The meaning of Kinakafu Otome

funky_kovalAugust 11, 2014

Hello everyone,
Hosta Kinakafu Otome is a sport of Otome Giboshi (Hosta venusta). So I know the part of the name - Otome means Beautiful Maiden. And what is the meaning of word Kinakafu? I tried in vain to look for in the available Japanese dictionaries. According to George W. Schmid the correct spelling is Kinakafu, not Ki Nakafu - two words, some sellers in Europe offer the hosta with this name. Can anyone help with the translation?
Kinakafu Otome, the first year in my garden,

This post was edited by Funky_Koval on Mon, Aug 11, 14 at 14:03

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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

Since I've had Kifukurin Otome (2011) I've learned that Japanese hosta names are preceded by the colour first, kifukurin means "yellow-edged", so I would surmise kinakafu means "yellow-centred".

Edited to include link that many who are interested will find helpful.


Here is a link that might be useful: Japanese to English...hosta names

This post was edited by josephines67 on Mon, Aug 11, 14 at 12:17

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 12:07PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

if you found geo schmid's pages on hosta library...

i would expect an email for him ...

ergo.. ipso .... presto ... email him ...

and do let us know what he said ...


PS: google translate.. thinks its Swahili ... lol ... i am pretty sure.. that is wrong... lol

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 12:19PM
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josephines123 z5 ON Canada

You need to scroll down a page or so to reach the List of Japanese terms and their meanings.

I wanted to add, Funky that sometimes the names are shortened by someone and they catch. For example, when I bought my KO, Keith had a tag on it that read Atome Ki. I could not find it, no matter how long I googled! So I emailed Keith and he explained that his friend called it that for short but Atome should have read Otome. I googled and found 'Kifukurin Otome'. Last year I used the name incorrectly for awhile as Kifukurin Otome Ki until I realized the Ki should have been dropped when using the formal name.


    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 12:30PM
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Kina is Chinese for China.

Kafu is 'family riches' or a baby.

Otome- Beatiful girl

Kina kafu Otome- Beautiful Chinese baby girl.



    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 2:41PM
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Thank you josephines67 for the link to Ontario Hosta Society website. I find a lot of very interesting info there, and useful in this case.
And thank you all for the information and tips.
Kina kafu Otome though in Chinese (and Kinakafu Otome was found in Gotemba Nursery, Japan) also sounds nice and in some way fits this miniature hosta.

This post was edited by Funky_Koval on Thu, Aug 14, 14 at 3:46

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 3:42AM
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Although Chinese and Japanese are languages that are in no way interchangeable Kanji and other character writing all originated in China. I was amazed to see Japanese writing messages to Chinese in Taiwan that each understood when the Japanese didn't speak Chinese and the Chinese didn't speak Japanese. They easily corresponded in writing.

It would not surprise me at all that a Japanese nursery might use a Chinese name especially when so many hosta come from China. The genealogy of the hosta might have more of an influence than the hybridizer's or discoverer's nationality.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 3:52PM
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Jo to the rescue! Lady, you have a bubbling fount of wisdom as a resource. It is great to have your participation on the forum.

I like the family riches being a baby too. It is a beautiful plant.
One thing which strikes me so often with studying hosta is how much history there is at work which crosses national boundaries.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 4:18PM
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