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When the flowers of lycoris bloom, their leaves would have fallen; when their leaves grow, the flowers would have wilted. This habit gave rise to various legends. A famous one is the legend of two elves: Mañju, who guarded the flower, and Saka, who guarded the leaves. Out of curiosity, they defied their fate of guarding the herb alone, and managed to meet each other. At first sight, they fell in love with each other. God, exasperated by their waywardness, separated the miserable couple, and laid a curse on them as a punishment: the flowers of Mañju shall never meet the leaves of Saka again. It was said that when the couple met after death in Diyu, they vowed to meet each other after reincarnation. However, neither of them could keep their words.

In commemoration of the couple, some call the herbs “Mañjusaka”, a mixture of “Mañju” and “Saka”. The same name is used in Japanese, in which it is pronounced manju-shage. Some other legends have it that when a person sees someone that they may never meet again, these flowers would bloom along the path. Perhaps because of these sorrowful legends, Japanese people often used these flowers in funerals. Popular name Higanbana (彼岸花 Higan bana) of Japanese for lycoris is literally higan (the other or that shore of sanzu river) flower means, decorate and enjoyable, flower of afterlife in gokuraku jyōdo.

Source:  Wikipedia

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