For some time, every morning when I opened up our English Conversation school, 英会話, here in Higashi Osaka Fuse (東大阪布施）, I have been thinking about how to make the class room a little friendlier than it already is. This week I choose chrysanthemums(菊), also known as chrysanth or mums.I want my students to fell happy about coming to our English Conversation school in Ajiro(足代) and to feel comfortable from the moment they enter.
So I decided to lighten up the school even more by putting some flowers on the table of the reception room. It is the first thing to be seen when opening the door, and I believe flowers are just beautiful and nice to look at. One Kanji for “flower” in Japanese is 花、and I think that by its simple but elegant design it expresses the beauty of flower also visually.
I got a vase from Nara city （奈良）, which is just a nice traditional town where with lot of shops for Japanese art. Then I went to a local flower (花） shop and decided to get this yellow chrysanthemum(菊)for its long lifetime. Also in Japan, they symbolize eternity（永遠）. It is probably most known as the imperial crest.
Sadly, most of my students thought more about funerals when they saw the flower, as Chrysanthemums are often used in Japanese funerals as a sign of respect, too.
If you want to know more about it, try the wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrysanthemum
During the English Conversation lessons, I could make good use of the flowers to practice certain points like composite adjectives. For example, we introduced composites like “bright yellow” and “light yellow”. For higher level students the chrysanth was a welcome starting point to talk about their symbolism in Japan and elsewhere and to introduce some higher level vocabulary like “crest”, “eternity” and “condolence” .
By the way, as Chrysanthemum is quite a long and difficult name, so in English(英語）they are often just called “chrysanth” or simply “mums”.