On the outskirts of a remote village at the foot of Mount Aso, in Kiushiu on ancient japan empire, a bell was slowly pealing from a Buddhist temple. It was the season of autumn and the twilight was falling fast. Over the lonely place and the gloom of the deepening dusk of night the solemn music, reverberating across the hills, seemed to toll the transientness of all things earthly.
Not far from the temple was a small cottage. At the door stood a young girl anxiously waiting for her father to come home. From time to time she wiped away the tears which fell from her eyes, and her face and attitude expressed great sorrow. She was but fifteen years of age, and as she stood there, a young and slender figure, she looked like a cherry-blossom of spring in the falling rain.
She was alone, for her father had gone out to hunt some days before and had never returned, and she had had no tidings whatever of him since. She and her father were all in all to each other; her mother was dead and her elder brother was only a name to her; she could not remember him; he had run away from home when she was a small child, and no one knew what had become of him since.
As White Chrysanthemum (Shiragiku), her heart full of sorrow and foreboding, watched and waited for her father's return, she started at everything,—at the leaves falling from the trees, at the sighing of the wind in their branches, at the dropping of the water from the bamboo pipe which brought the hill-stream to the house; as these different sounds from time to time caught her ear expectation made her hope that they might be the footsteps of her father coming home. But the hours passed by and still he did not return.
As the mists rose and the clouds began to close over the mountain, the loneliness of the scene was deepened by the plaint of insects chirruping in the grass, and by the slow pattering on the broad banana palm leaves of the rain just beginning to fall.
At last the dreariness and stillness of approaching night oppressed the girl so much that she could bear it no longer, and she made up her mind to go in search of her father
Now Shiragiku The White Chrysanthemum journey is begin………..
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