A Japanese myth
Kono Hana Sakuya Hime was the delicately beautiful daughter of the mountain god Oho Yama.
As her name meant, she was the blossom princess who made the trees flower, the flower being the fragile and beautiful cherry blossom.
As she was walking along the seashore one day Ninigi, the God of Rice, happened to see her. Instantly he fell in love with her, which was very natural since she was a very beautiful girl. Ninigi did the proper thing. He approached the girl’s father, the mountain king, and asked for the hand of his daughter in marriage.
Now Oho Yama had an older daughter by the name of Iwa Naga who was the Rock princess. “Why don’t you marry my elder daughter Iwa Naga instead?” asked the mountain god. Oho Yama said this as he did not wish his eldest born to feel that she was any less special.
Ninigi shook his head vehemently. “Oh no! I came to seek your permission to marry Kono Hana because I love her. I do not wish to marry anyone else.’’ He did not even look in the direction of Iwa Naga seated nearby on a rock.
If he had, he would have wondered how her father could suggest such a thing, for the Rock princess was very, very ugly! Iwa Naga heard this and scowled which didn’t exactly improve her looks.
“If you insist then...” sighed Oho Yama. Reluctantly, he gave his consent and soon Kono Hana and Ninigi were married.
That fool, thought Iwa Naga, he thinks he has made the right choice.
If only he had married me, his marriage would have been steady like a rock and lasted for very long.
Instead he chooses the princess of the sakura blossoms. He’ll see how short and fleeting it’s going to be, just like the cherry blossoms. Whether that a curse or just the way destiny was going to play out, we’ll never really know.
Ninigi took his beautiful bride home. To his shock the very next day after they were married, Ninigi discovered that Kono Hana was expecting a child! “What! This cannot be our child! Why, we were married just yesterday!” he screamed at his bride who looked, well, very pregnant!
“How could you say such a thing Ninigi? Do you not trust me?” cried Kono , her doe eyes welling with tears.
“No, no! This child in your belly belongs to some other kami (spirit), maybe someone from the earth perhaps! Do you take me for a fool?”
“You doubt me, Ninigi?” asked the sakura goddess, her delicate brow darkening with anger, “I will show you… If this baby is truly yours it will come to no harm. If not, we will perish together in a blaze, the child and I!”
Kono Hana then shut herself in a windowless hut which she set on fire.
But the flames left Kono and her babies untouched — she had not one but three of them! These children were named Po deri no mikoto (Fire Shine), Po suseri no mikoto (Fire Full) and Po wori no mikoto (Fire Fade).
It was little Fire Fade’s descendant who would one day go on to become the first emperor of Japan.
Over time, the Cherry blossom princess who emerged unscathed from the fire became the patron goddess of Mount Fuji for people believed that she would keep them safe from the volcanic eruptions.
And it’s said that human lives are fragile, fleeting and short like the life of a delicate sakura blossom because Ninigi chose the Cherry blossom Princess instead of the ‘Long Live’ Rock Princess Iwa Naga.