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The old woman cut off the poor little bird's tongue and 
then drove it away. Japanese Fairy Tales 



Profusely Illustratsc! ty Japanese Artists 

Grosset & Ounlap 





fl De&icate tbis JBoofc 


Y. T. O. 

, loos. 


THIS collection of Japanese fairy tales is the 
outcome of a suggestion made to me indirectly 
through a friend by Mr. Andrew Lang. They 
have been translated from the modern version 
written by Sadanami San j in. These stories are 
not literal translations, and though the Japanese 
story and all quaint Japanese expressions have 
been faithfully preserved, they have been told 
more with the view to interest young readers of 
the West than the technical student of folk-lore. 

Grateful acknowledgment is due to Mr. Y. 
Yasuoka, Miss Fusa Okamoto, my brother Nobu- 
mori Ozaki, Dr. Yoshihiro Takaki, and Miss 
Kameko Yamao, who have helped me with trans- 

The story which I have named "The Story of 
the Man who did not Wish to Die " is taken from 
a little book written a hundred years ago by one 
Shinsui Tamenaga. It is named Chosei Furo, 
or ''Longevity." "The Bamboo-cutter and the 
Moon-child " is taken from the classic " Taketari 

Monogatari," and is not classed by the Japanese 



among their fairy tales, though it really belongs 
to this class of literature. 

The pictures were drawn by Mr. Kakuzo Fuji- 
yama, a Tokio artist. 

In telling these stories in English I have fol- 
lowed my fancy in adding such touches of local 
color or description as they seemed to need or as 
pleased me, and in one or two instances I have 
gathered in an incident from another version. 
At all times, among my friends, both young and 
old, English or American, I have always found 
eager listeners to the beautiful legends and fairy 
tales of Japan, and in telling them I have also 
found that they were still unknown to the vast 
majority, and this has encouraged me to write 
them for the children of the West. 

Y. T. O. 

TOKIO, 1903. 





























LONG, long ago there lived in Japan a brave 
warrior known to all as Tawara Toda, or " My 
Lord Bag of Rice." His true name was Fuji wara 
Hidesato, and there is a very interesting story of 
how he came to change his name. 

One day he sallied forth in search of adventures, 
for he had the nature of a warrior and could not 
bear to be idle. So he buckled on his two swords, 
took his huge bow, much taller than himself, in 
his hand, and slinging his quiver on his back 
started out. He had not gone far when he came 
to the bridge of Seta-no-Karashi spanning one 
end of the beautiful Lake Biwa. No sooner had 
he set foot on the bridge than he saw lying right 
across his path a huge serpent-dragon. Its body 
was so big that it looked like the trunk of a large 
pine tree and it took up the whole width of the 
bridge. One of its huge claws rested on the 
parapet of one side of the bridge, while its tail lay 

right against the other. The monster seemed 



to be asleep, and as it breathed, fire and smoke 
came out of its nostrils. 

At first Hidesato could not help feeling alarmed 
at the sight of this horrible reptile lying in his 
path, for he must either turn back or walk right 
over its body. He was a brave man, however, 
and putting aside all fear went forward daunt- 
lessly. Crunch, crunch ! he stepped now on the 
dragon's body, now between its coils, and without 
even one glance backward he went on his way. 

He had only gone a few steps when he heard 
some one calling him from behind. On turning 
back he was much surprised to see that the mon- 
ster dragon had entirely disappeared and in its 
place was a strange-looking man, who was bow- 
ing most ceremoniously to the ground. His red 
hair streamed over his shoulders and was sur- 
mounted by a crown in the shape of a dragon's 
head, and his sea-green dress was patterned with 
shells. Hidesato knew at once that this was no 
ordinary mortal and he wondered much at the 
strange occurrence. Where had the dragon gone 
in such a short space of time ? Or had it trans- 
formed itself into this man, and what did the 
whole thing mean ? While these thoughts passed 
through his mind he had come up to the man on 
the bridge and now addressed him : 

" Was it you that called me just now ? ' 

" Yes, it was I," answered the man : "I have 
an earnest request to make to you. Do you 
think you can grant it to me ? " 



"If it is in my power to do so I will," an- 
swered Hidesato, " but first tell me who you 

"I am the Dragon King of the Lake, and 

Putting aside all Fear, he went forward Dauntlessly. 

my home is in these waters just under this 

" And what is it you have to ask of me ! " said 


" I want you to kill my mortal enemy the centi- 
pede, who lives on the mountain beyond," and the 
Dragon King pointed to a high peak on the op- 
posite shore of the lake. 

" I have lived now for many years in this lake 
and I have a large family of children and grand- 
children. For some time past we have lived in 
terror, for a monster centipede has discovered our 
home, and night after night it comes and carries off 
one of my family. I am powerless to save them. 
If it goes on much longer like this, not only shall I 
lose all my children, but I myself must fall a 
victim to the monster. I am, therefore, very un- 
happy, and in my extremity I determined to ask 
the help of a human being. For many days with 
this intention I have waited on the bridge in the 
shape of the horrible serpent-dragon that you saw, 
in the hope that some strong brave man would 
come along. But all who came this way, as soon 
as they saw me were terrified and ran away as fast 
as they could. You are the first man I have found 
able to look at me without fear, so I knew at 
once that you were a man of great courage. I 
beg you to have pity upon me. Will you not 
help me and kill my enemy the centipede ? " 

Hidesato felt very sorry for the Dragon King 
on hearing his story, and readily promised to 
do what he could to help him. The warrior 
asked where the centipede lived, so that he 
might attack the creature at once. The Dragon 
King replied that its home was on the mount* 


am Mikami, but that as it came every night 
at a certain hour to the palace of the lake, it 
would be better to wait till then. So Hidesato 
vas conducted to the palace of the Dragon King, 
under the bridge. Strange to say, as he followed 
his host downwards the waters parted to let them 
pass, and his clothes did not even feel damp as he 
passed through the flood. Never had Hidesato 
seen anything so beautiful as this palace built of 
white marble beneath the lake. He had often 
heard of the Sea King's palace at the bottom of 
the sea, where all the servants and retainers were 
salt-water fishes, but here was a magnificent 
building in the heart of Lake Biwa. The dainty 
goldfishes, red carp, and silvery trout, waited 
Upon the Dragon King and his guest. 

Hidesato was astonished at the feast that waft 
spread for him. The d ishes were crystallized lotus 
leaves and flowers, and the chopsticks were of 
the rarest ebony. As soon as they sat down, the 
sliding doors opened and ten lovely goldfish danc- 
ers came out, and behind them followed ten red- 
carp musicians with the koto and the samisen. 
Thus the hours flew by till midnight, and the 
beautiful music and dancing had banished all 
thoughts of the centipede. The Dragon King 
was about to pledge the warrior in a fresh cup of 
wine when the palace was suddenly shaken by a 
tramp, tramp ! as if a mighty army had begun 
to march not far away. 

Hidesato and his host both rose to their feet 


and rushed to the balcony, and the warrior saw 
on the opposite mountain two great balls of glow- 
ing fire coming nearer and nearer. The Dragon 
King stood by the warrior's side trembling with 

" The centipede ! The centipede ! Those two 
balls of fire are its eyes. It is coming for its 
prey ! Now is the time to kill it." 

Hidesato looked where his host pointed, and, 
in the dim light of the starlit evening, behind 
the two balls of fire he saw the long body of an 
enormous centipede winding round the mount- 
ains, and the light in its hundred feet glowed 
like so many distant lanterns moving slowly to- 
wards the shore. 

Hidesato showed not the least sign of fear. He 
tried to calm the Dragon King. 

" Don't be afraid. I shall surely kill the centi- 
pede. Just bring me my bow and arrows." 

The Dragon King did as he was bid, and the 
warrior noticed that he had only three arrows 
left in his quiver. He took the bow, and fitting 
an arrow to the notch, took careful aim and let 

The arrow hit the centipede right in the middle 
of its head, but instead of penetrating, it glanced 
off harmless and fell to the ground. 

Nothing daunted, Hidesato took another arrow, 
fitted it to the notch of the bow and let fly. Again 
the arrow hit the mark, it struck the centipede 
right in the middle of its head, only to glance 


off and fall to the ground. The centipede was 
invulnerable to weapons! "When the Dragon 
King saw that even this brave warrior's arrows 
were powerless to kill the centipede, he lost heart 
and began to tremble with fear. 

The warrior saw that he had now only one ar- 
row left in his quiver, and if this one failed he 
could not kill the centipede. He looked across the 
waters. The huge reptile had wound its horrid 
body seven times round the mountain and would 
soon come down to the lake. Nearer and nearer 
gleamed fireballs of eyes, and the light of its 
hundred feet began to throw reflections in the 
still waters of the lake. 

Then suddenly the warrior remembered that he 
had heard that human saliva was deadly to centi- 
pedes. But this was no ordinary centipede. This 
was so monstrous that even to think of such a 
creature made one creep with horror. Hidesato 
determined to try his last chance. So taking his 
last arrow and first putting the end of it in his 
mouth, he fitted the notch to his bow, took care- 
ful aim once more and let fly. 

This time the arrow again hit the centipede 
right in the middle of its head, but instead of 
glancing off harmlessly as before, it struck home 
to the creature's brain. Then with a convulsive 
shudder the serpentine body stopped moving, and! 
the fiery light of its great eyes and hundred feet 
darkened to a dull glare like the sunset of a 
stormy day, and then went out in blackness. A 


great darkness now overspread the heavens, the 
thunder rolled and the lightning flashed, and the 
wind roared in fury, and it seemed as if the world 
were coming to an end. The Dragon King and 
his children and retainers all crouched in differ- 
ent parts of the palace, frightened to death, for 
the building was shaken to its foundation. At 
last the dreadful night was over. Day dawned 
beautiful and clear. The centipede was gone 
from the mountain. 

Then Hidesato called to the Dragon King to 
come out with him on the balcony, for the centi- 
pede was dead and he had nothing more to fear. 

Then all the inhabitants of the palace came out 
with joy, and Hidesato pointed to the lake. There 
lay the body of the dead centipede floating on the 
water, which was dyed red with its blood. 

The gratitude of the Dragon King knew no 
bounds. The whole family came and bowed 
down before the warrior, calling him their pre- 
server and the bravest warrior in all Japan. 

Another feast was prepared, more sumptuous 
than the first. All kinds of fish, prepared in every 
imaginable way, raw, stewed, boiled and roasted, 
served on coral trays and crystal dishes, were put 
before him, and the wine was the best that Hide- 
sato had ever tasted in his life. To add to the 
beauty of everything the sun shone brightly, the 
lake glittered like a liquid diamond, and the palace 
was a thousand times more beautiful by day 
than by night. 


His host tried to persuade the warrior to stay 
a few days, but Hidesato insisted on going home, 
saying that he had now finished what be had 
come to do, and must return. The Dragon King 
and his family were all very sorry to have him 
leave so soon, but since he would go they begged 
him to accept a few small presents (so they said) 
in token of their gratitude to him for delivering 
them forever from their horrible enemy the cen- 

As the warrior stood in the porch taking leave, 
a train of fish was suddenly transformed into a 
retinue of men, all wearing ceremonial robes and 
dragon's crowns on their heads to show that they 
were servants of the great Dragon King. The 
presents that they carried were as follows : 

First, a large bronze bell. 

Second, a bag of rice. 

Third, a roll of silk. 

Fourth, a cooking pot. 

Fifth, a bell. 

Hidesato did not want to accept all these pres- 
ents, but as the Dragon King insisted, he could 
Dot well refuse. 

The Dragon King himself accompanied the 
warrior as far as the bridge, and then took leave 
of him with many bows and good wishes, leaving 
the procession of servants to accompany Hidesato 
to his house with the presents. 

The warrior's household and servants had been 
very much concerned when they found that he 


did not return the night before, but they finally 
concluded that he had been kept by the violent 
storm and had taken shelter somewhere. When 
the servants on the watch for his return caught 
sight of him they called to every one that he was 
approaching, and the whole household turned 
out to meet him, wondering much what the 
retinue of men, bearing presents and banners, 
that followed him, could mean. 

As soon as the Dragon King's retainers had 
put down the presents they vanished, and Hide- 
sato told all that had happened to him. 

The presents which he had received from the 
grateful Dragon King were found to be of magio 
power. The bell only was ordinary, and as Hi- 
desato had no use for it he presented it to the 
temple near by, where it was hung up, to boom 
out the hour of day over the surrounding neigh- 

The single bag of rice, however much was 
taken from it day after day for the meals of the 
knight and his whole family, never grew less 
the supply in the bag was inexhaustible. 

The roll of silk, too, never grew shorter, though 
time after time long pieces were cut off to make 
the warrior a new suit of clothes to go to Court 
in at the New Year. 

The cooking pot was wonderful, too. No matter 
what was put into it, it cooked deliciously what- 
ever was wanted without any firing truly a 
very economical saucepan. 


The fame of Hidesato's fortune spread far and 
wide, and as there was no need for him to spend 
money on rice or silk or firing, he became very 
rich and prosperous, and was henceforth known 
as My Lord Bag of Rice. 


LONG, long ago in Japan there lived an old 
man and his wife. The old man was a good, 
kind-hearted, hard-working old fellow, but his 
wife was a regular cross-patch, who spoiled the 
happiness of her home by her scolding tongue. 
She was always grumbling about something 
from morning to night. The old man had for a 
long time ceased to take any notice of her cross- 
ness. He was out most of the day at work in the 
fields, and as he had no child, for his amusement 
when he came home, he kept a tame sparrow. 
He loved the little bird just as much as if she 
had been his child. 

When he came back at night after his hard 
day's work in the open air it was his only pleasure 
to pet the sparrow, to talk to her and to teach 
her little tricks, which she learned very quickly. 
The old man would open her cage and let her fly 
about the room, and they would play together. 
Then when supper-time came, he always saved 
some tit-bits from his meal with which to feed his 
little bird. 

Now one day the old man went out to chop 
wood in the forest, and the old woman stopped 

at home to wash clothes. The day before, she 



had made some starch, and now when she came 
to look for it, it was all gone ; the bowl which 
she had filled full yesterday was quite empty. 

