Bamboo is a very strong plant. Because of its sturdy root structure, it is symbol of prosperity in Japan. For years, people were told to run into the bamboo groves in the event of an earthquake, because the bamboo's strong root structure would hold the earth together. Simple and unadorned, the bamboo is also symbolic of purity and innocence. "Take o watta youna hito" literally translates into "a man like fresh-split bamboo" and refers to a man with a frank nature. See Namiko Abe. "The Role of Bamboo in Japanese Culture". About.Com. Retrieved 2014-12-08.