The Benibana Museum (The Safflower Museum)

1. Benibana (Safflower : Carthamus Tinctorius) Revived (蘇った紅花)

Kahoku Town is called "the country of benibana". In Edo period, Mogami (最上) safflower was in cultivation in this area (in those days, a present Murayama (村山) area was called Mogami). And the flower leaves were processed into a cake of lumps and transported up to Kyoto. There, the lumps were made into the red cosmetic for cheeks and lips and used to make up the lips of noble ladies. Furthermore, people dyed the costumes in bright or faint crimson with benibana color. The mysterious beauty of its color was the longing of ladies all through the ages.

In spite of such valuable materials of colors as these, the flower was forced to disappear in Meiji era under the influence of the chemical materials which were brought into this country. But even after that, the costumes that have been used in the Emperial Palace or its various ceremonies slightly continued to be dyed with the safflower dyeing materials produced in Yamagata refecture.

In 1981, when Kahoku Town decided its town's flower, the people did not hesitate to nominate benibana as a town's flower. Also in 1984 they opened "the Benibana Museum", consisted of "the Benibana House" in 1986 and other properties in 1984. The beautiful color of benibana has charmed people and the faint and vanishing beauty of it has been miraculously revived by benibana loving people.

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  1. Benibana (Safflower : Carthamus Tinctorius) Revived
  2. From the Horigome Residence of a Wealthy Farmer to the Museum
  3. Horigome's Former Residence
  4. The Benibana House
  5. Place of Origin of Benibana
  6. Flora of Benibana
  7. Kinds of Benibana
  8. Its Use and Effect
  9. How to Grow Benibana
  10. Variety of Dyeing Materials
  11. Main Plants Dyes
  12. Technique of Benibana Dyes
  13. Benibana Dyeing for Everybody
  14. How to Make Benibana Wine
  15. How to Make Rouge
  16. History of Benibana
  17. Benibana Charmed the Noblemen
  18. Benibana for Tax Obligation
  19. Nobunaga Oda Made a Present of Benibana
  20. Supplication of Yoshiaki Mogami
  21. Anrakuji Temple Documents of Benibana Donation
  22. Evaluation of Mogami Benibana
  23. Prosperity of Flower Market
  24. "Mebaya" and "Sanbe" as Traders
  25. All the Fields Covered with Benibana
  26. Two Haiku Lines of Benibana
  27. Yield of Benibana
  28. Area under Cultivation of Mogami-benibana
  29. Price of Mogami-benibana
  30. Route of Benibana Conveyance
  31. Deterioration of Mogami Benibana
  32. Decline of Domestic Benibana
  33. Life of Mogami-benibana
  34. Kahoku Town - Town of Safflower
  35. Benibana Tradings
  36. Benibana Jizo as a Guardian
  37. Color of Twelve Official Ranks
  38. Rich Benibana Traders and Road of Culture
  40. Conversion Table
  41. Access