Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Flowers, Anyone?

If you're a guy in Japan, and you are dating a gal who is a fan of Sailor Moon, why not give her some Sailor Moon namesake flowers? In Japan there are not one but three strains of flowers that have been named for Sailor Moon. These flowers are very popular and sometimes sell out pretty quickly.

#1 - Happy Valley Sailor Moon Orchid!

This orchid has been mentioned on other fansites before (such as Genvid and The Oracle) under the name "Happy Barry'Barrie" but we learned from quite a few growers' sites that the name is actually "Happy Valley" (which makes more sense than Barrie when you think about it). This hybrid flower comes from the Genus Cymbidium, which has around 50 species of orchids with a distinct form to the base of the orchid's lips (the center of the orchid). This orchid was named for Sailor Moon because its yellow color reminded the scientist (Shigeru Makoto Kono) of her hair. The species was officially registered October 9th, 1997 and like the Sailor Moon licenses won't last forever; the registration will expire in 15 years.

#2 - Sailor Moon Carnations (Orange or Yellow)

In a terribly odd twist of irony, this carnation is naturally yellow, but the orange "mutant" is just as popular. Otaku should recall that Sailor Venus (who had an orange fuku) has on occasion played Sailor Moon's decoy - so it seems only fitting that the mutation is orange! From what we have read this is a very popular carnation - especially when it is given on Mother's Day. The INGU Sailor Moon Carnations were conjured by Inagaki Chotaro and were registered on June 8th, 1998 and will also expire in 15 years from that date. We've seen some growers do some interesting things with these carnations, and our favorite one is this poodle that was made with the orange variety of this carnation. Note: The yellow carnations used were of the LC Candle variety.

#3 - Sailor Moon Sunflower

On July 27th, 2004, a third flower was named for Sailor Moon. The Sailor Moon Sunflower is a hybrid of the Helianthus Genus of sunflowers. We were unable to find any horticultural registry information on this flower. We learned that this flower is grown in a special sunflower field in a park in Japan, and was named after Sailor Moon because of two reasons. The first being that sunflowers are popular among children in Japan, and that if they named the flower after a popular character it would attract more children to come to the park. The second is that the pale colour of the flower reminds the observer of the moon. This is a very popular sunflower in Japan. It is used in a variety of bouquets and it looks like many people travel to the Showa Memorial Park where this is grown (in the Barbecue Sunflower Garden) just to see it. This park says that this sunflower is unusual because of its yellow-green color and the low height makes it lovely.

So there you have it, men seeking that special flower for that special someone need not always resort to using roses, just like Tuxedo Kamen!

EDIT: We have recently learned through an email that some fans are dismayed or don't believe the translation of "barrie" to valley. Quit calling us silly. Some Japanese words these days are written almost like their english equivalents, such as ハンバーガー (romaji: hanbāgā) which is the japanese word for, hamburger. Katakana is often used to "spell out" foreign words using the letters given in this writing system. These equivalents are pretty much loanwords in the Japanese language. In fact, later this week we hope to upload segments of a game show which feature several loanwords. See how similar they look and sound? Now most typically when one thinks of the word for valley in Japanese, the kanji 谷 (romaji: tani) is used. However in the case of the name of this flower, we're going to break this down character for character and hopefully, this will answer any wondering fan's question (oh yeah, and the next time there is a gripe against one of our articles, do give us a shout out, our email is at the bottom of this page). This is the title written in katakana: ハッピーバリー”セーラームーン". The first three characters read out as happi - which is the word "happy". This character ッ, is a special character called Soukon. This character is the smaller case of the character ツ (tsu), but is never pronounced. Soukon means that you double the following consonant, and the next character is pi, therefore "happi". Now for the second word, バリ. This one spells out ba-ri. It's not the word berry, because that is be-ri, or ベリー. But, ba-ri sounds a lot like valley. And a few people close to the language and in Japan told us バリ is best translated in this case to valley. In fact, many popular online translators translate the characters バリ to valley. But, this can't be the only use of those characters to mean valley now, can it? Why not take a look here, here, or here? There's several more instances where the characters バリ have been used to mean the word valley, but we're not going to list them all. We hope this is enough proof for the dismayed fans who don't believe what those two characters really mean in the name.


Anonymous said...

Hmm...very nice article, though I thought it would have to do with flowers that are seen in the series. Still pretty cool though. Also, it's "romaji", not "romanji".

sailordees said...

I fixed it, some sites refer to it as romanji too but the n is a mistranslation.

Anonymous said...

Apparently there are TWO orchids named after her- the other is a Gemstone type.http://www.wikimoon.org/index.php?title=Sailor_Moon_flowers

Anonymous said...

Here's more information on the other orchid.


sailordees said...

Oh wow- thanks! I will add that as soon as I can (and also to the February commenter as well).