Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Meaning of My Daughters' Names

   Flowers have special meaning in Japan. Be careful what you give your girlfriend. Flowers are also a part of my daughters’ names. My older daughter is Hana(花菜) The first character “花” means flower and the second character “菜” means plant or leaf and is used in the word for vegetable. But if you reverse the characters it can be read nanohana(菜の花). This is the rapeseed blossom, a beautiful yellow flower that is cultivated in Japan to make cooking oil and is the same as in Canola oil.

My younger daughter is Rika(梨花), which means “pear flower”. Tottori prefecture, where we live, is known for its big, delicious pears. Pear blossoms are a pleasant sight in spring and are a nice contrast to the more famous pink cherry blossoms. Everyday when I come home, I can see the smiling faces of my two beautiful flowers.

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