While she was wondering who could have used 
or stolen the starch, down flew the pet sparrow, and 
bowing her little feathered head a trick which 
she had been taught by her master the pretty 
bird chirped and said : 

" It is I who have taken the starch. I thought 
it was some food put out for me in that basin, and 
I ate it all. If I have made a mistake I beg you 
to forgive me ! tweet, tweet, tweet ! " 

You see from this that the sparrow was a truth- 
ful bird, and the old woman ought to have been 
willing to forgive her at once when she asked her 
pardon so nicely. But not so. 

The old woman had never loved the sparrow, 
and had often quarreled with her husband for 
keeping what she called a dirty bird about the 
house, saying that it only made extra work for 
her. Now she was only too delighted to have some 
cause of complaint against the pet. She scolded 
and even cursed the poor little bird for her bad 
^behavior, and not content with using these 
Jharsh, unfeeling words, in a fit of rage she seized 
the sparrow who all this time had spread out 
her wings and bowed her head before the old wo- 
man, to show how sorry she was and fetched the 
scissors and cut off the poor little bird's tongue. 

' ' I suppose you took my starch with that 
tongue ! Now you may see what it is like to gG 


without it ! " And with these dreadful words she 
drove the bird away, not caring in the least what 
might happen to it and without the smallest pity 
for its suffering, so unkind was she ! 

The old woman, after she had driven the spar- 
row away, made some more rice-paste, grumbling 
all the time at the trouble, and after starching 
all her clothes, spread the things on boards to dry 
in the sun, instead of ironing them as they do in 

In the evening the old man came home. As 
usual, on the way back he looked forward to the 
time when he should reach his gate and see his 
pet come flying and chirping to meet him, ruffling 
out her feathers to show her joy, and at last 
coming to rest on his shoulder. But to-night the 
old man was very disappointed, for not even the 
shadow of his dear sparrow was to be seen. 

He quickened his steps, hastily drew off his 
straw sandals, and stepped on to the veranda. 
Still no sparrow was to be seen. He now felt sure 
that his wife, in one of her cross tempers, had 
shut the sparrow up in its cage. So he called her 
and said anxiously : 

" Where is Suzume San (Miss Sparrow) to- 

The old woman pretended not to know at first, 
and answered : 

"Your sparrow? I am sure I don't know. 
Now I come to think of it, I haven't seen her all 
the afternoon. I shouldn't wonder if the un- 


grateful bird had flown away and left you after 
all your petting ! " 

But at last, when the old man gave her no peace, 
but asked her again and again, insisting that she 
must know what had happened to his pet, she con- 
fessed all. She told him crossly how the sparrow 
had eaten the rice-paste she had specially made 
for starching her clothes, and how when the spar- 
row had confessed to what she had done, in great 
anger she had taken her scissors and cut out her 
tongue, and how finally she had driven the bird 
away and forbidden her to return to the house 

Then the old woman showed her husband the 
sparrow's tongue, saying : 

1 'Here is the tongue I cut off! Horrid little 
bird, why did it eat all my starch ? " 

" How could you be so cruel ? Oh ! how could 
you so cruel ? " was all that the old man could an- 
swer. He was to okind-hearted to punish his be 
shrew of a wife, but he was terribly distressed at 
what had happened to his poor little sparrow. 

"What a dreadful misfortune for my poor 
Suzume San to lose her tongue ! " he said to him- 
self. " She won't be able to chirp any more, and 
surely the pain of the cutting of it out in that 
rough way must have made her ill ! Is there 
nothing to be done ? " 

The old man shed many tears after his cross 
wife had gone to sleep. While he wiped away 
the tears with the sleeve of his cotton robe, a 


bright thought comforted him : he would go and 
look for the sparrow on the morrow. Having de- 
cided this he was able to go to sleep at last. 

The next morning he rose early, as soon as ever 
the day broke, and snatching a hasty breakfast, 
started out over the hills and through the woods, 
stopping at every clump of bamboos to cry : 

" Where, oh where does my tongue-cut spar- 
row stay ? Where, oh where, does my tongue- 
cut sparrow stay ? " 

He never stopped to rest for his noonday meal, 
and it was far on in the afternoon when he found 
himself near a large bamboo wood. Bamboo 
groves are the favorite haunts of sparrows, and 
there sure enough at the edge of the wood he saw 
his own dear sparrow waiting to welcome him. 
He could hardly believe his eyes for joy, and ran 
forward quickly to greet her. She bowed her 
little head and went through a number of the 
tricks her master had taught her, to show her 
pleasure at seeing her old friend again, and, won- 
derful to relate, she could talk as of old. The old 
man told her how sorry he was for all that had hap- 
pened, and inquired after her tongue, wondering 
how she could speak so well without it. Then the 
sparrow opened her beak and showed him that a 
new tongue had grown in place of the old one, 
and begged him not to think any more about the 
past, for she was quite well now. Then the old 
man knew that his sparrow was a fairy, and no 
common bird. It would be difficult to exaggerate 


the old man's rejoicing now. He forgot all his 
troubles, he forgot even how tired he was, for he 
had found his lost sparrow, and instead of being 
ill and without a tongue as he had feared and ex- 
pected to find her, she was well and happy and 
with a new tongue, and without a sign of the ill- 
treatment she had received from his wife. And 
above all she was a fairy. 

The sparrow asked him to follow her, and flying 
before him she led him to a beautiful house in the 
heart of the bamboo grove. The old man was 
utterly astonished when he entered the house to 
find what a beautiful place it was. It was built of 
the whitest wood, the soft cream-colored mats 
which took the place of carpets were the finest he 
had ever seen, and the cushions that the sparrow 
brought out for him to sit 011 were made of the 
finest silk and crape. Beautiful vases and lacquer 
boxes adorned the tokonoma * of every room. 

The sparrow led the old man to the place of 
honor, and then, taking her place at a humble 
distance, she thanked him with many polite bows 
for all the kindness he had shown her for many 
long years. 

Then the Lady Sparrow, as we will now call 
her, introduced all her family to the old man. 
This done, her daughters, robed in dainty crape 
gowns, brought in on beautiful old-fashioned 
trays a feast of all kinds of delicious foods, till 

* An alcove where precious objects are displayed. 



the old man began to think he must be dreaming. 
In the middle of the dinner some of the sparrow's 
daughters performed a wonderful dance, called 
the " Suzume-odori " or the "Sparrow's dance," 
to amuse the guest. 

Never had the old man enjoyed himself so 
much. The hours flew by too quickly in this 
lovely spot, .with all these fairy sparrows to wait 
upon him and to feast him and to dance before 

But the night came on and the darkness re* 
minded him that he had a long way to go and 
must think about taking his leave and return 
home. He thanked his kind hostess for her 
splendid entertainment, and begged her for his 
sake to forget all she had suffered at the hands 
of his cross old wife. He told the Lady Sparrow 
that it was a great comfort and happiness to him 
to find her in such a beautiful home and to know 
that she wanted for nothing. It was his anxiety 
to know how she fared and what had really hap- 
pened to her that had led him to seek her. Now he 
knew that all was well he could return home 
with a light heart. If ever she wanted him for 
anything she had only to send for him and he 
would come at once. 

The Lady Sparrow begged him to stay and rest 
several days and enjoy the change, but the old 
man said he must return to his old wife who 
would probably be cross at his not coming home 
at the usual time and to his work, and there- 


fore, much as he wished to do so, he could not 
accept her kind invitation. But now that he knew 
where the Lady Sparrow lived he would coine to 
see her whenever he had the time. 

When the Lady Sparrow saw that she could 
not persuade the old man to stay longer, she gave 
an order to some of her servants, and they at 
once hrought in two boxes, one large and the 
other small. These were placed before the old 
man, and the Lady Sparrow asked him to choose 
whichever he liked for a present, which she 
wished to give him. 

The old man could not refuse this kind proposal, 
and he chose the smaller box, saying : 

" I am now too old and feeble to carry the big 
and heavy box. As you are so kind as to say 
that I may take whichever I like, I will choose 
the small one, which will be easier for me to 

Then the sparrows all helped him put it on his 
back and went to the gate to see him off, bidding 
him good-by with many bows and entreating 
him to come again whenever he had the time. 
Thus the old man and his pet sparrow separated 
quite happily, the sparrow showing not the 
least ill-will for all the unkindness she had suf- 
fered at the hands of the old wife. Indeed, she 
only felt sorrow for the old man who had to put 
up with it all his life. 

When the old man reached home he found his 
wife even crosser than usual, for it was late on in 


the night and she had been waiting up for him 
for a long time 

" Where have you been all this time ? " she 
asked in a big voice. " Why do you come back 
so late ? " 

The old man tried to pacify her by showing her 
the box of presents he had brought back with 
him, and then he told her of all that had hap- 
pened to him, and how wonderfully he had been 
entertained at the sparrow's house. 

" Now let us see what is in the box," said the 
old man, not giving her time to grumble again. 
"You must help me open it." And they both 
sat down before the box and opened it. 

To their utter astonishment they found the box 
tilled to the brim with gold and silver coins and 
many other precious things. The mats of their 
little cottage fairly glittered as they took out the 
things one by one and put them down and handled 
them over and over again. The old man was 
overjoyed at the sight of the riches that were now 
his. Beyond his brightest expectations was the 
sparrow's gift, which would enable him to give 
up work and live in ease and comfort the rest of 
his days. 

He said : " Thanks to my good little sparrow ! 
Thanks to my good little sparrow ! " many times. 

But the old woman, after the first moments of 
surprise and satisfaction at the sight of the gold 
and silver were over, could not suppress the greed 
of her wicked nature. She now began to re- 


proach the old man for not having brought home 
the big box of presents, for in the innocence of 
his heart he had told her how he had refused the 
large box of presents which the sparrows had 
offered him, preferring the smaller one because it 
was light and easy to carry home. 

" You silly old man," said she, " Why did you 
not bring the large box? Just think what we 
have lost. We might have had twice as much 
silver and gold as this. You are certainly an old 
fool ! " she screamed, and then went to bed as 
angry as she could be. 

The old man now wished that he had said 
nothing about the big box, but it was too late ; 
the greedy old woman, not contented with the 
good luck which had so unexpectedly befallen 
them and which she so little deserved, made up 
her mind, if possible, to get more. 

Early the next morning she got up and made 
the old man describe the way to the sparrow's 
house. When he saw what was in her mind he 
tried to keep her from going, but it was useless. 
She would not listen to one word he said. It is, 
strange that the old woman did not feel ashamed 
of going to see the sparrow after the cruel way 
she had treated her in cutting off her tongue in a 
fit of rage. But her greed to get the big box 
made her forget everything else. It did not even 
enter her thoughts that the sparrows might be 
angry with her as, indeed, they were and 
might punish her for what she had done. 


Ever since the Lady Sparrow had returned home 
in the sad plight in which they had first found her, 
weeping and bleeding from the mouth, her whole 
family and relations had done little else but speak 
of the cruelty of the old woman. " How could 
she," they asked each other, " inflict such a heavy 
punishment for such a trifling offense as that of 
eating some rice-paste by mistake ? " They all 
loved the old man who was so kind and good and 
patient under all his troubles, but the old woman 
they hated, and they determined, if ever they had 
the chance, to punish her as she deserved. They 
had not long to wait. 

After walking for some hours the old woman 
had at last found the bamboo grove which she 
had made her husband carefully describe, and 
now she stood before it crying out : 

"Where is the tongue-cut sparrow's house? 
Where is the tongue-cut sparrow's house ? " 

At last she saw the eaves of the house peeping 
out from amongst the bamboo foliage. She 
hastened to the door and knocked loudly. 

When the servants told the Lady Sparrow that 
her old mistress was at the door asking to see her, 
she was somewhat surprised at the unexpected 
visit, after all that had taken place, and she 
wondered not a little at the boldness of the old 
woman in venturing to come to the house. The 
Lady Sparrow, however, was a polite bird, and so 
she went out to greet the old woman, remember' 
ing that she had once been her mistress. 


The old woman intended, however, to waste no 
time in words, she went right to the point, with- 
out the least shame, and said : 

" You need not trouble to entertain me as you 
did my old man. I have come myself to get the 
box which he so stupidly left behind. I shall soon 
take my leave if you will give me the big box 
that is all I want ! >: 

The Lady Sparrow at once consented, and told 
her servants to bring out the big box. The old 
woman eagerly seized it and hoisted it on her 
back, and without even stopping to thank the 
Lady Sparrow began to hurry homewards. 

The box was so heavy that she could not walk 
fast, much less run, as she would have liked to 
do, so anxious was she to get home and see what 
was inside the box, but she had often to sit down 
and rest herself by the way. 

While she was staggering along under the 
heavy load, her desire to open the box became too 
great to be resisted. She could wait no longer, 
for she supposed this big box to be full of gold 
and silver and precious jewels like the small one 
her husband had received. 

At last this greedy and selfish old woman put 
down the box by the wayside and opened it care- 
fully, expecting to gloat her eyes on a rniue of 
wealth. What she saw, however, so terrified her 
that she nearty lost her senses. As soon as she 
lifted the lid, a number of horrible and frightful 
looking demons bounced out of the box and sur- 


rounded her as if they intended to kill her. Not 
even in nightmares had she ever seen such hor- 
rible creatures as her much-coveted box contained. 
A demon with one huge eye right in the middle 
of its forehead came and glared at her, monsters 
with gaping mouths looked as if they would 
devour her, a huge snake coiled and hissed about 
her, and a big frog hopped and croaked towards 

The old woman had never been so frightened in 
her life, and ran from the spot as fast as her 
quaking legs would carry her, glad to escape 
alive. When she reached home she fell to the 
floor and told her husband with tears all that 
had happened to her, and how she had been nearly 
killed by the demons in the box. 

Then she began to blame the sparrow, but the 
old man stopped her at once, saying : 

''Don't blame the sparrow, it is your wicked- 
ness which has at last met with its reward. I 
only hope this may be a lesson to you in the 
future ! " 

The old woman said nothing more, and from 
that day she repented of her cross, unkind ways, 
and by degrees became a good old woman, so that 
her husband hardly knew her to be the same per- 
son, and they spent their last days together hap- 
pily, free from want or care, spending carefully 
the treasure the old man had received from his 
pet, the tongue-cut sparrow 


LONG, long ago in the province of Tango there 
lived on the shore of Japan in the little fishing 
village of Mizu-no-ye a young fisherman named 
Urashima Taro. His father had been a fisherman 
before him, and his skill had more than doubly 
descended to his son, for Urashima was the most 
skillful fisher in all that country side, and could 
catch more bonito and tai in a day than his com- 
rades could in a week. 

