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Story No. 979

The Pre-eminence of the Oak, Pine-tree, and Mugwort

Book Name:

Aino Folk-Tales

Tradition: Japan, Aino

At the beginning of the world the ground was very hot. The ground was so hot that the creatures called men even got their feet burnt. For this reason, no tree or herb could grow. The only herb that grew at that time was the mugwort. Of trees, the only ones were the oak and the pine. For this reason, these two trees are the oldest among trees. Among herbs, it is the mugwort. This being so, these two trees are divine trees; they are trees which human beings worship. Among herbs, the mugwort is considered to be truly the oldest.

Listen well to this, too, you younger folks!


Translated literally. Told by Penri, 19th July, 1886.


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