The world of Noragami is shrouded in Japanese mythological mystery. In addition to this, Adachitoka have dropped beautiful & dark hints from the folklores and even mixed in some Flower languages. Did you notice the camellia flowers in the recent chapters? Well, if you have then let us explore what they might be signigfying in the Noragami manga!
According to Hanakotoba(花言葉;はなことば)or Flower Symbolism, Camellia flowers are also called “Tsubaki(椿; つばき)”in Japanese. It indicates early spring. Though these flowers mostly come from Asian lands, in Latin, “camellia” translates to “helper to the priest.” So you can imagine, they were very popular with nobles, priests, and warriors. They were also grown to please the emperor and honor dead relatives during the Edo Period.
However, they don’t make good presents for people who are sick or injured. That is because of the way the flowers fall off; as if they “behead” themselves when they die.
The Symbolism of White Camellia
The first time we see a Camellia is when Takemikazuchi was paying respect to his dead shinkis. In Japanese traditions, Camellia is often found in religious and sacred ceremonies. So, chibi Takemikazuchi pays respect to his Shinkis what seem to be white camellias. White camellias can mean several things. They can mean purity, the love between mother and child, or mourning when used in funeral flowers. In this case, the white blossoms represent a funerary flower.
The Symbolism of Red Camellia
If you ask me, why I am writing this article on camellias and connecting to Noragami, then hear me out. Have you seen the latest cover of Noragami Volume 23? It has Yato and Yukine surrounded by red camellias. And do you know what red camellias symbolize? A noble death. It sure is an irony!
In western countries, a pink or red camellia represents romantic love, passion, longing, or desire. But among warriors and samurai, the red camellia symbolized a respectable death. Does it mean that one of the characters in the cover of volume 23 will die? Even if it’s a noble death, none of these characters deserve to die!!
Hiyori puts a red blossom on the abandoned refrigerator in remembrance of how Yukine must have suffered. He is shown to be a handful teenager in the Far Shore. But truly Yukine as a human being deserves a much better place to rest. Hiyori respects how Yukine fought against darkness and abuse much like samurai bravery.
A Camellia’s death
Camellia plants are popular for their low maintenance nature. Samurai warriors greatly valued these plants for their beautiful flowers in winter, braving the low temperatures. As a result, the plant is a symbol of endurance, bravery, and fearlessness. The same is true for the life Haruki Tajima has led.
Haru grew up to be an exceptionally kind child to a cold heartless father. He loved his mother and sister more than anything. He even willingly lost the game of rock-paper-scissor to give Yuka a better life. To such a boy, has life been kind? No. Instead, Haruki’s father beat him senseless and put him in an abandoned refrigerator to die while no one cared.
And after Yukine became the Crafter’s Shinki Hagusa, he intends to give his father a fitting death like a Camellia.
A reunion in cards?
In China, the camellia flower traditionally represents a union between two lovers or two individuals. The delicate petals represent the woman while the green, leafy calyx, represents the protective man. Both components remain joined together, even after death.
The meaning here has to do with the unique nature of the camellia flower. When a flower dies, the petals and calyx usually separate. With the camellia, however, the petals and calyx fall off together – a symbol of undying, everlasting love.
If I have to draw a parallel here, Haru has protected Yuka from their Father’s abuse. But, what is more shockingly similar is the letter Haru was holding in his death bed. He wrote a letter to his sister. He was trying to save her even after he is dead. The true contents are not yet revealed in the manga. But I am sure, he wanted to convey to her something important. No wonder he was lingering near a post box as if waiting for a response from her.
Another angle that serves the same purpose is the upcoming reunion of Haruki and his birth father. Needless to say, Haruki didn’t like his father very much. But this is also true, he never lashed onto him either. After discovering what Haru’s past life looked like, Hagusa is hell-bent to take revenge. He cares for no one and fears nothing. Adachitoka’s artwork gives away how much naive Yukine has grown as a character. Hagusa has evolved through the pain he has suffered. Now he only wants to meet his father and “behead” him like a Camellia blossom.
Last but not the least, it could also mean Yukine re-uniting with Yato and going back to being his shinki. That would be a goody-goody situation ofcourse but.
So, did you notice these hidden meanings about Camellias in the manga? Go ahead and read the last few chapters again! Don’t forget to comment down below if we missed any other symbolisms.