But in the little fishing village, more than for 
being a clever fisher of the sea was he known for 
his kind heart. In his whole life he had never 
hurt anything, either great or small, and when 
a boy, his companions had always laughed at 
him, for he would never join with them in teas- 
ing animals, but always tried to keep them from 
this cruel sport. 

One soft summer twilight he was going home 
at the end of a day's fishing when he came upon 
a group of children. They were all screaming 
and talking at the tops of their voices, and seemed 
to be in a state of great excitement about some- 
thing, and on his going up to them to see what 

was the matter he saw that they were torment- 



ing a tortoise. First one boy pulled it this way, 
then another boy pulled it that way, while a 
third child beat it with a stick, and the fourth' 
hammered its shell with a stone. 

Now Urashima felt very sorry for the poor tor- 
toise and made up his mind to rescue it. He 
spoke to the boys : 

"Look here, boys, you are treating that poor 
tortoise so badly that it will soon die ! " 

The boys, who were all of an age when children 
seem to delight in being cruel to animals, took 
no notice of Urashima's gentle reproof, but went 
on teasing it as before. One of the older boys 
answered : 

" Who cares whether it lives or dies? We do 
not. Here, boys, go on, go on ! " 

And they began to treat the poor tortoise more 
cruelly than ever. Urashima waited a moment, 
turning over in his mind what would be the best 
way to deal with the boj's. He would try to per- 
suade them to give the tortoise up to him, so h<v 
smiled at them and said : 

" I am sure you are all good, kind boys ! Now 
won't you give me the tortoise ? I should like to 
have it so much ! " 

"No, we won't give you the tortoise," said one 
of the boys. " Why should we? We caught it 

" What } r ou say is true," said Urashima, "but 
I do not ask you to give it to me for nothing. I 
will give you some money for it in other words, 


the Ojisan (Uncle) will buy it of you. "Won't that 
do for you, my boys ? " He held up the money to 
them, strung on a piece of string through a hole 
in the center of each coin. " Look, boys, you can 
buy anything you like with this money. You 
can do much more with this money than you can 
with that poor tortoise. See what good boys you 
are to listen to me " 

The boys were not bad boys at all, they were 
only mischievous, and as Urashima spoke they 
were won by his kind smile and gentle words and 
began "to be of his spirit," as they say in Japan. 
Gradually they all came up to him, the ringleader 
of the little band holding out the tortoise to him. 

" Very well, Ojisan, we will give you the tor- 
toise if you will give us the money ! " And Ura- 
shima took the tortoise and gave the money to the 
boys, who, calling to each other, scampered away 
and were soon out of sight. 

Then Urashima stroked the tortoise's back, say- 
ing as he did so : 

" Oh, you poor thing ! Poor thing ! there, 
there ! you are safe now ! They say that a stork 
lives for a thousand years, but the tortoise for 
ten thousand years. You have the longest life 
of any creature in this world, and you were in 
great danger of having that precious life cut 
short by those cruel boys. Luckily I was pass- 
ing by and saved you, and so life is still yours. 
Now I am going to take you back to your home, 
the sea, at once. Do not let yourself be caught 


again, for there might be no one to save you next 
time ! " 

All the time that the kind fisherman was speak- 
ing he was walking quickly to the shore and out 
upon the rocks ; then putting the tortoise into 
the water he watched the animal disappear, and 
turned homewards himself, for he was tired and 
the sun had set. 

The next morning Urashima went out as usual 
in his boat. The weather was fine and the sea 
and sky were both blue and soft in the tender 
haze of the summer morning. Urashima got into 
his boat and dreamily pushed out to sea, throw- 
ing his line as he did so. He soon passed the 
other fishing boats and left them behind him till 
they were lost to sight in the distance, and his 
boat drifted further and further out upon the 
blue waters. Somehow, he knew not why, he 
felt unusually happy that morning ; and he could 
not help wishing that, like the tortoise he set free 
the day before, he had thousands of years to live 
instead of his own short span of human life. 

He was suddenly startled from his reverie by 
hearing his own name called : 

" Urashima, Urashima ! " 

Clear as a bell and soft as the summer wind 
the name floated over the sea. 

He stood up and looked in every direction^ 
thinking that one of the other boats had over- 
taken him, but gaze as he might over the wide 
expanse of water, near or far there was 110 sign 


of a boat, so the voice could not have come from 
any human being. 

Startled, and wondering who or what it was 
that had called him so clearly, he looked in all 
directions round about him and saw that without 
his knowing it a tortoise had come to the side of 
the boat. Urashima saw with surprise that it 
was the very tortoise he had rescued the day 

" Well, Mr. Tortoise," said Urashima, "was it 
you who called my name just now ? ' : 

The tortoise nodded its head several times and 
said : 

" Yes, it was I. Yesterday in your honorable 
shadow (o kage sama de) my life was saved, and 
I have come to offer you my thanks and to tell 
you how grateful I am for your kindness to 

" Indeed," said Urashima, " that is very polite 
of you. Come up into the boat. I would offer 
you a smoke, but as you are a tortoise doubtless 
you do not smoke/' and the fisherman laughed at 
the joke. 

"He he he he!" laughed the tortoise; 
"sake (rice wine) is my favorite refreshment, but 
I do not care for tobacco." 

" Indeed, "said Urashima, "I regret very much 
that I have no " sake " in my boat to offer you, 
but come up and dry your back in the sun tor- 
toises always love to do that." 

So the tortoise climbed into the boat, the fish- 


erman helping him, and after an exchange of 
complimentary speeches the tortoise said : 

" Have you ever seen Rin Gin, the Palace of 
the Dragon King of the Sea, Urashima ? " 

The fisherman shook his head and replied j 
" No ; year after year the sea has been my home, 
but though I have often heard of the Dragon 
King's realm under the sea I have never yet set 
eyes on that wonderful place. It must be very 
far away, if it exists at all ! ' : 

" Is that really so ? You have never seen the 
Sea King's Palace ? Then you have missed see- 
ing one of the most wonderful sights in the whole 
universe. It is far away at the bottom of the 
sea, but if I take you there we shall soon reach 
the place. If you would like to see the Sea 
King's land I will be your guide." 

"I should like to go there, certainly, and you 
are very kind to think of taking me, but you 
must remember that I am only a poor mortal 
and have not the power of swimming like a sea 
creature such as you are " 

Before the fisherman could say more the tor- 
toise stopped him, saying : 

u What ? You need not swim yourself. If 
you will ride on my back I will take you without 
any trouble on your part." 

" But," said Urashima, " how is it possible for 
me to ride on your small back ? ' 

" It may seem absurd to you, but I assure you 
that you can do so. Try at once ! Just come 


and get on my back, and see if it is as impossible 
as you think 1 " 

As the tortoise finished speaking, Urashima 
looked at its shell, and strange to say he saw that 
the creature had suddenly grown so big that a 
man could easily sit on its back. 

" This is strange indeed ! " said Urashima ; 
" then, Mr. Tortoise, with your kind permission 
I will get on yonr back. Dokoisho ! " * he ex- 
claimed as he jumped on. 

The tortoise, with an unmoved face, as if this 
strange proceeding were quite an ordinary event, 
said : 

" Now we will set out at our leisure," and with 
these words he leapt into the sea with Urashima 
on his back. Down through the water the tor- 
toise dived. For a long time these two strange 
companions rode through the sea. Urashima 
never grew tired, nor his clothes moist with the 
water. At last, far away in the distance a mag- 
nificent gate appeared, and behind the gate, the 
long, sloping roofs of a palace on the horizon. 

" Ya," exclaimed Urashima, "that looks like 
the gate of some large palace just appearing ! 
Mr. Tortoise, can you tell what that place is we 
can now see '! " 

" That is the great gate of the Rin Gin Palace. 
7he large roof that you see behind the gate is the 
Sea King's Palace itself." 

* " All right " (only used by lower classes). 


" Then we have at last come to the realm of 
the Sea King and to his Palace," said Urashima. 

"Yes, indeed," answered the tortoise, "and 
don't you think we have come very quickly ? " 
And while he was speaking the tortoise reached 
the side of the gate. " And here we are, and you 
must please walk from here." 

The tortoise now went in front, and speaking 
to the gatekeeper, said : 

"This is Urashima Taro, from the country of 
Japan. I have had the honor of bringing him as 
a visitor to this kingdom. Please show him the 

Then the gatekeeper, who was a fish, at once 
led the way through the gate before them. 

The red bream, the flounder, the sole, the cut- 
tlefish, and all the chief vassals of the Dragon 
King of the Sea now came out with courtly bows 
to welcome the stranger. 

"Urashima Sama, Urashima Sama ! welcome 
to the Sea Palace, the home of the Dragon King 
of the Sea. Thrice welcome are you, having 
come from such a distant country. And you, 
Mr. Tortoise, we are greatly indebted to you for 
all your trouble in bringing Urashima here." 
Then, turning again to Urashima, they said, 
"Please follow us this way," and from here the 
whole band of fishes became his guides. 

Urashima, being only a poor fisher lad, did not 
know how to behave in a palace ; but, strange 
though it was all to him, he did not feel ashamed 


or embarrassed, but followed his kind guides 
quite calmly where they led to the inner palace. 
When he reached the portals a beautiful Princess 
with her attendant maidens came out to welcome 
him. She was more beautiful than any human 
being, and was robed in flowing garments of red 
and soft green like the under side of a wave, and 
golden threads glimmered through the folds of 
her gown. Her lovely black hair streamed over 
her shoulders in the fashion of a king's daughter 
many hundreds of years ago, and when she spoke 
her voice sounded like music over the water. 
Urashima was lost in wonder while he looked 
upon her, and he could not speak. Then he re- 
membered that he ought to bow, but before he 
could make a low obeisance the Princess took him 
by the hand and led him to a beautiful hall, and 
to the seat of honor at the upper end, and bade 
him be seated. 

"Urashima Taro, it gives me the highest pleas- 
ure to welcome you to my father's kingdom," 
said the Princess. "Yesterday you set free a 
tortoise, and I have sent for you to thank you for 
saving my life, for I was that tortoise. Now if 
you like you shall live here forever in the land 
of eternal youth, where summer never dies and 
where sorrow never comes, and I will be your 
bride if you will, and we will live together hap- 
pily forever afterwards ! " 

And as Urashima listened to her sweet words 
and gazed upon her lovely face his heart was 


filled with a great wonder and joy, and he 
answered her, wondering if it was not all a dream : 
"Thank you a thousand times for your kind 
speech. There is nothing I could wish for more 
than to he permitted to stay here with you in this 
beautiful land, of which 1 have often heard, but 
have never seen to this day. Beyond all words, 
this is the most wonderful place I have ever 


While he was speaking a train of fishes ap- 
peared, all dressed in ceremonial, trailing gar- 
ments. One by one, silently and with stately 
steps, they entered the hall, bearing on coral trays 
delicacies of fish and seaweed, such as no one can 
dream of, and this wondrous feast was set before 
the bride and bridegroom. The bridal was cele- 
brated with dazzling splendor, and iu the Sea 
King's realm there was great rejoicing. As soon 
as the young pair had pledged themselves in the 
wedding cup of wine, three times three, music 
was played, and songs were sung, and fishes with 
silver scales and golden tails stepped in from the 
waves and danced. Urashima enjoyed himself 
with all his heart. Never in his whole life had 
he sat down to such a marvelous feast. 

When the feast was over the Princess asked 
the bridegroom if he would like to walk through 
the palace and see all there was to be seen. Then 
the happy fisherman, following his bride, the Sea 
King's daughter, was shown all the wonders of 
that enchanted land where youth and joy go hand 


in hand and neither time nor age can touch them. 
The palace was built of coral and adorned with 
pearls, and the beauties and wonders of the place 
were so great that the tongue fails to describe 

But, to Urashitna, more wonderful than the 
palace was the garden that surrounded it. Here 
was to be seen at one time the scenery of the four 
different seasons ; the beauties of summer and 
winter, spring and autumn, were displayed to the 
wondering visitor at once. 

First, when he looked to the east, the plum and 
cherry trees were seen in full bloom, the nightin- 
gales sang in the pink avenues, and butterflies 
flitted from flower to flower. 

Looking to the south all the trees were green 
in the fullness of summer, and the day cicala and 
the night cricket chirruped loudly. 

Looking to the west the autumn maples were 
ablaze like a sunset sky, and the chrysanthemums 
were in perfection. 

Looking to the north the change made Urashi- 
ma start, for the ground was silver white with 
snow, and trees and bamboos were also covered 
with snow and the pond was thick with ice. 

And each day there were new joys and new 
wonders for Urashima, and so great was his hat> 
piness that he forgot everything, even the home 
he had left behind and his parents and his own 
country, and three days passed without his even 
thinking of all he had left behind. Then his mind 


came back to him and he remembered who 
was, and that he did not belong to this wonderful 
land or the Sea King's palace, and he said to him- 
self : 

" dear ! I must not stay on here, for I have 
an old father and mother at home. What can 
have happened to them all this time ? How anx- 
ious they must have been these days when I did 
not return as usual. I must go back at once 
without letting one more day pass." And he 
began to prepare for the journey in great 

Then he went to his beautiful wife, the Prin- 
cess, and bowing low before her he said : 

" Indeed, I have been very happy with you for 
a long time, Otohime Sama" (for that was her 
name), "and you have been kinder to me than 
any words can tell. But now I must say good- 
by. I must go back to my old parents." 

Then Otohime Sama began to weep, and said 
softly and sadly : 

"Is it not well with you here, Urashima, that 
you wish to leave me so soon ? Where is the 
haste ? Stay with me yet another day only ! " 

But Urashima had remembered his old parents, 
and in Japan the duty to parents is stronger than 
everything else, stronger even than pleasure or 
love, and he would not be persuaded, but an- 
swered : 

" Indeed, I must go. Do not think that I wish 
to leave you. It is not that. I must go and see 


my old parents. Let me go for one day and I 
will come back to you." 

