MovieChat Forums > Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (1983) Discussion > What is the signifance of the flowered c...

What is the signifance of the flowered cigarette?


We see a close up of it before its handed off to the general. Earlier he's offered a smoke but declines, but the unfiltered flowered smoke he par takes in. Perhaps it was a joint. (Japense culture has a lot of smoking in it and pot grows wild in some locations)

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It wasn't so much the cigarette, but the lotus on it, which represents spiritual purity. When he gives it to Hara, it's a symbol of atonement and a way for him to retain his honor. He declined an inferior cigarette earlier as a way to keep his body and spirit "pure" as a modern samurai.

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I'm pretty sure that is a chrysanthemum on the cigarette, not a lotus flower. It appears identical to the Imperial Chrysanthemum, which was the Imperial Seal of Japan.


"Dave, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye." 2001: A Space Odyssey

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yes its a chrysanthemum and denotes his status.

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Yes, it's the kikukamonshō, the chrysanthemum symbol of the Imperial house of Japan. When Yanoi takes the pack out of his desk drawer he bows to the Imperial symbol; he gives Hara a single cigarette, which Hara also bows to briefly before he puts it in his pocket. Yonoi is honouring the sergeant with this small presentation, even as he is giving him unwelcome orders.

Maybe these packs of cigarettes were a special gift from the Emperor to his army officers.

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I thought it was an official commission in the form of a rolled up parchment, not a cigarrette.

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