this, because I had not seen Hozuki for a long time. Hozuki reminds me of the festivals and happy memories in my childhood. So nostalgic! I like her beautiful smile in your photo. Excellent shots.
    Have a great day!

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  15. Beautiful flowers. Love the color!

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  16. VP, it is strange looking. It's like a cover for the fruit inside :D

    Francisca, I thought it was from China. But if you and your love don't recognize it...then it must have not been so popular there! ;-D

    Karin, gooseberries! That's what the Hozuki reminded me of! Beware though, Ken tells us that it's an invasive plant! :D

    Al, you may be right. It's quite humid here :-)

    Arabesque, the lantern-like cover turnes a deep orange and when it's ripe it breaks open to show the fruit inside! You'll have to see it sometime :D

    Ciel, actually I've heard that some types of Hozuki are edible. Just not the cover part but the small fruit inside ;D

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  17. Tall Gary, I'm not sure being called Hozuki would be flattering or not! :D

    Jack, oh you're right! I would really go well as a fall color! That's interesting that some people actually do recognize this plant ;D

    Ken, yeah...I wouldn't be brave enough to eat it with neighbors like yours either! hehe ;-D

    Snowwhite, thanks for the lovely comment! I just learned about the Hozuki recently. I love all the traditions behind the plant :D

    Halcyon, thank you! It's sort of in the middle of changing into a darker orange :D

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  18. I have never seen a Hozuki before. I bet my dad would know what that is since he spent a year in Okinawa learning about agriculture. I would tell you to send me one..but that probably wouldn't work. haha.

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  19. I can imagine that the plant will be very pretty when the fruits turn orange.

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Thank you so much! Love it when you comment! xx