"Then," said the Princess sorrowfully, "there 
is nothing to be done. I will send you back to- 
day to your father and mother, and instead of 
trying to keep you with me one more day, I shall 
give you this as a token of our love please take 
it back with you ; " and she brought him a beau- 
tiful lacquer box tied about with a silken cord 
and tassels of red silk. 

Urashima had received so much from the Prin- 
cess already that he felt some compunction in 
taking the gift, and said : 

" It does not seem right for me to take yet an- 
other gift from you after all the many favors I 
have received at your hands, but because it is 
your wish I will do so," and then he added : 

" Tell me what is this box ? " 

" That," answered the Princess "is the Tamate- 
Bako (Box of the Jewel Hand), and it contains 
something very precious. You must not open 
this box, whatever happens ! If you open it some- 
thing dreadful will happen to you ! Now promise 
me that you will never open this box ! " 

And Urashima promised that he would never, 
never open the box whatever happened. 

Then bidding good-by to Otohime Sama he 
went down to the seashore, the Princess and her 
attendants following him, and there he found a 
large tortoise waiting for him. 

He quickly mounted the creature's back and 


was carried away over the shining sea into the 
East. He looked back to wave his hand to 
Otohime Sama till at last he could see her no 
more, and the land of the Sea King and the roofs 
of the wonderful palace were lost in the far, far 
distance. Then, with his face turned eagerly 
towards his own land, he looked for the rising of 
the blue hills on the horizon before him. 

At last the tortoise carried him into the bay he 
knew so well, and to the shore from whence he 
had set out. He stepped on to the shore and 
looked about him while the tortoise rode away 
back to the Sea King's realm. 

But what is the strange fear that seizes Urashi- 
ma as he stands and looks about him ? Why doe 
he gaze so fixedly at the people that pass him by, 
and why do they in turn stand and look at him ? 
The shore is the same and the hills are the same, 
but the people that he sees walking past him have 
very different faces to those he had known so well 

Wondering what it can mean he walks quickly 
towards his old home. Even that looks different, 
but a house stands on the spot, and he calls out : 

" Father, I have just returned ! " and he was 
about to enter, when he saw a strange man com* 
ing out. 

" Perhaps my parents have moved while I have 
been away, and have gone somewhere else," was 
the fisherman's thought. Somehow he began to 
feel strangely anxious, he could not tell why. 


" Excuse me," said he to the man who was 
staring at him, "but till within the last few days 
I have lived in this house. My name isUrashima 
Taro. Where have my parents gone whom I left 
here ? " 

A very bewildered expression came over the 
face of the man, and, still gazing intently on 
Urashima's face, he said : 

" What ? Are you Urashima Taro ? " 

" Yes," said the fisherman, "I am Urashima 
Taro ! " 

"Ha, ha!" laughed the man, "you must not 
make such jokes. It is true that once upon a 
time a man called Urashima Taro did live in this 
village, but that is a story three hundred years old. 
He could not possibly be alive now ! " 

When Urashima heard these strange words he 
was friglitened, and said : 

"Please, please, you must not joke with me, 
I am greatly perplexed. I am really Urashima 
Taro, and i certainly have not lived three hun- 
dred years. Till four or five days ago I lived on 
this spot. Tell me what I want to know without 
more joking, please." 

But the man's face grew more and more grave, 
and he answered : 

"You mayor may not be Urashima Taro, I 
don't know. But the Urashima Taro of whom I 
have heard is a man who lived three hundred 
years ago. Perhaps you are his spirit come to 
revisit your old home ?" 


"Why do you mock me?" said Urashima. 
" I am no spirit ! I am a living man do you 
not see my feet ;" and " don-don/' he stamped 
on the ground, first with one foot and then with 

A beautiful little Purple Cloud rose out of the Box. 

the other to show the man. (Japanese ghosts 
have no feet.) 

" But Urashima Taro lived three hundred years 
ago, that is all I know ; it is written in the vil- 


lage chronicles," persisted the man, who could 
not believe what the fisherman said. 

Urashima was lost in bewilderment and trouble. 
He stood looking all around him, terribly puzzled, 
and, indeed, something in the appearance of every- 
thing was different to what he remembered before 
he went away, arid the awful feeling came over 
him that what the man said was perhaps true. 
He seemed to be in a strange dream. The few 
days he had spent in the Sea King's palace 
beyond the sea had not been days at all ; they 
had been hundreds of years, and in that time 
his parents had died and all the people he had 
ever known, and the village had written down his 
story. There was no use in staying here any 
longer. He must get back to his beautiful wife 
beyond the sea. 

He made his way back to the beach, carrying 
in his hand the box which the Princess had given 
him. But which was the way ? He could not 
find it alone ! Suddenly he remembered the box, 
the Tamate-Bako. 

"The Princess told me when she gave me the 
box never to open it that it contained a very 
precious thing. But now that I have no home, 
now that I have lost everything that was dear to 
me here, and my heart grows thin with sadness, 
at such a time, if I open the box, surely I shall 
find something that will help me, something that 
will show me the way back to my beautiful 
Princess over the sea. There is nothing else for 


me to do now. Yes, yes, I will open the box and 
look in ! " 

And so his heart consented to this act of dis- 
obedience, and he tried to persuade himself that 
he was doing the right thing in breaking his 

Slowly, very slowly, he untied the red silk cord, 
slowly and wonderingly he lifted the lid of the 
precious box. And what did he find ? Strange 
to say only a beautiful little purple cloud rose out 
of the box in three soft wisps. For an instant it 
covered his face and wavered over him as if 
loath to go, and then it floated away like vapor 
over the sea. 

Urashirna, who had been till that moment like 
a strong and handsome youth of twenty-four, 
suddenl}' became very, very old. His back 
doubled up with age, his hair turned snowy 
white, his face wrinkled and he fell down dead on 
the beach. 

Poor Urashima ! because of his disobedience he 
could never return to the Sea King's realm or the 
lovely Princess beyond the sea. 

Little children, never be disobedient to those 
who are wiser than you, for disobedience was the 
beginning of all the miseries and sorrows of life. 


LONG, long ago, there lived an old farmer and 
his wife who had made their home in the mount- 
ains, far from any town. Their only neighbor 
was a bad and malicious badger. This badger 
used to come out every night and run across to 
the farmer's field and spoil the vegetables and the 
rice which the farmer spent his time in carefully 
cultivating. The badger at last grew so ruthless 
in his mischievous work, and did so much harm 
everywhere on the farm, that the good-natured 
farmer could not stand it any longer, and deter- 
mined to put a stop to it. So he lay in wait day 
after day and night after night, with a big club, 
hoping to catch the badger, but all in vain. Then 
he laid traps for the wicked animal. 

The farmer's trouble and patience was rewarded, 
for one fine day on going his rounds he found the 
badger caught in a hole he had dug for that pur- 
pose. The farmer was delighted at having caught 
his enemy, and carried him home securely bound 
with rope. When lie reached the house the 
farmer said to his wife : 

"I have at last caught the bad badger. You 

must keep an eye on him while I am out at work 



and not let him escape, because I want to make 
him into soup to-night." 

Saying this, he hung the badger up to the 
rafters of his storehouse and went out to his work 
in the fields. The badger was in great distress, 
for he did not at all like the idea of being made 
into soup that night, and he thought and thought 
for a long time, trying to hit upon some plan by 
which he might escape. It was hard to think 
clearly in his uncomfortable position, for he had 
been hung upside down. Very near him, at the 
entrance to the storehouse, looking out towards 
the green fields and the trees and the pleasant 
sunshine, stood the farmer's old wife pounding 
barley. She looked tired and old. Her face was 
seamed with many wrinkles, and was as brown 
as leather, and every now and then she stopped to 
wipe the perspiration which rolled down her face. 

" Dear lady," said the wily badger, " you must 
be very weary doing such heavy work in your 
old age. Won't you let me do that for you ? 
My arms are very strong, and I could relieve you 
for a little while ! " 

"Thank you for your kindness," said the old 
woman, "but I cannot let you do this work for 
me because I must not untie 3*ou, for 3*011 might 
escape if I did, and my husband would be very 
angry if he came home and found you gone." 

Now, the badger is one of the most cunning of 
animals, and he said again in a very sad, gentle, 
voice : 


You are very unkind. You might untie me, 
for I promise not to try to escape. If you are 
afraid of your husband, I will let you bind me 
again before his return when I have finished 
pounding the barley. I am so tired and sore tied 
up like this. If you would only let me down for 
a few minutes I would indeed be thankful ! " 

The old woman had a good and simple nature, 
and could not think badly of any one. Much less 
did she think that the badger was only deceiving 
her in order to get away. She felt sorry, too, 
for the animal as she turned to look at him. He 
looked in such a sad plight hanging downwards 
from the ceiling by his legs, which were all tied 
together so tightly that the rope and the knots 
were cutting into the skin. So in the kindness 
of her heart, and believing the creature's promise 
that he would not run away, she untied the cord 
and let him down. 

The old woman then gave him the wooden 
pestle and told him to do the work for a short 
time while she rested. He took the pestle, but 
instead of doing the work as he was told, the 
badger at once sprang upon the old woman and 
knocked her down with the heavy piece of wood. 
He then killed her and cut her up and made soup 
of her, and waited for the return of the old 
farmer. The old man worked hard in his fields 
all day, and as he worked he thought with pleas- 
ure that no more now would his labor be spoiled 
by the destructive badger. 


Towards sunset he left his work and turned to 
go home. He was very tired, but the thought of 
the nice supper of hot badger soup awaiting his 
return cheered him. The thought that the badger 
might get free and take revenge on the poor old 
woman never once came into his mind. 

The badger meanwhile assumed the old 
woman's form, and as soon as he saw the old 
farmer approaching came out to greet him on the 
veranda of the little house, saying : 

" So you have come back at last. I have made 
the badger soup and have been waiting for you 
for a long time." 

The old farmer quickly took off his straw san- 
dals and sat down before his tiny dinner-tray. 
The innocent man never even dreamed that it was 
not his wife but the badger who was waiting 
upon him, and asked at once for the soup. Then 
the badger suddenly transformed himself back to 
his natural form and cried out: 

" You wife-eating old man ! Look out for the 
bones in the kitchen ! " 

Laughing loudly and derisively he escaped out 
of the house and ran away to his den in the hills. 
The old man was left behind alone. He could 
hardly believe what he had seen and heard. 
Then when he understood the whole truth he was 
so scared and horrified that he fainted right 
away. After a while he came round and burst 
into tears. He cried loudly and bitterly. He 
rocked himself to and fro in his hopeless grief. 


It seemed too terrible to be real that bis faithful 
old wife had been killed and cooked bv the badger 

f O 

while he was working quietly in the fields, know- 
ing nothing of what was going on at home, and 
congratulating hi.'nself on having once for all 
got rid of the wicked animal who had so often 
spoiled his fields. And oh ! the horrible thought ; 
he had very nearly drunk the soup which the crea- 
ture had made of his poor old woman. " Oh dear, 
oh dear, oh dear J " he wailed aloud. Now, not far 
away there lived in the same mountain a kind, 
good-natured old rabbit. He heard the old man 
crying and sobbing and at once set out to see 
what was the matter, and if there was anything 
he could do to help his neighbor. The old man 
-told him all that had happened. When the 
rabbit heard the story he was very angry at the 
wicked and deceitful badger, and told the old 
man to leave everything to him and he would 
avenge his wife's death. The farmer was at last 
comforted, and, wiping away his tears, thanked 
the rabbit for his goodness in coming to him in 
his distress. 

The rabbit, seeing that the farmer was grow- 
ing calmer, went back to his home to lay his 
plans for the punishment of the badger. 

The next day the weather was fine, and the 
rabbit went out to find the badger. He was not 
to be seen in the woods or on the hillside or in 
the fields anywhere, so the rabbit went to his den 
and found the badger hiding there, for the ani- 


mal had been afraid to show himself ever since 
he had escaped from the farmer's house, for fear 
of the old man's wrath. 

The rabbit called out : 

" Why are you not out on such a beautiful 
day ? Come out with me, and we will go and cut 
grass on the hills together." 

The badger, never doubting but that the rabbit 
was his friend, willingly consented to go out 
with him, only too glad to get away from the 
ileighborhood of the farmer and the fear of meet- 
ing him. The rabbit led the way miles away 
from their homes, out on the hills where the grass 
grew tall and thick and sweet. They both set to 
work to cut down as much as they could carry 
home, to store it up for their winter's food. 
When they had each cut down all they wanted 
they tied it in bundles and then started home- 
wards, each carrying his bundle of grass on his 
back. This time the rabbit made the badger go 

When they had gone a little way the rabbit 
took out a flint and steel, and, striking it over 
the badger's back as he stepped along in front, 
set his bundle of grass on fire. The badger 
heard the flint striking, and asked : 

" What is that noise, ' Crack, crack' ?" 

"Oh, that is nothing," replied the rabbit ; "I 
only said 'Crack, crack,' because this mountain 
is called Crackling Mountain." 

The fire soon spread in the bundle of dry grass 

The rabbit took a flint and steel and set the badger's bundle 
of grass on fire. Page 48. Japanese Fairy Tale* 


on the badger's back. The badger, hearing the 
crackle of the burning grass, asked, " What is 

"Now we have come to the 'Burning Mount- 
ain,' " answered the rabbit. 

By this time the bundle was nearly burned out 
and all the hair had been burned off the badger's 
back. He now knew what had happened by the 
smell of the smoke of the burning grass. Scream- 
ing with pain the badger ran as fast as he could 
to his hole. The rabbit followed and found him 
lying on his bed groaning with pain. 

"What an unlucky fellow you are! " said the 
rabbit. " I can't imagine how this happened ! I 
will bring you some medicine which will heal 
your back quickly ! " 

The rabbit went away glad and smiling to think 
that the punishment upon the badger had already 
begun. He hoped that the badger would die of 
his burns, for he felt that nothing could be too 
bad for the animal, who was guilty of murdering 
a poor helpless old woman who had trusted him. 
He went home and made an ointment by mixing 
some sauce and red pepper together. 

