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Revision as of 10:43, 4 December 2017 by Tzippurah (talk | contribs) (Common Motif Pairings)

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Motif Information
Motif Suisen 01.jpg
Rōmaji Suisen
English Daffodil, narcissus
Kanji 水仙
Kana スイセン
Season Spring
Seasonal Exceptions Winter
Auspicious Yes
Motif Type Flower

Suisen refers generally to narcissus or daffodils, but the most common cultivar is the Japanese paperwhite (Narcissus tazetta), which was imported from China in the Asuka period.

Seasonal Use, Exceptions & Pairings

Suisen bloom naturally in the early spring, but can also be forced indoors in January or February. For ikebana arrangements, the forced bulbs can be dramatically paired with ume which bloom in the same time period.

Motif Connotations & Symbolism

Auspicious Nature

Suisen are frequently forced indoors for New Year's decorations and share in the auspicious character of the new year. Also, the second kanji used to write suisen, is the same kanji in sennin, (仙人, Taoist immortal or hermit).[1]

Common Motif Pairings

  • Ume (known in art as sousei, twin springs)
  • Take
  • Sankou, three scents, when combined with ran and mokusei[2]

Identification & Style Variations

Describe how the pattern can be identified. If applicable, explain how the pattern is conventionally simplified.

Motif Examples

Motif in Literature & Other Usage

Where possible - try to find examples of motif in literature, art and real life. If you are unable to find an example - remove this section.

In Poetry

Article Notes

Relevant Threads / Discussions

  • Link to any relevant threads on IG


  1. Baird, Merrily. Symbols of Japan: Thematic Motifs in Art and Design. Rizzoli. 2001. p.94.
  2. Nitanai, Keiko. Kimono Design: An Introduction to Textiles and Patterns. Tuttle Publishing, Vermont. 2017. p.27.

Image Credits

  • Muhvi

Authors & Contributors

Author/s: tzippurah (IG Username)