Page:Kwaidan; Stories and Studies of Strange Things - Hearn - 1904.djvu/165

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teenth day of the first month.) Alone he went into his garden, and bowed down before the withered tree, and spoke to it, saying: " Now deign, I beseech you, once more to bloom,—because I am going to die in your stead." (For it is believed that one can really give away one's life to another person, or to a creature, or even to a tree, by the favor of the gods;—and thus to transfer one's life is expressed by the term migawari ni tatsu, " to act as a substitute.") Then under that tree he spread a white cloth, and divers coverings, and sat down upon the coverings, and performed hara-kiri after the fashion of a samurai. And the ghost of him went into the tree, and made it blossom in that same hour.

And every year it still blooms on the sixteenth day of the first month, in the season of snow.