He carried this to the badger, but before put- 
ting it on he told him that it would cause him 
great pain, but that he must bear it patiently, 
because it was a very wonderful medicine for 
burns and scalds and such wounds. The badger 
thanked him and begged him to apply it at once. 
But no language can describe the agony of the 


badger as soon as the red pepper had been pasted 
all over his sore back. He rolled over and over 
and howled loudly. The rabbit, looking on, felt 
that the farmer's wife was beginning to be 

The badger was in bed for about a month ; but 
at last, in spite of the red pepper application, his 
burns healed and he got well. When the rabbit 
saw that the badger was getting well, he thought 
of another plan by which he could compass the 
creature's death. So he went one day to pay the 
badger a visit and to congratulate him on his 

During the conversation the rabbit mentioned 
that he was going fishing, and described how 
pleasant fishing was when the weather was fine 
and the sea smooth. 

The badger listened with pleasure to the rabbit's 
account of the way he passed his time now, and 
forgot all his pains and his month's illness, and 
thought what fun it would be if he could go fish- 
ing too ; so he asked the rabbit if he would take 
him the next time he went out to fish. This was 
just what the rabbit wanted, so he agreed. 

Then he went home and built two boats, one of 
wood and the other of clay. At last they were 
both finished, and as the rabbit stood and looked 
at his work he felt that all his trouble would be 
well rewarded if his plan succeeded, and he could 
manage to kill the wicked badger now. 

The day came when the rabbit had arranged to 


take the badger fishing. He kept the wooden 
boat himself and gave the badger the clay boat. 
The badger, who knew nothing about boats, was 
delighted with his new boat and thought how 
kind it was of the rabbit to give it to him. They 
both got into their boats and set out. After go- 
ing some distance from the shore the rabbit pro- 
posed that they should try their boats and see 
which one could go the quickest. The badger fell 
in with the proposal, and they both set to work 
to row as fast as they could for some time. In 
the middle of the race the badger found his boat 
going to pieces, for the water now began to soften 
the clay. He cried out in great fear to the rab- 
bit to help him. But the rabbit answered that 
he was avenging the old woman's murder, and 
that this had been his intention all along, and 
that he was happy to think that the badger had 
at last met his deserts for all his evil crimes, and 
was to drown with no one to help him. Then he 
raised his oar and struck at the badger with all 
his strength till he fell with the sinking clay boat 
and was seen no more. 

Thus at last he kept his promise to the old 
farmer. The rabbit now turned and rowed shore- 
wards, and having landed and pulled his boat 
upon the beach, hurried back to tell the old farmer 
everything, and how the badger, his enemy, had 
been killed. 

The old farmer thanked him with tears in his 
eyes. He said that till now he could never sleep 


at night or be at peace in the daytime, thinking 
of how his wife's death was unavenged, but from 
this time he would be able to sleep and eat as of 
old. He begged the rabbit to stay with him and 
share his home, so from this day the rabbit went 
to stay with the old farmer and they both lived 
together as good friends to the end of their days. 


THE compass, with its needle always pointing 
to the North, is quite a common thing, and no 
one thinks that it is remarkable now, though 
when it was first invented it must have been a 

Now lon^ ago in China, there was a still more 
wonderful invention called the Shinansha. This 
was a kind of chariot with the figure of a man 
on it always pointing to the South. No matter 
how the chariot was placed the figure always 
wheeled about and pointed to the South. 

Tliis curious instrument was invented by Kotei, 
one of the three Chinese Emperors of the Mytho- 
logical age. Kotei was the son of the Emperor 
Yuhi. Before he was born his mother had a vision 
which foretold that her son would be a great man. 

One summer evening she went out to walk in 
the meadows to seek the cool breezes which blow 
at the end of the day and to gaze with pleasure 
at the star-lit heavens above her. As she looked 
At the North Star, strange to relate, it shot forth 
vivid flashes of lightning in every direction. Soon 
after this her son Kotei came into the world. 

Kotei in time grew to manhood and succeeded 



his father the Emperor luhi. His early reign 
was greatly troubled by the rebel Shiyu. This 
rebel wanted to make himself King, and many 
were the battles which he fought to this end. 
Shiyu was a wicked magician, his head was made 
of iron, and there was no man that could con- 
quer him. 

At last Kotei declared war against the rebel 
and led his army to battle, and the two armies 
met on a plain called Takuroku. The Emperor 
boldly attacked the enemy, but the magician 
brought down a dense fog upon the battlefield, 
and while the royal army were wandering about 
in confusion, trying to find their way, Shiyu re- 
treated with his troops, laughing at having fooled 
the royal army. 

No matter however strong and brave the Em- 
peror's soldiers were, the rebel with his magic 
could always escape in the end. 

Kotei returned to his Palace, and thought and 
pondered deeply as to how he should conquer the 
magician, for he was determined not to give up 
yet. After a long time he invented the Shinan- 
sha with the figure of a man always pointing 
South, for there were no compasses in those days. 
With this instrument to show him the way he 
need not fear the dense fogs raised up by the 
magician to confound his men. 

Kotei again declared war against Shiyu. He 
placed the Shinansha in front of his army and 
led the way to the battlefield. 


The battle began in earnest. The rebel was 
being driven backward by the royal troops when 
lie again resorted to magic, and upon his saying 
some strange words in a loud voice, immediately 
a dense fog came down upon the battlefield. 

But this time no soldier minded the fog, not one 
was confused. Kotei by pointing to the Shinan- 
sha could find his way and directed the army 
without a single mistake. He closely pursued the 
rebel army and drove them backward till they 
came to a big river. This river Kotei and his 
men found was swollen by the floods and impos- 
sible to cross. 

Shiyu by using his magic art quickly passed 
over with his army and shut himself up in a 
fortress on the opposite bank. 

When Kotei found his march checked he was 
wild with disappointment, for he had very nearly 
overtaken the rebel when the river stopped him. 

He could do nothing, for there were no boats 
in those days, so the Emperor ordered his tent to 
be pitched in the pleasantest spot that the place 

One day he stepped forth from his tent and 
after walking about for a short time he came to 
a pond. Here he sat down on the bank and was 
lost in thought. 

It was autumn. The trees growing along the 
edge of the water were shedding their leaves, 
which floated hither and thither on the surface of 
the pond. By and by, Kotei's attention was at- 


tracted to a spider on the brink of the water. 
The little insect was trying togeton to one of the 
floating leaves near by. It did so at last, and 
was soon floating over the water to the other side 
of the pond. 

This little incident made the clever Emperor 
think that he might try to make something that 
could carry himself and his men over the river in 
the same way that the leaf had carried over the 
spider. He set to work and persevered till he 
invented the first boat. When he found that it 
was a success he set all his men to make more, 
and in time there were enough boats for the 
whole army. 

Kotei now took his army across the river, and 
attacked Shiyu's headquarters. He gained a 
complete victory, and so put an end to the war 
which had troubled his country for so long. 

This wise and good Emperor did not rest till he 
had secured peace and prosperity throughout his 
whole land. He was beloved by his subjects, who 
now enjoyed their happiness of peace for many 
long years under him. He spent a great deal of 
time in making inventions which would benefit 
his people, and he succeeded in many besides the 
boat and the South Pointing Shinansha. 

He had reigned about a hundred years when 
one day, as Kotei was looking upwards, the sky 
became suddenly red, and something came glit 
tering like gold towards the earth. As it came 
nearer Kotei saw that it was a great Dragon. The 


Dragon approached and bowed down its head be- 
fore the Emperor. The Empress and the courtiers 
were so frightened that they ran away screaming. 

But the Emperor only smiled and called to them 
to stop, and said : 

"Do not be afraid. This is a messenger from 
Heaven. My time here is finished ! " He then 
mounted the Dragon, which began to ascend to- 
wards the sky. 

When the Empress and the courtiers saw this 
they all cried out together : 

"Wait a moment! We wish to come too." 
And they all ran and caught hold of the Dragon's 
beard and tried to mount him. 

But it was impossible for so many people to 
ride on the Dragon. Several of them hung on 
to the creature's beard so that when it tried to 
mount the hair was pulled out and they fell 
to the ground. 

Meanwhile the Empress and a few of the cour- 
tiers were safely seated on the Dragon's back. 
The Dragon flew up so high in the heavens that 
in a short time the inmates of the Palace, who 
had been left behind disappointed, could see them 
no more. 

After some time a bow and an arrow dropped 
to the earth in the courtyard of the Palace. They 
were recognized as having belonged to the Em- 
peror Kotei. The courtiers took them up care- 
fully and preserved them as sacred relics in the 


LONG, long ago there lived in Kyoto a brave 
soldier named Kintoki. Now he fell in love with 
a beautiful lady and married her. Not long after 
this, through the malice of some of his friends, 
he fell into disgrace at Court and was dismissed. 
This misfortune so preyed upon his mind that he 
did not long survive his dismissal he died, leav- 
ing behind him his beautiful young wife to face 
the world alone. Fearing her husband's enemies, 
she fled to the Ashigara Mountains as soon as her 
husband was dead, and there in the lonely forests 
where no one ever came except woodcutters, a little 
boy was born to her. She called him Kintaro or 
the Golden Boy. Now the remarkable thing 
about this child was his great strength, and as he 
grew older he grew stronger and stronger, so 
that by the time he was eight years of age he was 
able to cut down trees as quickly as the woodcut- 
ters. Then his mother gave him a large ax, and 
he used to go out in the forest and help the wood- 
cutters, who called him " Wonder-child," and his 
mother the "Old Nurse of the Mountains," for 
they did not know her high rank. Another fa- 
vorite pastime of Kintaro's was to smash up 



rocks and stones. You can imagine how strong 
he was ! 

Quite unlike other boys, Kintaro, grew up all 
alone in the mountain wilds, and as he had no 
companions he made friends with all the animals 
and learned to understand them and to speak 
their strange talk. By degrees they all grew 
quite tame and looked upon Kintaro as their 
master, and he used them as his servants and 
messengers. But his special retainers were the 
bear, the deer, the monkey and the hare. 

The bear often brought her cubs for Kintaro to 
romp with, and when she came to take them 
home Kintaro would get on her back and have 
a ride to her cave. He was very fond of the 
deer too, and would often put his arms round 
the creature's neck to show that its long horns 
did not frighten him. Great was the fun they all 
had together. 

One day, as usual, Kintaro went up into the 
mountains, followed by the bear, the deer, the 
monkey, and the hare. After walking for some 
time up hill and down dale and over rough roads, 
they suddenly came out upon a wide and grassy 
plain covered with pretty wild flowers. 

Here, indeed, was a nice place where they could 
all have a good romp together. The deer rubbed 
his horns against a tree for pleasure, the monkey 
scratched his back, the hare smoothed his long 
ears, and the bear gave a grunt of satisfac- 


Kintaro said, " Here is a place fora good game. 
What do you all say to a wrestling match ? " 

The bear being the biggest and the oldest, an- 
swered for the others : 

"That will be great fun," said she. " I am the 
strongest animal, so I will make the platform for 
the wrestlers ; " and she set to work with a will 
to dig up the earth and to pat it into shape. 

"All right," said Kintaro, "I will look on 

while you all wrestle with each other. I shall 

give a prize to the one who wins in each round/' 

' " What fun ! we shall all try to get the prize," 

said the bear. 

The deer, the monkey and the hare set to work 
to help the bear raise the platform on which they 
were all to wrestle. When this was finished, 
Kintaro cried out : 

"Now begin! the monkey and the hare shall 
open the sports and the deer shall be umpire. 
Now, Mr. Deer, you are to be umpire!" 

" He, he! " answered the deer. "I will be um- 
pire. Now, Mr. Monkey and Mr. Hare, if you 
are both ready, please walk out and take your 
places on the platform." 

Then the monkey and the hare both hopped 
out, quickly and nimbly, to the wrestling plat- 
form. The deer, as umpire, stood between the 
two and called out: 

"Red-back! Redback!" (this to the monkey, 
who has a red back in Japan). "Are you 
ready 2 " 


Then he turned to the hare : 

"Long-ears ! Long-ears ! are you ready?" 

Both the little wrestlers faced each other while 
the deer raised a leaf on high as signal. When 
he dropped the leaf the monkey and the hare 
rushed upon each other, crying " Yoisho, yoisho ! " 

While the monkey and the hare wrestled, the 
deer called out encouragingly or shouted warn- 
ings to each of them as the hare or the monkey 
pushed each other near the edge of the platform 
and were in danger of falling over. 

" Red-hack ! Red-hack ! stand your ground 1 " 
called out the deer. 

" Long ears ! Long- ears ! he strong, be strong 
don't let the monkey beat you ! " grunted the bear. 

So the monkey and the hare, encouraged by 
their friends, tried their very hardest to beat each 
other. The hare at last gained on the monkey. 
The monkey seemed to trip up, and the hare 
giving him a good push sent him flying off the 
plattorm with a bound. 

The poor monkey sat up rubbing his back, and 
his face was very long as he screamed angrily, 
"Oh, oh! how my back hurts my back hurts 

Seeing the monkey in this plight on the 
ground, the deer holding his leaf on high said : 

"This round is finished the hare has won." 

Kintaro then opened his luncheon box and 
taking out a rice-dumpling, gave it to the hare 
saying : 


"Here is your prize, and you have earned it 

well ! " 

Now the monkey got up looking very cross, 
and as they say in Japan " his stomach stood up," 
for he felt that he had not been fairly beaten. 
So he said to Kintaro and the others who were 
standing by : 

11 1 have not been fairly beaten. My foot slipped 
and I tumbled. Please give me another chance 
and let the hare wrestle with me for another 

Then Kintaro consenting, the hare and the 
monkey began to wrestle again. Now, as every 
one knows, the monkey is a cunning animal by 
nature, and he made up his mind to get the best 
of the hare this time if it were possible. To do 
this, he thought that the best and surest way 
would be to get hold of the hare's long ear. This 
he soon managed to do. The hare was quite 
thrown off his guard by the pain of having his 
long ear pulled so hard, and the monkey seizing 
his opportunity at last, caught hold of one of the 
hare's legs and sent him sprawling in the middle 
of the dai's. The monkey was now the victor and 
received a rice-dumpling from Kintaro, which 
pleased him so much that he quite forgot his 
sore back. 

The deer now came up and asked the hare if he 
felt ready for another round, and if so whether 
he would try a round with him, and the hare 


consenting, they both stood up to wrestle. The 
bear came forward as umpire. 

