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Motif Information
Motif ren 01.jpg
Rōmaji Ren, Hasu
English Lotus
Kana れん
Season Late Summer, Autumn
Seasonal Exceptions Mourning, all-season
Auspicious Yes
Motif Type Flower

Ren or hasu refers to the lotus flower (Nelumbo nucifera). Ren grow in ponds and slow moving water. The flowers have a variable number of white or pink petals surrounding a distinctive seed pod. Ren open during the day and shut at night.

Ren were introduced to Japan from mainland Asia around the Kofun period. Individual plants are extremely long lived, up to a thousand years. The "root" (rhizome) is able to enter extended periods of stasis when conditions are unfavorable.

The rhizome, leaves, and seeds of ren are edible and frequently used in Japanese cooking. The flower is powerful Buddhist symbol and chanting the Japanese name of the Lotus Sutra (Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō) is an important part of Nichiren Buddhism.

Seasonal Use, Exceptions & Pairings

Ren bloom in late summer and into early autumn.

Motif Connotations & Symbolism

Ren are highly associated with the Buddhist concept of overcoming earthly desires, as lotus blossoms rise out of the mud.[1]

Auspicious Nature

Is motif auspicious? If so - explain. If not - remove header.

Common Motif Pairings

Identification & Style Variations

Ren is most easily confused with kōhone, pond lily.

Motif Examples

Motif in Literature & Other Usage

One of the most often referenced lotus ponds in Japan is Shinobazu Pond (不忍池 , Shinobazu no Ike), a natural pond within Ueno Park in Tokyo.

In Poetry

Article Notes

Relevant Threads / Discussions

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  1. Allen, Maude Rex. Japanese Art Motives. A. C. McClurg & Company, Great Britain. 1917. p.7.

Image Credits

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Authors & Contributors

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