Season of Wisteria

Now it is the season of wisteria! You might not know this plant but it is pea family, the flowers are pale purple, the color is especially called “fuji-iro”, it means “wisteria color“, but it seems the English color name of “wisteria” has a different color code. Weird!

In Japan, to enjoy seeing blossoms, wisteria tree gets entwined trellis, so you can see the blossoms hanging down from the trellis. It looks like lace craft and so beautiful.

By the way, wisteria is called “fuji”, it is written “藤” in Chinese character. This character is somehow often used Japanese family name, actually my family name “Muto” also includes it. “藤” is pronounced “fuji” and “toh”. The families who have “藤” in their name might be related with famous honorable family which is called “Fujiwara (藤原)”, but maybe most of them are not. Most of Japanese people did not have a family name till about 100 years ago. In Meiji Era every person was allowed to have a family name. Maybe the ones which have “藤” looked cool so people chose to have it.

Well, some families in Japan still use family emblem. The family which has “藤” in their name often has a wisteria shape in their emblem. My mother’s family’s one has paired wisteria cluster design, it is called “sagari-fuji”. My mother’s family name was “Kato (加藤)”, it also has “藤”. You might not notice it but I use a part of the design on this web site.

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