Hanahaki Disease comes from two Japanese words: hana, which means flower, and hakimasu, which means to throw up. It is a fictitious disease in which the victim coughs up flower petals when suffering from unrequited love. The most common version is when the victim’s lungs fill with flowers and roots grow in the respiratory system. The victim chokes on blood and petals and dies.
The Hanahaki Disease is an illness born from one-sided love, where the patient throws up and coughs up flower petals when they suffer from one-sided love. The infection can be removed through surgery, but the feelings disappear along with the petals.
The Hanahaki Disease is an illness born from unrequited love, where the patient’s throat will fill up with flower. They will then proceed to throw, and cough up the petals, (sometimes even the flowers). One of the only ways for the disease to ‘disappear’ is if, the said person returns the feeling. (It can’t be resolved with friendship, it has to be genuine feelings of love). The infection can also be removed through surgery, though the feelings disappear along with the petals. If they choose nether options, or the feeling is not returned in time, then the patient’s lungs will fill up with flowers, and will eventually suffocate.
There is no specific flower for the disease, but it’ll either be the crushes favourite type of flower, or their favourite colour. We can only hope for the patients, and pray that the crushes favourite flower isn’t a type of rose.
(The length of the disease varies with each person. But on an average, it will last up to 2 or 3 mouths, but sometime it’ll only last, a couple weeks).
Versions of Hanahaki Disease
This trope has several variations, and is used in both happy and tragic stories. It often develops over months or even years, beginning with coughing up a few petals and growing in intensity (and pain) until the victim is vomiting entire flowers, by which point the disease has entered its final stages.
The happy ending version is when the object of the victim’s love returns their affections, thus making the love no longer unrequited. The victim is then cured of the disease. This may happen spontaneously when the object of affections realizes his (it’s usually a him) love. Or the disease may require the object to persuade the victim that their love is mutual. If the victim cannot believe that his beloved returns his love, he will die.
The most common version is when the victim’s lungs get filled with the flowers and roots grow in their respiratory system. They choke on their own blood and petals, and die. It is popular due to the angst that comes with character death.
Another version is when the flowers are surgically removed, as are the victim’s feelings of love. Meaning they can no longer love the person they once loved. Sometimes this also removes their memories of the former beloved, or the victim’s ability to ever love again. Often, the one suffering the disease will refuse the surgery, preferring to die rather than losing their feelings.
Many artists and authors tend to use cherry blossoms as the flower of the petals that characters cough up, although it’s not uncommon for the flower to be something significant to the characters. Flower symbolism is also popular in western fandom. For example to represent the victim’s affections or personality, or that of their loved one.