Red flowers in Demon Slayer’s ending say HIGANBANA in Japanese. It’s red spider lily in English.
For us Japanese, Higanbana is the flower that reminds us a grave. It’s beautiful, but gives somehow unrealistic impression. Why? Let’s see the reason together.
What’s Higanbana in Japanese culture?
Higanbana writes like this in kanji letters.
The first two characters read HIGAN and it means afterlife. BANA means flower.
In Japan, we have a Buddhism event called OHIGAN twice a year. It’s a traditional custom for us to pay a visit to the graves of our ancestors during the Ohigan week.
The name Higanbana was named after this Ohigan, because they bloom in the same season as Ohigan week.
Another name, Manjushage
Higanbana’s another name is MANJUSHAGE.
The name MANJUSHAGE stems from a Sanskrit word that means a red flower. Each kanji letter was chosen to express the sound of Sanskrit.
A myth of Buddhism says Manjushage is one of the four flowers that fell from the heaven to celebrate Buddha.
Local names seen in all over Japan
There are countless local names for Higanbana. It’s said that the number of the names are over 1,000 all over Japan. I’ll introduce you some of them.
- Shibitobana (flower of the dead)
- Jigokubana (flower of the hell)
- Yureibana (ghost flower)
- Kajibana (fire flower)
- Heni no Hana (snake flower)
- Kamisoribana (razor flower)
- Kitsunebana (fox flower)
- Sutegobana (abandoned child flower)
As you can see, most of them are ominous names. I guess that’s because the red flower of Higanbana is associated with blood and death.
Japanese Higanbana can’t make seeds by itself because of its special chromosomal structure. That means there are definitely someone around the place where Higanbana bloom. Humans are sometimes scarier than ghosts. It may be part of the reason why they have such eerie names.
Blue Higanbana that made Kibutsuji Muzan into a demon
In Demon Slayer, it was blue Higanbana that made Kibutsuji Muzan into a demon. Higanbana is one of the key items of the story. You can see the part of the truth about this flower at the last episode.
When it comes to flower, wisteria is another key item for slaying demons. If you’re interested in it, check the link below too!