Under the Moonlight: The Enchanting Pink Porcelain Lily of Okinawa

Under the Moonlight: The Enchanting Pink Porcelain Lily of Okinawa

Posted by Yukiko Kisaki on 1st Jun 2023


In the heart of Okinawa, a tropical island in Japan renowned for its beauty and vibrant culture, there resides a cherished botanical beauty — the Pink Porcelain Lily, known as Gettô (月桃) in Japanese. The name translates to "moon peach" and is a loving reference to the luminescent beauty of its blossoms that shimmer in the moonlight as if kissed by the moon's silvery rays. 

As summer arrives, the Pink Porcelain Lily begins to bloom, carpeting Okinawa's lush landscape with its vibrant hues. From May to July, clusters of delicate shell-like flowers burst open, casting a stunning display of pink and white against the verdant green of the Okinawan countryside. Like miniature porcelain artworks, the flowers are a sight to behold as they dance under the moonlight, their soft colors reflecting the lunar glow. 


The Pink Porcelain Lily holds a special place in the heart of Okinawa's people. Not only is it a delightful feast for the eyes, but it also serves as a vital ingredient in traditional Okinawan cuisine, medicine, herbal teas, skincare and  creamy, luxurious soaps. Studies attribute the remarkable longevity of Okinawans to the plant's rich bioactive compounds with antioxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-cancer, and anti-obesity properties. 

The mesmerizing spectacle of the shimmering blossom in the stillness of Okinawan moonlit summer nights has touched uncountable hearts. I love the haiku below, which captures the essence of their emotions. 

Gettô blossoms
Shimmering in the moonlight
Beauty is silent

(In Japanese: Getto no hana Tsukiakari ni kagayaku, Bi wa shizuka.)