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From Evergreens to Blossoms: The Changing Plant Motifs in Japanese Female Names

Article

From Evergreens to Blossoms: The Changing Plant Motifs in Japanese Female Names

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Abstract

In the last few decades, flowery female names have surged in popularity in Japan, along with other nature motifs, reflecting desired qualities and aspirations. Although plant motifs have always been found among female names, the popularity of particu­ lar plants has been changing, and some once common names have fallen into disuse, lacking any appeal to the modern Japanese. This paper examines plant motifs and their symbolism in recent female names compared to names bestowed a century ago, and discusses how these changes in plant selection reflect the changes in the values and priorities of Japanese society.

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... Characters denoting plants are not only used to allude to obvious associations with human appearance and character qualities, but also for their less commonly known symbolism and meanings in the language of flowers (hanakotoba in Japanese) (Barešová, 2015; see also Barešová, 2018). The bright-yellow rapeseed blossoms are often chosen to evoke a positive, cheerful character. ...
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Japanese Names and How to Read Them: A Manual for Art Collectors and Students
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Japanese Names and How to Read Them: A Manual for Art Collectors and Students
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