The Rose Does Not Exist Only For Expressing Your Love But …

In order to write the article regarding the rose for “2 Hours Drive From Tokyo“, I looked through so many documents about the rose. But the simplest doubt occurred to me… Why rose is called BARA/ばら (with the accent on “RA”) and written as 薔薇 even though 薔 is not pronounced “BA” and 薇 is not “RA” when they are used individually. Would that be because the name “BARA” means a bunch of petals, and a single petal is not qualified as being called as “BARA”? Actually, I’ve never seen each of these two Kanjis are used individually in Japanese language.

I found that these Kanjis which stand for the rose were imported from China long time ago but the pronunciation is Japanese original, which came from “IBARA”, the thorn. This may be because Japan has been a country where roses grow in wild and people have been familiar with the torn in bush from the ancient times.

To prove that these Kanjis, 薔薇, are really Chinese, I googled with “rose in Chinese”.

The solution that I found was this:


A LIAR!!!!


The pronunciation of these new Chinese Kanjis which stand for the rose is /méigui/.

And they are very new to me in another sense. I mean I’ve never seen them before in my life. I flatter myself that I got a pretty good marks in Kanji when I was a student but…

As I didn’t want to conclude that the information that I had found in a Japanese dictionary was false, I continued investigating what the rose was called in Chinese with google, typing my original Chinese…(Unfortunately, I don’t understand Chinese.)

薔薇 玫瑰 差別/discrimination

Yahoo Answers Chinese Version gave me a great help.
This is the answer!

1 台灣俗稱的「玫瑰」,在大陸稱「現代月季」,簡稱「月季」。



4 大陸把雜交育成的後代統稱為「月季」,而原種仍稱為「薔薇」。

5 就雜交親本而言,現代各地栽培的Rosa以稱「月季」為宜,至少也該叫作 「薔 薇」,若以「玫瑰」概括比較不妥當。


I think I can take something from Kanjis used… Maybe it is saying that in Taiwan it is called 玫瑰, and in Mainland China 現代月季 or simply 月季.

Wait a second! I’ve never heard of 月季… In Japanese, 月 means the moon or a month, and 季 means a season. They have nothing with the rose. Will it be another word for the rose???? And from No.3, 薔薇 seems like a general noun for the rose, and 82 varieties out of 200 of the roses all over the world are Chinese origin. No.4 maybe says 月季 stands for the roses in general created by breeding later, while 薔薇 is original species. No.2 and No.5 I don’t understand…

OK, let’s ask for a help to Google Translate!

1 A Taiwan-called “玫瑰” in the mainland called “現代月季”, referred to as “月季.”

2 “玫瑰” is only one species of the genus Rosa just smaller coverage.

3 “薔薇” refers to 薔薇科 family (Rosaceae), 薔薇屬(Rosa) plant, the world has about there are 200 kinds, including 82 kinds of Chinese origin, a high proportion.

4 bred offspring of the continent collectively, the “月季” and the original species still known as “薔薇.”

5 on the hybrid parent, the cultivation of modern country Rosa in the “月季” is appropriate, at least have called “薔 薇” In terms of the “玫瑰” broadly comparable inappropriate.


To make the original translation by Google clearer, I put roses in Kanjis according to the order of the appearance, otherwise we may not understand anything because all the three different roses are translated into the single word “rose”.

We have to exercise our imagination in order to fully understand the meaning since Google translate is not so fluent in any language, as we know. At least, we knew that there were three nouns for the rose in Great Chinese! And you learned one more thing through this lesson, if you are not Japanese, that a normal Japanese didn’t understand Chinese even though we both used Kanji!

According to MDBG Chinese-English Dictionary, 薔薇 means Japanese rose (Rosa multiflora). 薔 means “wild rose” and 薇 means Osmunda regalis, a species of fern. The pronunciation is /qiáng wēi/, far from /bara/!!


Anyway, if you are living in Japan or staying in Japan for a while, or even though you are away from these small islands but if you have Japanese friends, I would strongly recommend you to remember how to write the kanjis for the rose, 薔薇. As they are soooooo difficult, many Japanese cannot write them, including me, although they know them.


You will definitely get amazed and respected by the Japanese! This is surely another effect that the rose have…


Here, I would like to share the pictures that we took in Keisei Rose Garden in Chiba, where you can see 7000 roses of 1000 varieties, from old roses to modern roses!

If you are interested to know the history of the Japanese culture which is connected to the rose and the information of Keisei Rose Garden, please refer to our site, “2 Hours Drive From Tokyo“.


Shozo Suzuki, a man called Mr. Rose in Japan The history of Rose in Japan was created by him.

Shozo Suzuki, a man called Mr. Rose in Japan
The history of Rose in Japan was created by him.


La Rose de Versailles

La Rose de Versailles


Secret Perfume

Secret Perfume


Albercht Durer Rose

Albercht Durer Rose




にほんブログ村 歴史ブログ 日本の伝統・文化へ
にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 英語の日記(和英併記)へ

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