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Time to brace ourselves for the season’s first ‘kogarashi’

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Legend has it that a tree spirit in the Hatori district of Shizuoka city, Shizuoka Prefecture, was so smitten by a beautiful human girl that it transformed itself into a young man so it could visit her every night.

But when the girls' father discovered the young man's identity, he cut down the tree in a rage, and cast his daughter adrift on the Warashinagawa river, a tributary of the Abekawa river.

The girl's grief-stricken mother tried to follow her as far as a river island. But there, the girl simply disappeared, and the mother kept pining for her return in vain.

In Japanese, the verb "kogareru" means to "pine for someone/something."

The locals sympathized deeply with the mother, and eventually named the woody part of the island........

© The Asahi Shimbun