- "Flowers bloom sevenfold and eightfold, but the kerria laments, for not a single fruit does it bear."
- (Nanae yae hana wa sakedomo, yamabuki no mi no hitotsu da ni naki zo, kanashiki)
The poem Yamabuki Otome leaves for Rihan (above) is actually quite well-known in Japan. It was originally a song by Imperial Prince Kaneakira (914-987), the 11th son of Emperor Daigo, which was contained in a collection of old Japanese poems.
The Story Surrounding the PoemEdit
Ōta Dōkan was out hawking (or visiting his father, it varies) when he was caught in a sudden downpour. He stopped at an inn/farmer's house to borrow a grass raincoat and a single girl came out, holding out a Kerria (yamabuki) blossom to him while reciting the aforementioned poem. He then either leaves in anger and is later told the truth by a retainer or realizes the meaning of her actions right there due to recalling the poem and feels ashamed.
Confused? Well, that's because while "mi no hitotsu da ni naki" means "does not have (bear) a single fruit", it can also be read as "mino hitotsu da ni naki" - which means "does not have a single straw raincoat", "mino" (蓑) being the word for a straw raincoat (a fair amount of this information came from saladesu and his Nurarihyon no Mago translations).
What's also interesting is that the Kerria plant is, in fact, sterile - though it remains in bloom for a considerable length of time.