The Benibana Museum (The Safflower Museum)

5. Place of Origin of Benibana (紅花の原産地)

At present, when call a "flower", it usually means a "cherry blossom". But once it was a "benibana". "Benibana" bears the relation with "a flower garden" "a flower gathering" and other manners to treat flowers.

Benibana is a composite plant and its origin is said in the coast of the Mediterranean Sea or in Egypt. It has a character of a winter hardy plant and its height is one meter or so. It bears a pretty and bright yellow flower like a thistle at the beginning of July.

What route did this flower take to reach this country from the origin place, then? In the famous Chinese book "Seiiki Monogatari" (『西域物語』), the following line can be found: "Twenty-two hundred years ago, a Choken (張騫) brought back the seeds when he visited the Central Asia". He was sent for by Butei (武帝) as a delegation of Kan (漢) in 139 B.C. from Choan (長安). Butei was ambitious to invade the Kyodo (匈奴) in the combined operation with Daigesshi (大月氏). Choken was unfortunately captured by the Kyodo's army. But he was so strong enough to escape by himself and to come back to Choan.

This story tells us that he was a great man and the truth is that the prevalence of growing of this flower depended on the many people who were living along the long Silk Road.

The silk produced in China charmed the European people and it was brought there via the Silk Road. And benibana also was brought to China from the West to the East along the same road of silk conveyance.

Benibana, trailing of culture to eastward, was prevailed to India via the Central Asia and in the days of Empress Suiko (推古天皇 <593-629> ), it was transported to this country with other Chinese cultures.

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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