2/22/2005

Buddha's Seat - nettles

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Buddha's Seat (hotoke no za 仏の座)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: New Year
***** Category: Plant


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Explanation

This is a confusing name, since it is used for two completely different flowers.

Many Buddha statues show the statue seated or standing on a lotus seat (rengeza 蓮華座).



This photo is from a great Japanese page about the classificatin of Buddha Statues.
http://www.geocities.jp/butsuzo1220/buddha/html/bkihon.html

The translation "Buddha's cushion" does not seem correct, since he never sits on a cushion.


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Now let us look at the plants with that name.
First the one more often referenced in English literature.

This plant with the violet flowers is NOT one of the seven herbs of spring (see LINK below).
Lamium amplexicaule.

Other Japanese names are
Buddha's cushion, hotoke no za 仏の座
kawarakesoo かわらけ草
herb of the Three Buddhist Realms, sangaigusa 三界草

The leaves under the flowers look like the lotus flower seat of Buddha, hence the name.
It belongs to the mint family and lives two years. It blooms from March to June and is quite a common weed in my parts of the world.
In English it is called Henbit, Dead Nettle or Giraffe head.

Gabi Greve


仏の座 (ホトケノザ)
www.hana300.com/hotoke.html

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More photos are here
http://pro.tok2.com/~tokyonature/around/y03/y030216/hotokenoza.htm

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The Seat of Buddha



More photos are here:
http://www.sbs.utexas.edu/mbierner/bio406d/images/pics/lam/lamium_amplexicaule.htm

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Buddha's seat of the seven herbs
Japanese nipplewort

flat on the fields, tabirako 田平子 たびらこ
small demon, ko oni tabirako 小鬼田平子
Lapsana apogonoides

It grows wild along the borders of fields and wet rice fields of Japan and China. Its leaves are low like a rosette on the ground, hence the name "flat on the fields". The fresh leaves are used for the rice porridge with seven herbs of spring. The leaves were eaten by poor farmers during famine in want of better food.

This plant is very rare in other areas apart from East Asia.

Seven Herbs of Spring. Haru no Nanakusa 春の七草



http://www.hana300.com/tabira.html

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Worldwide use

North America

This aggressive little plant, henbit, has spread throughout Missouri and nearly all of North America. The plant is tolerant of sun or shade, heat or cold. In cultivated areas that get tilled regularly, the plant can form large "seas of pink" in the spring.
The plant can grow from small pieces of its stem so chopping the plant only helps it spread. It also grows well from seed.
http://www.missouriplants.com/Pinkopp/Lamium_amplexicaule_page.html

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Things found on the way



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HAIKU



hotoke no za -
I see a Buddha
in every blossom


Look at it HERE
Gabi Greve, January 2010


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白壁の割れ一筋に仏の座
shirakabe no warete hitosuji ni hotoke no za

Buddha's Seat -
at the foot of the white wall
in one line
(Tr. Gabi Greve)

Furuya Muraki
http://furansudo.com/n200503.html


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仏の座苗代までを一さかり   
hotoke no sa naeshiro made o hitosakari

Buddha's Seat -
up to the rice seedlings
in full bloom 
(Tr. Gabi Greve)  

五 洲
http://www.geocities.co.jp/Hollywood-Kouen/9280/shikiku/shikiku2.htm

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Related words

kigo for early summer

***** odorikosoo 踊子草 (おどりこそう) "dancing girl plant"
..... odorisoo 踊草(おどりそう)"dancing plant"
white nettle or white dead-nettle
..... odoribana 踊花(おどりばな)
komusoobana 虚無僧花(こむそうばな)"komuso monk flower"
Lamium album



It grows abundantly by the roadside and at the foot of hedges. The flowers look like the hat word by traditional dance girls or flute-playing monks.


梢からはやす蛙やをどり花
kozue kara hayasu kawazu ya odoribana

from the treetop
a frog cheers on -
dancing girl plant


Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶



source : sikinosyokubutu



***** . Komusoo 虚無僧 flute-playing monk .


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***** tachinamisoo 立浪草 (たつなみそう) "standing waves plant"
scullcap, helmet flower
Scutellaria indica
It grows in Mainland Japan, Shikoku and Kyushu. The flowers look like high waves.




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***** utsubogusa 靱草 (うつぼぐさ) "Kidako eel plant"
kakosoo 夏枯草(かこそう)
Prunella vulgaris




. utsubo 靱 Kidako eel .
Gymnothorax kidako

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kigo for late summer

shiogamagiku 塩竈菊 (しおがまぎく)
"chrysanthemum like a pot to boil salt"
Pedicularis resupinata




Ezo shiogama 蝦夷塩竈(えぞしおがま)
Pedicularis yezoensis

yotsuba shiogama 四葉塩竈(よつばしおがま)
Pedicularis chamissonis

miyama shiogama 深山塩竈(みやましおがま)
Pedicularis apodochila

takane shiogama 高嶺塩竈(たかねしおがま)
Pedicularis verticillata

hankai shiogama 樊噲塩竈(はんかいしおがま)
Pedicularis gloriosa

koshiogama 小塩竈(こしおがま)
Phtheirospermum japonicum


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***** Fern and the Seven Herbs of Spring (haru no nanakusa) (Japan)



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1 comment:

Narayanan Raghunathan said...

so many Buddhas'
lotus seats ~ Where is
the Maitreya Buddha?