The three taboos to give a flower to Japanese

crop woman with hand behind back

Hello! We are already in the Christmas season. Now Japanese couples go to the city to buy gifts for their boyfriend or girlfriend. By the way, giving presents to foreigners is a very difficult subject, isn’t it? I failed once when I was in Spain.

The Castera Trap

One day my Spanish friend invited me to his house for dinner, and I thought I should prepare a gift. At this point I had a very good idea.


This idea was Castera.

Castera is a sweet that came from Spain in the 16th century (The origin of the name Castera is Castile). It has a very expensive image, and we bring it when someone invites us to dinner or a party. In fact when my relatives took it to come to my house, I was very happy, so I bought it in Japan and went to Spain.

So now let’s see the world of my imagination when I arrived in front of the door.

cheerful black father with red box
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My imagination: ”Oh what a good gift! Why do you know Castera? Hey, this Asian guy knows Castera!

I imagined that I would have been the hero of the party as a cool asian. But the real reaction was this.

young annoyed female freelancer using laptop at home
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Eh…Have you brought the Biscocho? Oh… oh… Thanks…

I quickly noticed that I missed something. Yes, in Spain Castera looks like “Biscocho” that is very cheap cake(1 dollar). But I treated this as a very important gift, so it was very surreal.

His mother was looking at me looking like that she wanted to say “Oh this Asian doesn’t have enough money”, and besides after entering his house a person asked me “You came to Spain for getting a visa, right? because Asia isn’t so rich” with a curious face. Because of my gift mistake I died from a lot of embarrassment. But this mistake did not happen only for me. It’s possible that you make the mistake of this type. In fact, I know a story that is a little bit embarrassing.

The Date with Death

Japanese women who go on a date with Westerners say they were happy when the men gave the flowers. In reality there is a stereotype that Westerners are romantic, and this symbol is giving the flowers. However, a Frenchman was wrong to give this flower as a gift to the Japanese girl. Look;

「菊」の花言葉の意味、似た意味の花言葉を持つ花を徹底解説! | 「言葉の手帳」様々なジャンルの言葉や用語の意味や使い方、類義語や例文まで徹底解説します。』より引用

Oh… it’s not good

This flower is used for the funeral. Maybe this Frenchman chose them because they were pretty, but if you give them to a Japanese girl, she feels that way;

female florists making basket of flowers
Photo by Amina Filkins on

“Ah now I am preparing your funeral! “

Well, this is a bit of an exaggerated joke, maybe she feels she didn’t want to take them home because she remembers the funeral. So you don’t want to make like this mistake, right? Today I’ll explain the 3 plants that you shouldn’t give away on a date.

1. The Chrysanthemum

Now I have explained the case of that Frenchman, the flower he gave away, chrysanthemum, has no romantic image, on the contrary we imagine the funeral. That’s why you shouldn’t choose for a gift.

However, this flower did not originally have a bad image, but a prestigious flower. For example, the symbol on the top photo is the imperial family crest. And in the Japanese passport a chrysanthemum stamp is carved. It is not suitable for a gift but for gardening it is a very elegant hobby.

Florists use the chrysanthemum to decorate traditional hotels, it gives the prestigious image. That is why using it with other flowers is not bad, but avoid the chrysanthemum bouquet. It is the appointment with Death.

2.Higanbana (Lycoris radiata)

Ah, what fear! This is the flower of hell!

The chrysanthemum has the image of a funeral, but it is also prestigious. This flower, Higanbana looks like a flower that blooms in hell. Look at this red as the blood of sins in hell!


The reason we are afraid of this flower is because it blooms in the cemetery. To tell the truth the Higanbana root has very strong poison and moles cannot go near the place where this flower is. That’s why the Japanese who didn’t want the moles to dig the soil in the cemetery planted it. I heard that they eat it in some village after removing this poison but I’m afraid to eat the hell flower.

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In this Anime, the protagonists of orphans born on Mars colonized by the countries of Earth started a private military enterprise, and went to get into the movement for the independence of Mars. They have a dream that they want to earn money to live surely, but their future seemed very dark from the musical theme because there was Higanbana. This scene means that the future of death awaited the protagonists. The Japanese can notice this meaning very easily. Really the culture of the flower is very deep.

The potted plant

Well, I understand that not many people give away a potted plant.

crop women with potted cactus
Photo by Sam Lion on

“Thank you for coming with me! I give you this cactus.”

Hmm I can’t imagine this scene. But imagine if you are already the boyfriend of a Japanese girl and you go to the hospital to visit her sick relative. What you give a potted plant is not right.

It is that this plant has roots. The root reminds us of what we live in a place. But the hospital is not a place that should be for a long time, so you shouldn’t give a gift that gives this image.

When you are going to bring a flower to the hospital, choose the plant without a root.

When we have illness, we are very weak mentally. You should not give a shock for your gift.

If you worry too much, ask the florists.

Today I have explained three plants that you should not give to Japanese girls on a date – congratulations! There is no longer any risk of error when you are going to give the flowers to women. But if you still care a lot about this subject, ask the florists. Professionals know everything.

What flower do you usually choose to give?

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