Bashō no Sei2018 by Matthew Meyer

芭蕉精

Bashō no sei are the spirits of Japanase banana trees (Musa basjoo). They are native to the islands of Okinawa, but are common in ornamental gardens across Asia. They usually appear as a human face amongst the broad, flat banana leaves.

Bashō no sei are not particularly hostile or threatening towards people. They generally limit themselves to merely scaring humans by suddenly appearing next to them. For example, in one story a bashō no sei takes the form of a young woman, appears next to a meditating monk and asks him, “Can even inanimate plants attain buddhahood?”
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