What should You Keep in Mind when You Visit Someone in Japanese Hospital?

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What should You Keep in Mind when You Visit Someone in the Hospital?

In Japan, you must not bring “Yuri” (ゆり, lily flowers) to hospitals. Lilies are unsuitable for small hospital rooms because they have a strong scent. They also bloom downwards, which remind Japanese people of death. Although it all depends on the condition and circumstances of the patient, it is generally sensible to avoid giving lilies as gifts.

 

Angel Beats!, Lily

(C)VisualArt’s/Key/Angel Beats! Project

Angel Beats!, Lily

(C)VisualArt’s/Key/Angel Beats! Project

Many Japanese people know that putting lilies in hospitals is a breach of manners. Those images from “Angel Beats!” with lilies imply that Hatsune’s condition is getting worse. The following is the list of NG flowers in hopitals:

  • “菊” (きく, Kiku, chrysanthemum) because we use it in funerals.
  • “シクラメン” (Shikuramen, cyclamen) because “シ” (Shi) is the same sound as “死” (Shi, death).
  • “椿” (つばき, Tsubaki, camellia) because a whole flower drops from the branch when it withers.
    It is associated with image of a person’s neck falling.
  • “薔薇” (ばら, Bara, Rose) beause the color is same as blood.


“鉢植えの花” (はちうえのはな, Hachiue no Hana, a potted flower) because it takes root in soil, which is expressed as “根付く” (ねづく, Nezuku) in Japanese. “根付く” is the same sound as “寝付く” (ねづく, Nezuku, be sick in bed).

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