Kanji of the Day: 花 (か/はな) ka/hana (flower)

Whenever I hear or see the word 花, I always think of my favorite childhood folklore called 花咲じいさん (Hanasaka jiisan). The story goes something like this:

Long long ago, there was an old couple who loved their cute little white dog very much. One day, when the old man was working in the fields, the dog dug in the field and found a box filled with gold. The old man was overjoyed, and brought the gold back home. A jealous neighbor overheard the story, and managed to borrow the dog believing that it has an ability to find treasure. However, when the dog dug in his fields, it only found a bunch of junks. The jealous neighbor was furious, and killed the dog and lied to the couple that the dog just died from an accident. They were hear-broken, and buried the dead body under the cherry blossom tree in their backyard. The same night the dog appeared in the old man’s dream, and told him to cut down the cherry blossom tree and make a mortar and a mallet, and then make mochi using them. So the next morning, the couple followed the direction, made mortar and mallet, and start pounding mochi in the mortar. The moment he first pound the mochi, gold dust started to gush out from the mortar. The jealous neighbor, again, managed to borrow the mortar and mullet, but when he pound his mochi, feces overflowed the mortar. The angry neighbor demolished the mortar, and burned it.

That night the old man saw a dream of his dog again telling him to sprinkle the ashes of the mortar and mullet on dead cherry blossom trees. When he did, the cherry blossom came into bloom, and a feudal landlord who happened to be passing by marveled the sight, and granted the old man lots of gold. Again, the evil neighbor tried to do the same, but when he did, not only the tree didn’t bloom but the ashes got into the feudal lord’s eyes, and he was sent to jail for lying and being rude to the feudal lord. The old couple lived happily ever after 🙂

It is kind of a twisted story, but definitely teaches you the value of honesty and diligence: I still remember this story so vividly till today. Do you have a favorite fairy tale from your childhood? Please let us know!

 

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