Trivia that Japanese should know. Meanings of the national flag and the national flower.

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Hello. This is Koyanagi.

The other day I went to central Vietnam (Hue Danang Hoi An). There were many places to play, such as world heritage sites, archaeological sites, and the sea. I got the impression that the traffic volume of motorcycles was less than that of Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi. I went to Vietnam just at the time of the Olympics, when I was asked the meaning of the Japanese flag and national flower in a conversation with the local people, and said, “Is the national flag the sun? I’m embarrassed to be a Japanese because Japanese people can only give vague answers. So, this time, I investigated the meaning of the Japanese flag and national flower, so I hope that those who are ambiguous will learn and those who know it will be able to associate with them.

I borrowed the image of the national flag from here.

Hoi An cityscape

table of contents

Meaning of the Japanese flag

Why is the red circle in the middle?

The red circle of the Japanese flag represents the “sun”. The design of the sun is largely related to Japanese culture and customs. Since ancient times, the Japanese have been a farming people, so the sun was irreplaceable. Amaterasu Omikami, the pinnacle of God, is also the god of the sun, and worshiping the first sunrise of the year on New Year’s Day is a remnant of the belief in the sun. Also, the name of the country of Japan is originally called Hinomoto, which means where the sun rises. The country name of Japan is the design of the flag as it is. Besides, even if you look at the Japanese flag as “the Rising-Sun flag” in English, you can see that the red circle represents the sun.

Why is the background color white?

It is also meaningful that the background color of the Japanese flag is white. According to Japanese customs, “red and white are auspicious”. I mentioned earlier that the color of the Hinomaru is red, but it is officially crimson. In that sense, the red (red) circle on a white background is a lucky color for Japanese people.

In addition, each color and round shape of red and white has a different meaning, and the idea that red is “love and vitality”, white is “sacred and chastity”, and round shape is “harmonious and unity” is included.

What is the national flower of Japan?

What do you imagine when you are called a “national flower”? If you look at the “national flower” in the broader garden, you will find that “the flower that is most loved by the people and is a symbol of the country. In Japan, it is “Sakura or Chrysanthemum”. Since the emblem of the passport and the symbol of the imperial family are “chrysanthemums”, many people may have a strong impression of “chrysanthemums” in the sense that they symbolize the nation. On the other hand, in the sense that the people love it most, “Sakura” may be superior. However, it seems that many countries in the world do not have a legally formal “national flower”, but in fact Japan does not have a legally stipulated national flower, and chrysanthemums and cherry blossoms are generally regarded as national flowers. It seems that.


The Japanese flag is simple but meaningful, and the national flower has been loved by the Japanese people. The Olympic Games will be held in Japan, and many foreigners will come to Japan. When the topic of the Japanese flag and national flower comes up in a little conversation, the next step is to be Japanese and answer with pride!