Hanahaki Disease

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Trope · Genre
Related: Angst, Pining
See Also: Feels, Tissue Warning,
Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom
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Hanahaki Disease (花吐き病 (Japanese); 하나하키병 (Korean); 花吐病 (Chinese)) is a fictional disease where the victim coughs up flower petals when they suffer from one-sided love. It can be cured through surgical removal, but when the infection is removed, the victim's romantic feelings for their love also disappear.

The trope was popularized in East Asian fandoms (Korean, Japanese, Chinese) before it was used by Westerners. In fandom, it is used almost exclusively for BL.


There are many ways this trope is used.

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.

The most common version is when the victim's lungs get filled with the flowers and their respiratory system grows roots. They choke on their own blood and petals, and die. Its popularity is due to the angst that comes with the 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 the victim's ability to ever love again.

Many artists and authors tend to use cherry blossoms as the flower of the petals that characters cough up. Flower symbolism is also popular in western fandom.


The term hanahaki comes from the Japanese words hana (花), which means "flower", and hakimasu (吐きます), which means "to throw up".

The Hanahaki Disease trope was popularized with the Japanese shoujo manga,「花吐き乙女」(Hanahaki Otome), or The Girl Who Spit Flowers by Naoko Matsuda (松田奈緒子), which was released in 2009. The symptoms of the disease are summarized to strong pain, having hearts blooming in the heart and lungs, and then throwing them up.

However, among East Asian (Japanese and Korean especially) fans and creators, the concept of flower regurgitation due to unrequited love dates prior to Hanahaki Otome's release. Its true origins are currently unknown.


Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

Fannish Resources