The deer with long horns and the hare with 
long ears, it must have been an amusing sight to 
those who watched this queer match. Suddenly 
the deer went down on one of his knees, and the 
bear with the leaf on high declared him beaten. 
In this way, sometimes the one, sometimes the 
other, conquering, the little party amused them- 
selves till they were tired. 

At last Kintaro got up and said : 

" This is enough for to-day. What a nice place 
we have found for wrestling ; let us come again 
to-morrow. Now, we will all go home. Come 
along ! " So saying, Kintaro led the way while 
the animals followed. 

After walking some little distance they came 
out on the banks of a river flowing through a 
valley. Kintaro and his four furry friends stood 
and looked about for some means of crossing. 
Bridge there was none. The river rushed " don, 
don " on its way. All the animals looked serious, 
wondering how they could cross the stream and 
get home that evening. 

Kintaro, however, said : 

" Wait a moment. I will make a good bridge 
for you all in a few minutes." 

The bear, the deer, the monkey and the hare 
looked at him to see what he would do now. 

Kintaro went from one tree to another that 
grew along the river bank. At last he stopped 


in front of a very large tree that was growing at 
the water's edge. He took hold of the trunk and 
pulled it with all his might, once, twice, thrice ! 
At the third pull, so great was Kintaro's strength 
that the roots gave way, ami " raeri, rneri " 
(crash, crash), over fell the tree, forming an ex- 
cellent hridge across the stream. 

"There," said Kintaro, " what do you think of 
my hridge ? It is quite safe, so follow me," and 
he stepped across first. The four animals fol- 
lowed. Never had they seen any one so strong 
before, and they all exclaimed : 

" How strong he is ! how strong he is ! " 

While all this was going on by the river a 
woodcutter, who happened to be standing on a 
rock overlooking the stream, had seen all that 
passed beneath him. He watched with great 
surprise Kintaro and his animal companions. He 
rubbed his eyes to be sure that he was not dream- 
ing when he saw this boy pull over a tree by the 
roots and throw it across the stream to form a 

The woodcutter, for such he seemed to be by 
his dress, marveled at all he saw, and said to 
himself : 

" This is no ordinary child. Whose son can he 
be ? I will find out before this day is done." 

He hastened after the strange party and crossed 
the bridge behind them. Kintaro knew nothing 
of all this, and little guessed that he was being 
followed. On reaching the other side of the river 


he and the animals separated, they to their lairs 
in the woods and he to his mother, who was 
waiting for him. 

As soon as he entered the cottage, which stood 
like a matchbox in the heart of the pine- woods, 
he went to greet his mother, saying : 

" Okkasan (mother), here I am ! " 

" O, Kimbo ! " said his mother with a bright 
smile, glad to see her boy home safe after the long 
day. " How late you are to-day. I feared that 
something had happened to you. Where have 
you been all the time ?" 

" I took my four friends, the bear, the deer, the 
monkey, and the hare, up into the hills, and there 
I made them try a wrestling match, to see which 
was the strongest. We all enjoyed the sport, and 
are going to the same place to-morrow to have 
another match." 

" Now tell me who is the strongest of all?" 
asked his mother, pretending not to know. 

"Oh, mother," said Kintaro, "don't you know- 
that I am the strongest ? There was no need for 
me to wrestle with any of them." 

" But next to you then, who is the strongest ? " 

"The bear comes next to mo in strength," an- 
swered Kintaro. 

"And after the bear?" asked his mother again. 

"Next to the bear it is not easy to say which 
is the strongest, for the deer, the monkey, and the 
hare all seem to be as strong as each other," said 


Suddenly Kintaro and his mother were startled 
by a voice from outside. 

"Listen to me, little boy! Next time you go, 
take this old man with you to the wrestling 
match. He would like to join the sport too ! " 

It was the old woodcutter who had followed 
Kintaro from the river. He slipped off his clogs 
and entered the cottage. Yama-uba and her son 
were both taken by surprise. They looked at the 
intruder wonderingly, and saw that he was some 
one they had never seen before. 

" Who are you ? " they both exclaimed. 

Then the woodcutter laughed and said : 

"It does not matter who I am yet, but let us 
see who has the strongest arm this boy or 

Then Kintaro, who had lived all his life in the 
forest, answered the old man without any cere- 
mony, saying : 

"We will have a try if you wish it, but you 
must not be angry whoever is beaten." 

Then Kintaro and the woodcutter both put out 
their right arms and grasped each other's hands. 
For a long time Kintaro and the old man wrestled 
together in this way, each trying to bend the 
other's arm, but the old man was very strong, 
and the strange pair were evenly matched. At 
last the old man desisted, declaring it a drawn 

"You are, indeed, a very strong child. There 
are few men who can boast of the strength of my 


right arm ! " said the woodcutter. "I saw you 
first on the banks of the river a few hours ago, 
when you pulled up that large tree to make a 
bridge across the torrent. Hardly able to believe 
what I saw I followed you home. Your strength 
of arm, which I have just tried, proves what I 
saw this afternoon. When you are full-grown 
you will surely be the strongest man in all Japan. 
It is a pity that you are hidden away in these 
wild mountains." 

Then he turned to Kintaro's mother : 

"And you, mother, have you no thought of 
taking your child to the Capital, and of teaching 
him to carry a sword as befits a samurai (a 
Japanese knight) ? " 

" You are very kind to take so much interest 
in my son," replied the mother ; " but he is as 
you see, wild and uneducated, and I fear it would 
be very difficult to do as you say. Because of 
his great strength as an infant I hid him away 
in this unknown part of the country, for he hurt 
every one that came near him. I have often 
wished that I could, one day, see my boy a 
knight wearing two swords, but as we have no 
influential friend to introduce us at the Capital, 
I fear my hope will never come true." 

"You need not trouble yourself about that. 
To tell you the truth I am no woodcutter ! I am 
one of the great generals of Japan. My name is 
Sadamitsu, and I am a vassal of the powerful 
Lord Minamoto-no-Raiko. He ordered me to go 


round the country and look for boys who give 
promise of remarkable strength, so that they may 
be trained as soldiers for his army. I thought that 
I could best do this by assuming the disguise of 
a woodcutter. By good fortune, I have thus un- 
expectedly come across your son. Now if you 
really wish him to be a samurai (a knight), I will 
take him and present him to the Lord Raiko as 
a candidate for his service. What do you say to 
this ? " 

As the kind general gradually unfolded his plan 
the mother's heart was filled with a great joy. 
She saw that here was a wonderful chance of the 
one wish of her life being fulfilled that of seeing 
Kintaro a samurai before she died. 

Bowing her head to the ground, she replied : 

" I will then intrust my son to you if you 
really mean what you say." 

Kintaro had all this time been sitting by his 
mother's side listening to what they said. When 
his mother finished speaking, he exclaimed : 

" Oh, joy ! joy ! I am to go with the general 
and one day I shall be a samurai /" 

Thus Kin tare's fate was settled, and the gen- 
eral decided to start for the Capital at once, taking 
Kintaro with him. It need hardl}' be said that 
Yama-uba was sad at parting with her boy, for 
he was all that was left to her. But she hid her 
grief with a strong face, as they say in Japan. 
She knew that it was for her boy's good that he 
should leave her now, and she must not discour* 


age him just as lie was setting out. Kintaro 
promised never to forget her, and said that as soon 
as lie was a knight wearing two swords he would 
build her a home and take care of her in her old 

All the animals, those he had tamed to serve 
him, the bear, the deer, the monkey, and the hare, 
as soon as they found out that he was going 
away, came to ask if they might attend him as 
usual. When they learned that he was going 
away for good they followed him to the foot of 
the mountain to see him off. 

" Kirnbo," said his mother, "mind and be a 
good boy." 

"Mr. Kintaro/' said the faithful animals, "we 
wish you good health on your travels." 

Then they all climbed a tree to see the last of 
him, and from that height they watched him and 
his shadow gradually grow smaller and smaller, 
till he was lost to sight. 

The general Sadamitsu went on his way re- 
joicing at having so unexpectedly found such a 
prodigy as Kintaro. 

Having arrived at their destination the general 
took Kintaro at once to his Lord, Minamoto-no- 
Raiko, and told him all about Kintaro and how 
he had found the child. Lord Raiko was delighted 
with the story, and having commanded Kintaro 
to be brought to him, made him one of his vassals 
at once. 

Lord Raiko's army was famous for its band 


called "The Four Braves." These warriors were 
chosen by himself from amongst the bravest and 
strongest of his soldiers, and the small and well- 
picked band was distinguished throughout the 
whole of Japan for the dauntless courage of its 

When Kintaro grew up to be a man his master 
made him the Chief of the Four Braves. He was 
by far the strongest of them all. Soon after this 
event, news was brought to the city that a can- 
nibal monster had taken up his abode not far 
away and that people were stricken with fear. 
Lord Raiko ordered Kintaro to the rescue. He 
immediately started off, delighted at the prospect 
of trying his sword. 

Surprising the monster in its den, he made 
short work of cutting off its great head, which he 
carried back in triumph to his master. 

Kintaro now rose to be the greatest hero of his 
country, and great was the power and honor and 
wealth that came to him. He now kept his 
promise and built a comfortable home for his 
old mother, who lived happily with him in the 
Capital to the end of her days. 

Is not this the story of a great hero 2 



MANY, many years ago there lived in Nara, the 
ancient Capital of Japan, a wise State minister, 
by name Prince Toyonari Fujiwara. His wife 
was a noble, good, and beautiful woman called 
Princess Murasaki (Violet). They had been mar- 
ried by their respective families according to 
Japanese custom when very young, and had lived 
together happily ever since. They had, however, 
one cause for great sorrow, for as the years went 
by no child was born to them. This made them 
very unhappy, for they both longed to see a child 
of their own who would grow up to gladden their 
old age, carry on the family name, and keep up 
the ancestral rites when they were dead. The 
Prince and his lovely wife, after long consulta- 
tion and much thought, determined to make a 
pilgrimage to the temple of Hase-no-Kwannon 
(Goddess of Mercy at Hase), for they believed, 
according to the beautiful tradition of their relig- 
ion, that the Mother of Mercy, Kwannon, comes 
to answer the prayers of mortals in the form that 
they need the most. Surely after all these years 
of prayer she would come to them in the form of 
a beloved child in answer to their special pilgrim- 



age, for that was the greatest need of their two 
lives. Everything else they had that this life 
could give them, but it was all as nothing because 
the cry of their hearts was unsatisfied. 

So the Prince Toyonari and his wife went to 
the temple of Kwannon at Hase and stayed there 
for a long time, both daily offering incense and 
praying to Kwannon, the Heavenly Mother, to 
grant them the desire of their whole lives. And 
their prayer was answered. 

A daughter was born at last to the Princess 
Murasaki, and great was the joy of her heart. 
On presenting the child to her husband they both 
decided to call her Hase-Hime, or the Princess of 
Hase, because she was the gift of the Kwannon 
at that place. They both reared her with great 
care and tenderness, and the child grew in strength 
and beauty. 

"When the little girl was five years old her 
mother fell dangerously ill and all the doctors 
and their medicines could not save her. A little 
before she breathed her last she called her daughter 
to her, and gently stroking her head, said : 

" Hase-Hime, do you know that your mother 
cannot live any longer ? Though I die, you must 
grow up a good girl. Do your best not to give 
trouble to your nurse or any other of your 
family. Perhaps your father will marry again 
and some one will fill my place as your mother. 
If so do not grieve for me, but look upon your 
father's second wife as your true mother, and 


be obedient and filial to both her and your father. 
Remember when you are grown up to be sub- 
missive to those who are your superiors, and to 
be kind to all those who are under you. Don't 
forget this. I die with the hope that you will 
grow up a model woman." 

Hase-Hime listened in an attitude of respect 
while her mother spoke, and promised to do all 
that she was told. There is a proverb which 
says " As the soul is at three so it is at one hun- 
dred," and so Hase-Hime grew up as her mother 
had wished, a good and obedient little Princess, 
though she was now too young to understand how 
great was the loss of her mother. 

Not long after the death of his first wife, Prince 
Toyonari married again, a lady of noble birth 
named Princess Terute. Very different in char- 
acter, alas ! to the good and wise Princess Mura- 
saki, this woman had a cruel, bad heart. She did 
not love her step-daughter at all, and was often 
very unkind to the little motherless girl, saying 
to herself : 

" This is not my child ! this is not my child ! " 

But Hase-Hime bore every unkindness with 
patience, and even waited upon her step-mother 
kindly and obeyed her in every way and never 
gave any trouble, just as she had been trained by 
her own good mother, so that the Lady Terute 
had no cause for complaint against her. 

The little Princess was very diligent, and her 
favorite studies were music and poetry. She 


would spend several hours practicing every day, 
and her father had the most proficient of masters 
he could find to teach her the koto (Japanese harp), 
the art of writing letters and verse. When she 
was twelve years of age she could play so beauti- 
fully that she and her step-mother were summoned 
to the Palace to perform before the Emperor. 

It was the Festival of the Cherry Flowers, and 
there were great festivities at the Court. The 
Emperor threw himself into the enjoyment of 
the season, and commanded that Princess Hase 
should perform before him on the koto, and that 
her mother Princess Terute should accompany 
her on the flute. 

The Emperor sat on a raised dais, before which 
was hung a curtain of finely-sliced bamboo and 
purple tassels, so that His Majesty might see all 
and not be seen, for no ordinary subject was 
allowed to looked upon his sacred face. 

Hase-Hime was a skilled musician though so 
young, and often astonished her masters by her 
wonderful memory and talent. On this moment- 
ous occasion she played well. But Princess 
Terute, her step-mother, who was a lazy woman 
and never took the trouble to practice daily, broke 
down in her accompaniment and had to request 
one of the Court ladies to take her place. This 
was a great disgrace, and she was furiously 
jealous to think that she had failed where her 
step-daughter succeeded ; and to make matters 
worse the Emperor sent many beautiful gifts to 


the little Princess to reward her for playing so 
well at the Palace. 

There was also now another reason why Prin- 
cess Terute hated her step-daughter, for 'she had 
had the good fortune to have a son born to her, 
and in her inmost heart she kept saying : 

"If only Hase-Hime were not here, my son 
would have all the love of his father." 

