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Ariko

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Ariko was a fabled Lady in the tale Akinosuke's Dream, one of the most popular stories collected in the Hyakumonogatari Kaidenkai, a comprehensive monogatari of popular Kwaidan. [1]

Tale Edit

The tale recounted that Akinosuke, a goshi (farmer-samurai,) fell asleep beneath a cedar tree. A butterfly flew out from his lips and was taken by an ant into a hole beneath the cedar tree. Just as Akinosuke awoke only a few moments later, the butterfly reappeared and flew out into the air. Akinosuke told his closest friend, Lady Chohime, that in his dreams he had spent several years in an island kingdom governed by the Great and Resplendent Lord of Horai. Akinosuke married his daughter, Lady Ariko, who bore him seven children. One day his wife took ill and died, and Akinosuke was sent back to the land from whence he came after her funeral. The Lady Chohime suggested the butterfly might have been Akinosuke's soul. Below the tree was a vast kingdom of ants, the kingdom of the Lord in his dreams. Akinosuke found his island home as a separate colony, and a small stone had underneath a small urn. Inside was an ant, the kanji for Lady Ariko, “the Little Ant.” [2]

References

  1. Book of Void, p. 129
  2. Book of Void, pp. 129-130


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