Meaning: “Firefly”
Gender: Female
Pronunciation: HOH-tah-roo
Origin: Japanese
Other forms of the name: N/A

Fireflies are beautiful things, I have only seen them a few times in my life, I know I caught some once before with my siblings and father, but that is about all I recall. I think to be named after such a lovely little insect would be an honor. Those who are fans of “Sailor Moon” may recognize it as Sailor Saturn’s Japanese name.

There are surprisingly few myths about fireflies, but I read a Japanese myth that I thought was especially beautiful. I’m not sure if this is an actual common myth in Japan but I thought it was interesting nonetheless.

A long time ago a woodsman and his wife lived in a pretty little house on the edge of a forest below Mount Fujiyama. However they were not happy. So one night the wife went out and laid at the base of the Mountain and begged for a child, as she prayed a tiny flicker of light appeared high up on the mountain and floated down until it landed on the branch of a bamboo tree. It was a moonchild that had been sent by the Lady of the Moon. She raised the moonchild until it grew into a beautiful young woman. The Emperor’s son even fell in love with her though she declined his offer of marriage, saying her mother the Lady of the Moon said she must return back to her when she turned twenty. So soon it was time for her to leave and the Emperor’s son, the woodsman and his wife all said goodbye. The Lady of the Moon sent down a moon beam for her to ride on and the girl cried silver tears that grew wings and began to fly over the land, searching for her loved ones.

Another Japanese legend about fireflies is that a man returning home from a wedding party saw a firefly outside of his house, which he thought was strange as it was so cold out. As he approached it, it flew towards him and he poked at it with a stick causing it to fly to the garden. He went to bed and the next morning went to his neighbors to tell them the strange story. His betrothed was the eldest daughter of the neighbor’s and when he went inside their house she came and told him that the night before she had a dream that she had turned into a firefly and had waited for him outside his house. When he arrived she flew towards him to tell him she had learned to fly but he swiped at her with a stick and frightened her off; the man had nothing more to say, probably from shock I’d say!

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