Mokusei/Osmanthus in Japanese Literature



Mokusei/Osmanthus in Japanese Literature

Early afternoon had waned, and with it the gentle showers had ceased, so that the grounds of Ayame lay glistening like a blaze of jewels where a golden sun lingered on the raindrops. A lane of burnt umber tints ran mingling with a thousand variant greens on this palette of nature, untouched here by the scalpel of man, and the scent of mokusei was damp and sweet as the breathing of a little child—a little lisping child with the bloom still fresh upon it.
The lords of dawn: a novel
By George Turner Marsh, Ronald Temple

Upon reaching the third floor, Shizuo drew the curtains back from the window and flung it open:
"Will you come here?" she said, "You will have a very fine view."
"Oh, what a lovely view of Fuji, and what a delicious scent, have you mokusei* in the garden?"
The air was pure and refreshing, as it often is in autumn, with that feeling of exhilaration and buoyancy ; the rays of the sun shone on the figure oi the lady; and she looked like a pure white flower set in a vase which enhanced her beauty.
The gold demon
By Kōyō Ozaki, Mary von Fallot Lloyd

The ground is everywhere hidden by a fine thick moss of so warm a color, that the brightest foliage of the varied shrubbery above it looks sombre by contrast; and the bases of walls, the pedestals of monuments, the stonework of the bell-tower, the masonry of the ancient well, are muffled with the same luminous growth. Maples and pines and cryptomerias screen the facade of the temple; and, if your visit be in autumn, you may find the whole court filled with the sweet heavy perfume of the mokusei ^blossom. After having looked at the strange temple, you would find it worth while to enter the cemetery, by the black gate on the west side of the court.
Exotics and retrospectives
By Lafcadio Hearn

O MOKUSEI, mokusei blooming faithfully in the absence of the master, piercing sweet is your subtle fragrance, pervading my soulwith the quickening pain of remembrance! Vividly I remember one evening when the master and I went to the temple fair near by and together brought you back with joy. As we passed along the street, carrying you home in a jinrikisha, all the people turned to see whence came the unexpected breath of fragrance permeating the dimly lighted roadway.
"O the sweet scent!" they exclaimed. "O the sweet scent! It is the mokusei, the mokusei!"
The next morning we planted you in the garden near the front veranda with the hope of enjoying you in the years to come.
Since then year by year in the autumn you have more than fulfilled the hope you gave. Your tiny starlike blossoms, orange-hued, almost hidden under the clustering dark green leaves, have bloomed in dainty fragile beauty and filled our guest-room and garden with the sweetest of perfume....
The Golden Mokusei by Yukio Ozaki

In parks and temple courts the purple and white wistaria also furnish a grand display. We have seen one vine, the favourite retreat of sullen-faced old monks, covering an arbour forty feet square, on the under side of which hung in profusion and indescribable splendour the purple racemes, sometimes four feet long, till the whole looked like a waving mass of silken ribbons. But in springtime, nature, unaided, offers this priceless treat to the passerby from beautiful trailers which festoon the thickets of roadside and woodland. But space forbids to more than mention the crape myrtle, the sweet-scented magnolia and mokusei (Osmanthus fragrans); the lotus which transform a slimy pond into a paradise; the iris—in various shades of blue, purple, pink and yellow, as well as white; the great blue campanula; the beautiful hydrangea, which in the process of blooming are successively arrayed in light green, white, pink, purple and blue.
By Nippon's lotus ponds: pen pictures of real Japan
 By Matthias Klein