明け六つの 鐘にゆかしき 紫苑(しおん)かな

Once upon a time there were two brothers. The older brother, who has been busy with work, tried to forget his memories with his father by offering flowers “Forget-me-please” (Kanzo) to his father’s grave. The younger brother cherished his memories with his father and offered flowers “Forget-me-not” (Shion) to the grave. The demon who protects the grave was impressed with the younger brother’s actions and gave him supernatural powers as a reward. The younger brother became more and more happy after that.

It is an episode that appears in the narrative literature “Konjaku Monogatari Shu” at the end of the Heian period.

The conclusion of the story says, “If you are happy, plant Shion, and if you are worried, plant Kanzo.”

昔二人の兄弟がいました。出世して仕事が忙しい兄は父のお墓に「忘れ草」(萱草)を供えて父との思い出を忘れようとしました。弟は父との思い出を大切にして、お墓に「思い草」(紫苑)を供えました。お墓を守る鬼は、弟の行いに感心してご褒美に弟に超能力を授けました。弟はその後ますます幸せになりました。

平安時代末期の説話集「今昔物語集」に出てくるエピソードです。

結びには「嬉しいことがあったら紫苑を植えて、憂いがあれば萱草を植えなさい」と書かれています。

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