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This creeping vine is seen everywhere. I mean everywhere! It’s called the kudzu vine. But here it’s flowering. See Linda Inoki’s article below:

He hunched his shoulders and looked up at the night sky, which by now was filled with glimmering stars. In front of the clump of weeds where he was crouching, there was an arrowroot plant covered with leaves, from the midst of which came an occasional gleam. Presumably it was from a drop of dew or something, reflecting the light from a distant lamp. But even while acknowledging this, Shozo’s heart leapt within him at each gleam, hoping that it might be Lily’s eyes.
From “A Cat, a Man and Two Women” by Junichiro Tanizaki (1886-1965), translated by Paul McCarthy (Kodansha International)

If you need to hide on an autumn night, like the character in the above story, you might do well to find a kuzu or kudzu vine ( Peuraria thunbergiana ), usually translated as “arrowroot.” These plants bear lots of large, three-lobed leaves, and with their strong trailers they can easily climb a tall tree or cover an entire hillside. The scented spikes of pea-type flowers are shades of wine red and pink, and often hidden among the foliage. However, the foliage is an attractive part of Japan’s autumn scenery. When the wind blows, the leaves reveal silvery undersides, and as autumn turns to winter they turn a burnished red. Along with hagi (bush clover), ominaeshi (patrinia), susuki (Japanese pampas grass), kikyo (bellflower), nadeshiko (fringed pink) and fujibakama (Japanese boneset) kuzu is one of the poetic “seven flowers of autumn.”

The Japan Times: Oct. 16, 2003
(C) All rights reserved

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