What Do the Japanese Give Sick Friends Instead Of Flowers?

In America, it’s a custom to bring flowers to a sick person.

But in Japan, a person would never bring cut flowers when visiting a sick friend. In the Japanese view, cut flowers are already dead, since they have been cut off from their roots and will soon wither.

It would be bad luck, then, to bring a sick person flowers that will soon perish. What would a Japanese person bring to a sick friend? A living plant, of course!