And never having learned to control herself, 
she allowed this wicked thought to grow into the 
awful desire of taking her step-daughter's life. 

So one day she secretly ordered some poison and 
poisoned some sweet wine. This poisoned wine 
she put into a bottle. Into another similar 
bottle she poured some good wine. It was the 
occasion of the Boys' Festival on the fifth of May, 
and Hase-Hime was playing with her little 
brother. All his toys of warriors and heroes 
were spread out and she was telling him won- 
derful stories about each of them. They were 
both enjoying themselves and laughing merrily 
with their attendants when his mother entered^ 
with the two bottles of wine and some delicious 

i "You are both so good and happy," said the 
wicked Princess Terute with a smile, "that I 
have brought you some sweet wine as a reward 
and here are some nice cakes for my good 

And she filled two cups from the different 


Hase-Hime, never dreaming of the dreadful 
part her step-mother was acting, took one of 
the cups of wine and gave to her little step- 
brother the other that had been poured out 
for him. 

The wicked woman had carefully marked the 
poisoned bottle, but on coming into the room she 
had grown nervous, and pouring out the wine 
hurriedly had unconsciously given the poisoned 
cup to her own child. All this time she was anx- 
iously watching the little Princess, but to her 
amazement no change whatever took place in 
the young girl's face. Suddenly the little boy 
screamed and threw himself on the floor, doubled 
up with pain. His mother flew to him, taking the 
precaution to upset the two tiny jars of wine 
which she had brought into the room, and lifted 
him up. The attendants rushed for the doctor, 
but nothing could save the child he died within 
the hour in his mother's arms. Doctors did not 
know much in those ancient times, and it was 
thought that the wine had disagreed with the 
boy, causing convulsions of which he died. 

Thus was the wicked woman punished in losing 
her own child when she had tried to do away with 
her step-daughter ; but instead of blaming her- 
self she began to hate Hase-Hime more than ever 
in the bitterness and wretchedness of her own 
heart, and she eagerly watched for an oppor- 
tunity to do her harm, which was, however, long 
in coming. 


When Hase-Hime was thirteen years of age, 
she had already become mentioned as a poetess 
of some merit. This was an accomplishment very 
much cultivated by the women of old Japan and 
one held in high esteem. 

It was the rainy season at Nara, and floods 
were reported every day as doing damage in the 
neighborhood. The river Tatsuta, which flowed 
through the Imperial Palace grounds, was swol- 
len to the top of its banks, and the roaring of the 
torrents of water rushing along a narrow bed so 
disturbed the Emperor's rest day and night, that 
a serious nervous disorder was the result. An 
Imperial Edict was sent forth to all the Buddhist 
temples commanding the priests to offer up con- 
tinuous prayers to Heaven to stop the noise of 
the flood. But this was of no avail. 

Then it was whispered in Court circles that the 
Princess Hase, the daughter of Prince Toyonari 
Fujiwara, second minister at Court, was the most 
gifted poetess of the day, though still so young, 
and her masters confirmed the report. Long 
ago, a beautiful and gifted maiden-poetess had 
moved Heaven by praying in verse, had brought 
down rain upon a land famished with drought 
so said the ancient biographers of the poetess 
Ono-no-Komachi. If the Princess Hase were to 
write a poem and offer it in prayer, might it not 
stop the noise of the rushing river and remove the 
cause of the Imperial illness ? What the Court 
said at last reached the ears of the Emperor him- 


self, and he sent an order to the minister Prince 
Toyonari to this effect. 

Great indeed was Hase-Hime's fear and as- 
tonishment when her father sent for her and told 
her what was required of her. Heavy, indeed, 
was the duty that was laid on her young shoul- 
ders that of saving the Emperor's life by the 
merit of her verse. 

At last the day came and her poem was finished. 
It was written on a leaflet of paper heavily flecked 
with gold-dust. With her father and attendants 
and some of the Court officials, she proceeded to 
the bank of the roaring torrent and raising up 
her heart to Heaven, she read the poem she had 
composed, aloud, lifting it heavenwards in her 
two hands. 

Strange indeed it seemed to all those standing 
round. The waters ceased their roaring, and the 
river was quiet in direct answer to her prayer. 
After this the Emperor soon recovered his 

Kis Majesty was highly pleased, and sent for 
her to the Palace and rewarded her with the rank 
of Chinjo that of Lieutenant-General to dis- 
tinguish her. From that time she was called 
Chinjo-hime, or the Lieutenant-General Princess, 
and respected and loved by all. 

There was only one person who was not pleased 
at Hase-Hime's success. That one was her step- 
mother. Forever brooding over the death of her 
owu child whom she had killed when trying to 



poison her step-daughter, she had the mortification 
of seeing her rise to power and honor, marked by 
Imperial favor and the admiration of the whole 
Court. Her envy and jealousy burned in her 
heart like fire. Many were the lies she carried 

Her Father sent for her, and told her what was Required 

of her. 

to her husband about Hase-Hime, but ail to no 
purpose. He would listen to none of her tales, 
telling her sharply that she was quite mistaken. 

At last the step-mother, seizing the opportunity 
of her husband's absence, ordered one of her old 
servants to take the innocent girl to the Hibari 


Mountains, the wildest part of the country, and 
to kill her there. She invented a dreadful story 
about the little Princess, saying that this was 
the only way to prevent disgrace falling upon the 
family by killing her. 

Katoda, her vassal, was bound to obey his mis- 
tress. Anyhow, he saw that it would be the 
wisest plan to pretend obedience in the absence 
of the girl's father, so he placed Hase-Hime in a 
palanquin and accompanied her to the most soli- 
tary place he could find in the wild district. The 
poor child knew there was no good in protesting 
to her unkind step-mother at being sent away in 
this strange manner, so she went as she was 

But the old servant knew that the young Prin- 
cess was quite innocent of all the things her step- 
mother had invented to him as reasons for her 
outrageous orders, and he determined to save her 
life. Unless he killed her, however, he could not 
return to his cruel task-mistress, so he decided 
to stay out in the wilderness. With the help of 
some peasants he soon built a little cottage, and 
having sent secretly for his wife to come, these 
two good old people did all in their power to take 
care of the now unfortunate Princess. She all 
the time trusted in her father, knowing that as 
soon as he returned home and found her absent, 
he would search for her. 

Prince Toyonari, after some weeks, came home, 
and was told by his wife that his daughter Hase- 


Hime had done something wrong and had run 
away for fear of being punished. He was nearly 
ill with anxiety. Every one in the house told the 
same story that Hase-Hime had suddenly disap- 
peared, none of them knew why or whither. For 
fear of scandal he kept the matter quite and 
searched everywhere he could think of, but all to 
no purpose. 

One day, trying to forget his terrible worry, 
he called all his men together and told them to 
make ready for a several days' hunt in the mount- 
ains. They were soon ready and mounted, wait- 
ing at the gate for their lord. He rode hard and 
fast to the district of the Hibari Mountains, a 
great company following him. He was soon far 
ahead of every one, and at last found himself in a 
narrow picturesque valley. 

Looking round and admiring the scenery, he 
noticed a tiny house on one of the hills quite near, 
and then he distinctly heard a beautiful clear 
voice reading aloud. Seized with curiosity as to 
who could be studying so diligently in such a 
lonely spot, he dismounted, and leaving his horse 
to his groom, he walked up the hillside and ap- 
proached the cottage. As he drew nearer his 
surprise increased, for he could see that the reader 
was a beautiful girl. The cottage was wide open 
and she was sitting facing the view. Listening 
attentively, he heard her reading the Buddhist 
scriptures with great devotion. More and more 
curious, he hurried on to the tiny gate and en- 


tered the little garden, and looking up beheld his 
lost daughter Hase-Hime. She was so intent on 
what she was saying that she neither heard nor 
saw her father till he spoke. 

Taken by Surprise, she could hardly realize that it was 

her Father. 

" Hase-Hime ! " he cried, " it is you, my Hase- 
Hime ! " 

Taken by surprise, she could hardly realize that 
it was her own dear father who was calling her, 


and for a moment she was utterly bereft of the 
power to speak or move. 

"My father, my father ! It is indeed you oh, 
my father ! " was all she could say, and run- 
ning to him she caught hold of his thick sleeve, 
and burying her face burst into a passion of tears. 

Her father stroked her dark hair, asking her 
gently to tell him all that had happened, but she 
only wept on, and he wondered if he were not 
really dreaming. 

Then the faithful old servant Katoda came out, 
and bowing himself to the ground before his 
master, poured out the long tale of wrong, telling 
him all that had happened, and how it was that 
he found his daughter in such a wild and desolate 
spot with only two old servants to take care of 

The Prince's astonishment and indignation 
knew no bounds. He gave up the hunt at once 
and hurried home with his daughter. One of the 
company galloped ahead to inform the household 
of the glad news, and the step-mother hearing 
what had happened, and fearful of meeting her 
husband now that her wickedness was discovered, 
fled from the house and returned in disgrace to 
her father's roof, and nothing more was heard of 

The old servant Katoda was rewarded with the 
highest promotion in his master's service, and 
lived happily to the end of his days, devoted to 
the little Princess, who never forgot that she 


owed her life to this faithful retainer. She was 
no longer troubled by an unkind step-mother, and 
her days passed happily and quietly with her 

As Prince Toyonari had no son, he adopted a 
younger son of one of the Court nobles to be his 
heir, and to marry his daughter Hase-Hime, and 
in a few years the marriage took place. Hase- 
Hime lived to a good old age, and all said that she 
was the wisest, most devout, and most beautiful 
mistress that had ever reigned in Prince Toyo- 
nari's ancient house. She had the joy of present- 
ing her son, the future lord of the family, to her 
father just before he retired from active life. 

To this day there is preserved a piece of needle- 
work in one of the Buddhist temples of Kioto. It 
is a beautiful piece of tapestry, with the figure 
of Buddha embroidered in the silky threads drawn 
from the stem of the lotus. This is said to have 
been the work of the hands of the good Princess 


LONG, long ago there lived a man called Sen- 
taro. His surname meant " Millionaire," but 
although he was not so rich as all that, he was 
still very far removed from being poor. He had 
inherited a small fortune from his father and 
lived on this, spending his time carelessly, with- 
out any serious thoughts of work, till he was 
about thirty-two years of age. 

One day, without any reason whatsoever, the 
thought of death and sickness came to him. 
The idea of falling ill or dying made him very 

"I should like to live," he said to himself, 
"till I am five or six hundred years old at least, 
free from all sickness. The ordinary span of a 
man's life is very short." 

He wondered whether it were possible, by liv- 
ing simply and frugally henceforth, to prolong 
his life as long as he wished. 

He knew there were many stories in ancient 
history of emperors who had lived a thousand 
years, and there was a Princess of Yamato, who, 
it was said, lived to the -age of five hundred. 
This was the latest story of a very long life on 




Sentaro had often heard the tale of the Chinese 
King named Shin-no-Shiko. He was one of the 
most able and powerful rulers in Chinese history. 
,He built all the large palaces, and also the famous 
great wall of China. He had everything in the 
world he could wish for, but in spite of all his 
happiness and the luxury and the splendor of his 
Court, the wisdom of his councilors and the glory 
of his reign, he was miserable because he knew 
that one day he must die and leave it all. 

When Shin-no-Shiko went to bed at night, when 
he rose in the morning, as he went through his 
day, the thought of death was always with him. 
He could not get away from it. Ah if only he 
could find the "Elixir of Life," he would be 

The Emperor at last called a meeting of his 
courtiers and asked them all if they could not find 
for him the " Elixir of Life " of which he had so 
often read and heard. 

One old courtier, Jofuku by name, said that far 
away across the seas there was a country called 
Horaizan, and that certain hermits lived there 
who possessed the secret of the " Elixir of Life." 
Whoever drank of this wonderful draught lived 

The Emperor ordered Jofuku to set out for the 
land of Horaizan, to find the hermits, and to 
bring him back a phial of the magic elixir. He 
gave Jofuku one of his best junks, fitted it oui 
for him, and loaded it with great quantities of 


treasures and precious stones for Jofuku to take 
as presents to the hermits. 

Jofuku sailed for the land of Horaizan, but he 
never returned to the waiting Emperor ; but ever 
since that time Mount Fuji has been said to be the 
fabled Horaizan and the home of hermits who had 
the secret of the elixir, and Jofuku has been wor- 
shiped as their patron god. 

Now Sentaro determined to set out to find the 
hermits, and if he could, to become one, so that 
he might obtain the water of perpetual life. He 
remembered that as a child he had been told that 
not only did these hermits live on Mount Fuji, 
but that they were said to inhabit all the very 
high peaks. 

So he left his old home to the care of his rela- 
tives, and started out on his quest. He trav- 
eled through all the mountainous regions of 
the land, climbing to the tops of the highest 
peaks, but never a hermit did he find. 

At last, after wandering in an unknown region 
for many days, he met a hunter. 

"Can you tell me," asked Sentaro, " where the 
hermits live who have the Elixir of Life? " 

" No, ''said the hunter ; " I can't tell }'ou where 
such hermits live, but there is a notorious robber 
living in these parts. It is said that he is chief 
of a band of two hundred followers." 

This odd answer irritated Sentaro very much, 
and lie thought how foolish it was to waste more 
time in looking for the hermits in this way, so he 


decided to go at once to the shrine of Jofuku, 
who is worshiped as the patron god of the her- 
mits in the south of Japan. 

Sentaro reached the shrine and prayed for seven 
days, entreating Jofuku to show him the way to 
a hermit who could give him what he wanted so 
much to find. 

At midnight of the seventh day, as Sentaro 
knelt in the temple, the door of the innermost 
shrine flew open, and Jofuku appeared in a lu- 
minous cloud, and calling to Sentaro to come 
nearer, spoke thus : 

"Your desire is a very selfish one and cannot 
be easily granted. You think that you would 
like to become a hermit so as to find the Elixir of 
Life. Do you know how hard a hermit's life is ? 
A hermit is only allowed to eat fruit and berries 
and the bark of pine trees ; a hermit must cut 
himself off from the world so that his heart may 
become as pure as gold and free from every 
earthly desire. Gradually after following these 
strict rules, the hermit ceases to feel hunger or 
cold or heat, and his body becomes so light that he 
can ride on a crane or a carp, and can walk on 
water without getting his feet wet. 

