Hanahaki Disease

Hanahaki Disease Is Real or Fictional?

Have you ever heard of hanahaki disease? If you are a fan of anime, manga, or fanfiction, you might have come across this term before. But what is it exactly, and where did it come from?

What is Hanahaki Disease?

Hanahaki disease is a fictional illness in which the victim coughs up flower petals when they suffer from one-sided love. It ends when the beloved returns their feelings, or when the victim dies. It can be cured through surgical removal, but when the infection is removed, the victim’s romantic feelings for their love also disappear.

hanahaki disease

The word “hanahaki” comes from the Japanese words “Hana“, which means “flower“, and “hakimasu“, which means “to throw up”. The disease can affect anyone who experiences unrequited love, regardless of their gender or sexuality. The flowers that grow in the victim’s lungs can vary depending on their crush’s favorite flower, color, or personality.

What are the Symptoms of Hanahaki Disease?

The symptoms of hanahaki disease include:

  • Chest pain and difficulty breathing
  • Coughing up flower petals or blood
  • Fever or low body temperature
  • Hallucinations or nightmares
  • Loss of appetite or nausea
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Anemia or weakness

The disease progresses as the victim’s love grows stronger and more hopeless. If left untreated, the flowers will eventually fill up the lungs and suffocate the victim. The only way to stop the disease is to have their love reciprocated or to undergo surgery.

What is the Origin of Hanahaki Disease?

The origin of hanahaki disease is unclear, but it is believed to have been popularized by a shoujo manga (a category of manga/anime marketed to girls) titled Hanahaki Otome, or The Girl Who Spit Flowers in English. The manga was created by Naoko Matsuda and was released in 2009. It tells the story of a girl who falls in love with her childhood friend, but he is engaged to someone else. She develops hanahaki disease and has to choose between dying or losing her feelings for him.

Since then, hanahaki disease has become a common trope in anime, manga, and fanfiction, especially in boys’ love or yaoi (fictional male homosexual romance) genres. It has also inspired many fan art, songs, poems, and other creative works that explore the themes of love, pain, and sacrifice.

Why is Hanahaki Disease Popular?

Hanahaki disease is popular because it appeals to the emotions and imagination of many fans. It creates a dramatic and tragic scenario that heightens the tension and angst between the characters. It also allows for different outcomes and interpretations depending on the author’s preference. Some stories may end happily with the lovers confessing their feelings and curing the disease. Others may end tragically with the victim dying or losing their love. Some may even have a twist where the victim falls in love with someone else or realizes that they don’t need their crush to be happy.

Hanahaki disease also reflects some of the realities and fantasies of unrequited love. Many people can relate to the feeling of loving someone who doesn’t love them back, and how it can cause physical and emotional pain. Some may even wish that their crush could see how much they suffer for them and hope that they would change their mind. Hanahaki disease provides a way to express these feelings symbolically and poetically.


Hanahaki disease is a fictional illness that has captured the hearts and minds of many fans around the world. It is a fascinating and unique concept that explores the beauty and agony of unrequited love. Whether you are a fan of hanahaki disease or not, you can appreciate its creativity and influence on popular culture.


(1) Hanahaki Disease – Works | Archive of Our Own.
(2) Hanahaki Disease – Meaning, Origin, Usage – DigitalCultures.
(3) Hanahaki Disease: Is it Real? Can You Catch? Complete … – Technomantic.
(4) HanaHaki: A health condition where the victim coughs up flower petals ….


Q: What is hanahaki disease?

A: It’s a fictional illness where those with unrequited love cough up flower petals.

Q: How can hanahaki disease be cured?

A: The disease can be cured if the person’s love is returned or through surgical removal, but the surgery erases their romantic feelings.

Q: Where did hanahaki disease come from?

A: It originated from the shoujo manga “Hanahaki Otome” by Naoko Matsuda in 2009.

Q: Why is hanahaki disease popular?

A: It’s popular due to its dramatic and tragic nature, adding tension and angst to character relationships while reflecting the realities and fantasies of unrequited love.

Q: Examples of hanahaki disease in anime, manga, or fanfiction?

A: Naruto, Haikyuu!!, Given, Your Lie in April, and Kimetsu no Yaiba depict instances of hanahaki disease in various storylines.

Q: Are there any real-life cases of hanahaki disease?

A: No, hanahaki disease is purely a fictional concept and does not occur in real life.

Q: Can hanahaki disease be prevented?

A: Since hanahaki disease is fictional, there are no preventive measures to be taken.

Q: Is hanahaki disease reversible?

A: If the person’s love is reciprocated or through surgical intervention, hanahaki disease can be cured. However, the surgical procedure removes the romantic feelings associated with the disease.

Q: Are there variations or adaptations of hanahaki disease in different cultures?

A: While hanahaki disease itself is rooted in Japanese culture, there are similar concepts in other cultures, such as the concept of lovesickness in Western literature.

Q: Can hanahaki disease be seen as a metaphor for unrequited love?

A: Yes, hanahaki disease is often interpreted as a metaphor for unrequited or one-sided love, illustrating the emotional and physical pain that can accompany such feelings.

Q: Can hanahaki disease be fatal?

A: In the fictional world, if left untreated, hanahaki disease can be fatal. However, it’s important to remember that hanahaki disease is not real and exists only in works of fiction.

Q: Are there any known treatments or remedies in fictional portrayals?

A: Fictional portrayals often depict two primary methods of treating hanahaki disease: the reciprocation of love or surgical intervention to remove the infected tissue. However, each portrayal may introduce unique variations to the treatment options.

Q: Can someone develop hanahaki disease for multiple people at the same time?

A: In most fictional depictions, hanahaki disease is typically associated with one-sided love for a specific person. However, creative interpretations and adaptations may introduce variations where multiple individuals can be involved in the development of the disease.