Page:Kwaidan; Stories and Studies of Strange Things - Hearn - 1904.djvu/65

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might be permitted to die in the place of O-Tsuyu; and this great favor has been granted me. Therefore you must not grieve about my death. . . . But I have one request to make. I promised Fudō-Sama that I would have a cherry-tree planted in the garden of Saihōji, for a thank-offering and a commemoration. Now I shall not be able myself to plant the tree there: so I must beg that you will fulfill that vow for me. . . . Good-bye, dear friends; and remember that I was happy to die for O-Tsuyu’s sake.”

After the funeral of O-Sodé, a young cherry-tree, — the finest that could be found, — was planted in the garden of Saihōji by the parents of O-Tsuyu. The tree grew and flourished ; and on the sixteenth day of the second month of the following year, — the anniversary of O-Sodé’s death, — it blossomed in a wonderful way. So it continued to blossom for two hundred and fifty-four years, — always upon the sixteenth day of the second month ;— and its flowers, pink and white, were like the nipples of a woman’s breasts, bedewed with milk. And the people called it Ubazakura, the Cherry-tree of the Milk-Nurse.