If someone dared to use this flower as a symbol, he had to be executed since this was a symbol of the Emperor's power. As a rule, the Emperor's Chrysanthemum contained sixteen petals. However, there is a case in Japanese history dated 14th century, when Emperor Go-Daigo attempted to take control over the shogunate. But he was exiled as a result. Therefore, he decided to use Chrysanthemum containing seventeen petals as his symbol.
The reason of so highly worship of this flower in Japan could be easily explained by its name è (Kiku), which means the Sun. At the same time, the sun is an incarnation of a Numen which is a cause the life of everything on Earth. First, this symbol appeared in Japan engraved on the samurai sword of Mikado, who reigned in that period.
There is, nonetheless, another version of the origin of this flower. Some authors claim that Chrysanthemum arrived in Japan from China. One curious legend serves as proof. In 246 BC, one ruthless Emperor ruled in China. One day he learned that there is a magical herb that grows up on the nearby island. Some healers claimed that they could create the Elixir of youthfulness made of this herb. But to use the full power of this herb, a man possessing a pure heart must pick up this flower.
Of course, the Emperor wasn't able to do that himself. He also couldn't entrust this task to any of his courtiers. But a court healer advised him to send a squad consisting of three hundred young men and women assuming that at least one of them has a pure heart. The Emperor accepted this idea. As a result, the expedition reached the island. The legend has it that exactly these young people were the first inhabitants of the Japanese archipelago.
There are no data, whether or not the group of young men and women managed to find the flower. But no one of them returned home. There is one curious addition to this story. The legend says that the healer has eventually managed to discover the flower. Thus, he has become the first Emperor of Japan. That's why the Chinese adore Chrysanthemum as well. It is worth noting that the only Chinese women may wear this flower in hair. For Japanese women it is unacceptable. They only can use artificial flowers for this purpose.
In China, in turn, Chrysanthemum is the second favorite flower after Peony. They use the name of Chrysanthemum to indicate the ninth month of the year, as well as to define the fifth day of the week. According to the belief, Chrysanthemum obtains its full power in this day. The Chinese use this flower combined with pine resin as a medicine.
This flower appeared in Europe, in England, in 1676, thanks to some Dutchman. In 1789, Captain Jean-Pierre Blanchard brought it to Marseille. Only in 1829, Toulousian gardener, Berner, began to cultivate Chrysanthemum.