" You, Sentaro, are fond of good living and of 
every comfort. You are not even like an ordi- 
nary man, for you are exceptionally idle, and 
more sensitive to heat and cold than most people. 
You would never be able to go barefoot or to 
wear only one thin dress in the winter time ! Dr 



you think that you would ever have the patience 
or the endurance to live a hermit's life ? 

"In answer to your prayer, however, I will 
help you in another way. I will send you to the 

The Crane flew away, right out to Sea. 

country of Perpetual Life, where death never 
comes where the people live forever ! " 

Saying this, Jofuku put into Sentaro's hand a 
little crane made of paper, telling him to sit on 
its hack and it would carry him there. 

Sentaro obeyed wonderingly. The crane grew 


large enough for him to ride on it with comfort. 
It then spread its wings, rose high in the air, and 
flew away over the mountains right out to sea. 

Sentaro was at first quite frightened ; but by 
degrees he grew accustomed to the swift flight 
through the air. On and on they went for thou- 
sands of miles. The bird never stopped for rest 
or food, but as it was a paper bird it doubtless did 
not require any nourishment, and strange to say, 
neither did Sentaro. 

After several days they reached an island. The 
crane flew some distance inland and then 

As soon as Sentaro got down from the bird's 
back, the crane folded up of its own accord and 
flew into his pocket. 

Now Sentaro began to look about him wonder- 
ingly, curious to see what the country of Perpetual 
Life was like. He walked first round about the 
country and then through the town. Everything 
was, of course, quite strange, and different from 
his own land. But both the land and the people 
seemed prosperous, so he decided that it would be 
good for him to stay there and took up lodgings 
at one of the hotels. 

The proprietor was a kind man, and when 
Sentaro told him that he was a stranger and had 
come to live there, he promised to arrange every- 
thing that was necessary with the governor of 
the city concerning Seutaro's sojourn there. He 
even found a house for his guest, and in this way 


Sentaro obtained his great wish and became a 
resident in the country of Perpetual Life. 

Within the memory of all the islanders no man 
had ever died there, and sickness was a thing un- 
known. Priests had come over from India and 
China and told them of a beautiful country called 
Paradise, where happiness and bliss and content- 
ment fill all men's hearts, but its gates could only 
be reached by dying. This tradition was handed 
down for ages from generation to generation- 
but none knew exactly what death was except 
that it led to Paradise. 

Quite unlike Sentaro and other ordinary people, 
instead of having a great dread of death, they all, 
both rich and poor, longed for it as something 
good and desirable. They were all tired of their 
long, long lives, and longed to go to the happy 
land of contentment called Paradise of which the 
priests had told them centuries ago. 

All this Sentaro soon found out by talking to 
the islanders. He found himself, according to 
his ideas, in the land of Topsyturvydom. Every- 
thing was upside down. He had wished to escape 
from dying. He had come to the land of Per- 
petual Life with great relief and joy, only to find 
that the inhabitants themselves, doomed never to 
die, would consider it bliss to find death. 

What he had hitherto considered poison these 
people ate as good food, and all the things to 
which he had been accustomed as food they 
rejected. Whenever any merchants from other 



countries arrived, the rich people rushed to them 
eager to buy poisons. These they swallowed 
eagerly, hoping for death to come so that they 
might go to Paradise. 

But what were deadly poisons in other lands 
were without effect in this strange place, and 
people who swallowed them with the hope of dy- 
ing, only found that in a short time they felt 
better in health instead of worse. 

Vainly they tried to imagine what death could 
be like. The wealthy would have given all their 
money and all their goods if they could but 
shorten their lives to two or three hundred years 
even. Without any change to live on forever 
seemed to this people wearisome and sad. 

In the chemist shops there was a drug which 
was in constant demand, because after using it 
for a hundred years, it was supposed to turn the 
hair slightly gray and to bring about disorders of 
the stomach. 

Sentaro was astonished to find that the poison- 
ous globe-fish was served up in restaurants as a 
delectable dish, and hawkers in the streets went 
about selling sauces made of Spanish flies. He 
never saw any one ill after eating these horrible 
things, nor did he ever see any one with as much 
as a cold. 

Seutaro was delighted. He said to himself that 
he would never grow tired of living, and that he 
considered it profane to wish for death. He was 
the only happy man on the island. For his part 


he wished to live thousands of years and to enjoy 
life. He set himself up in business, and for the 
present never even dreamed of going back to his 
native land. 

As years went by, however, things did not go 
as smoothly as at first. He had heavy losses in 
business, and several times some affairs went 
wrong with his neighbors. This caused him great 

Time passed like the flight of an arrow for him, 
for he was busy from morning till night. Three 
hundred years went by in this monotonous way, 
and then at last he began to grow tired of life 
in this country, and he longed to see his own land 
and his old home. However long he lived here, 
life would always be the same, so was it not fool- 
ish and wearisome to stay on here forever ? 

Sentaro, in his wish to escape from the country 
of Perpetual Life, recollected Jofuku, who had 
helped him before when he was wishing to escape 
from death and he prayed to the saint to bring 
him back to his own land again. 

JSTo sooner did he pray than the paper crane 
popped out of his pocket. Sentaro was amazed 
to see that it had remained undamaged after all 
these years. Once more the bird grew and grew 
till it was large enough for him to mount it. As 
he did so, the bird spread its wings and flew 
swiftly out across the sea in the direction of 

Such was the willfulness of the man's nature 


that he looked back and regretted all he had left 
behind. He tried to stop the bird in vain. The 
crane held on its way for thousands of miles 
across the ocean. 

Then a storm came on,and the wonderful paper 
crane got damp, crumpled up, and fell into the 
sea. Sentaro fell with it. Very much frightened 
at the thought of being drowned, he cried out 
loudly to Jof uku to save him. He looked round, 
but there was no ship in sight. He swallowed 
a quantity of sea-water, which only increased 
his miserable plight. While he was thus strug- 
gling to keep himself afloat, he saw a mon- 
strous shark swimming towards him. As it 
came nearer it opened its huge mouth ready to 
devour him. Sentaro was all but paralyzed with 
fear now that he felt his end so near, and screamed 
out as loudly as ever he could to Jofuku to come 
and rescue him. 

Lo, and behold, Sentaro was awakened by his 
own screams, to find that during his long prayer 
he had fallen asleep before the shrine, and that 
all his extraordinary and frightful adventures 
had been only a wild dream. He was in a cold 
perspiration with fright, and utterly bewildered. 

Suddenly a bright light came towards him, and 
in the light stood a messenger. The messenger 
held a book in his hand, and spoke to Sentaro : 

"I am sent to you by Jofuku, who in answer 
to your prayer, has permitted you in a dream to see 
the land of Perpetual Life. But you grew weary 


of living there, and begged to be allowed to re- 
turn to your native land so that you might die. 
Jofuku, so that he might try you, allowed you to 
drop into the sea, ami then sent a shark to swallow 
you up. Your desire for death was not real, for 
even at that moment you cried out loudly and 
shouted for help. 

"It is also vain for you to wish to become a 
hermit, or to find the Elixir of Life. These things 
are not for such as you your life is not austere 
enough. It is best for you to go back to your 
paternal home, and to live a good and industrious 
life. Never neglect to keep the anniversaries of 
your ancestors, and make it your duty to provide 
for your children's future. Thus will you live to 
a good old age and be happy, but give up the vain 
uesire to escape death, for no man can do that, 
and by this time you have surely found out that 
even when selfish desires are granted they do not 
bring happiness. 

" In this book I give you there are many pre- 
cepts good for you to know if you study them, 
you will be guided in the way I have pointed out 
to you." 

The angel disappeared as soon as he had finished 
speaking, and Sentaro took the lesson to heart. 
With the book in his hand he returned to his old 
home, and giving up all his old vain wishes, tried 
to live a good and useful life and to observe the 
lessons taught him in the book, and he and his 
house prospered henceforth. 



LONG, long ago, there lived an old bamboo 
wood-cutter. He was very poor and sad also, for 
no child had Heaven sent to cheer his old age, 
and in his heart there was no hope of rest from 
work till he died and was laid in the quiet grave. 
Every morning he went forth into the woods and 
hills wherever the bamboo reared its lithe green 
plumes against the sky. When he had made his 
choice, he would cut down these feathers of the 
forest, and splitting them lengthwise, or cutting 
them into joints, would carry the bamboo wood 
home and make it into various articles for the 
household, and he and his old wife gained a small 
livelihood by selling them. 

One morning as usual he had gone out to his 
work, and having found a nice clump of bamboos, 
had set to work to cut some of them down. Sud- 
denly the green grove of bamboos was flooded 
with a bright soft light, as if the full moon had 
risen over the spot. Looking round in astonish- 
ment, he saw that the brilliance was streaming 
from one bamboo. The old man, full of wonder, 
dropped his ax and went towards the light. On 
nearer approach he saw that this soft splendo* 



came from a hollow in the green bamboo stem, 
and still more wonderful to behold, in the midst 
of the brilliance stood a tiny human being, only 
three inches in height, and exquisitely beautiful 
in appearance. 

" You must be sent to be my child, for I find 
you here among the bamboos where lies my daily 
Work," said the old man, and taking the little 
creature in his hand he took it home to his wife to 
bring up. The tiny girl was so exceedingly beau- 
tiful and so small, that the old woman put her 
into a basket to safeguard her from the least pos- 
sibility of being hurt in any way. 

The old couple were now very happ} r , for it had 
been a lifelong regret that they had no children of 
their own, and with joy they now expended all 
the love of their old age on the little child who 
had come to them in so marvelous a manner. 

From this time on, the old man often found 
gold in the notches of the bamboos when he 
hewed them down and cut them up ; not only 
gold, but precious stones also, so that by degrees 
he became rich. He built himself a fine house, 
and was no longer known as the poor bamboo 
woodcutter, but as a wealthy man. 

Three months passed quickly away, and in that 
time the bamboo child had, wonderful to say, 
become a full-grown girl, so her foster-parents 
did up her hair and dressed her in beautiful 
'kimonos. She was of such wondrous beauty that 
they placed her behind the screens like a princess, 


and allowed no one to see her, waiting upon her 
themselves. It seemed as if she were made of 
light, for the house was filled with a soft shining, 
so that even in the dark of night it was like day- 
time. Pier presence seemed to have a henign in- 
fluence on those there. Whenever the old man 
felt sad, he had only to look upon his foster- 
daughter and his sorrow vanished, and he "became 
as happy as when he was a youth. 

At last the day came for the naming of their 
new-found child, so the old couple called in a 
celebrated name-giver, and he gave her the name 
of Princess Moonlight, because her body gave 
forth so much soft bright light that she might 
have been a daughter of the Moon God. 

For three days the festival was kept up with 
song and dance and music. All the friends and 
relations of the old couple were present, and great 
was their enjoyment of the festivities held to 
celebrate the naming of Princess Moonlight. 
Every one who saw her declared that there never 
had been seen any one so lovely ; all the beauties 
throughout the length and breadth of the land 
would grow pale beside her, so they said. The 
fame of the Princess's loveliness spread far and 
wide, and many were the suitors who desired to 
win her hand, or even so much as to see her. 

Suitors from far and near posted themselves 
outside the house, and made little holes in the 
fence, in the hope of catching a glimpse of the 
Princess as she went from one room to the other 


along the veranda. They stayed there day and 
night, sacrificing even their sleep for a chance of 
seeing her, but all in vain. Then they approached 
the house, and tried to speak to the old man and 
his wife or some of the servants, but not even 
this was granted them. 

Still, in spite of all this disappointment they 
stayed on day after day, and night after night, 
and counted it as nothing, so great was their 
desire to see the Princess. 

At last, however, most of the men, seeing how 
hopeless their quest was, lost heart and hope both, 
and returned to their homes. All except five 
Knights, whose ardor and determination, instead 
of waning, seemed to wax greater with obstacles. 
These five men even went without their meals, 
and took snatches of whatever they could get 
brought to them, so that they might always stand 
outside the dwelling. They stood there in all 
weathers, in sunshine and in rain. 

Sometimes they wrote letters to the Princess, 
but no answer was vouchsafed to them. Then 
when letters failed to draw any reply, they wrote 
poems to her telling her of the hopeless love which 
kept them from sleep, from food, from rest, and 
even from their homes. Still Princess Moonlight 
gave no sign of having received their verses. 

In this hopeless state the winter passed. The 
snow and frost and the cold winds gradually gave 
place to the gentle warmth of spring. Then the 
summer came, and the sun burned white and 


scorching in the heavens above and on the earth 
beneath, and still these faithful Knights kept 
watch and waited. At the end of these long 
months they called out to the old bamboo-cutter 
and entreated him to have some mercy upon 
them and to show them the Princess, but he an- 
swered only that as he was not her real father 
he could not insist on her obeying him against her 

The five Knights on receiving this stern answer 
returned to their several homes, and pondered 
over the best means of touching the proud Prin- 
cess's heart, even so much as to grant them a 
hearing. They took their rosaries in hand and 
knelt before their household shrines, and burned 
precious incense, praying to Buddha to give them 
their heart's desire. Thus several days passed, 
but even so they could not rest in their homes. 

So again they set out for the bamboo-cutter's 
house. This time the old man came out to see 
them, and they asked him to let them know if it 
was the Princess's resolution never to see any 
man whatsoever, and they implored him to speak 
for them and to tell her the greatness of their 
love, and how long they had waited through the 
cold of winter and the heat of summer, sleepless 
and roofless through all weathers, without food 
and without rest, in the ardent hope of winning 
her, and they were willing to consider this long 
vigil as pleasure if she would but give them one 
chance of pleading their cause with her. 


The old man lent a willing ear to their tale of 
love, for in his inmost heart he felt sorry for these 
faithful suitors and would have liked to see his 
lovely foster-daughter married to one of them. 
So he went in to Princess Moonlight and said 
reverently : 

"Although you have always seemed to me to 
be a heavenly being, yet I have had the trouble 
of bringing you up as my own child and you have 
been glad of the protection of my roof. Will you 
refuse to do as I wish ? " 

Then Princess Moonlight replied that there was 
nothing she would not do for him, that she hon- 
ored and loved him as her own father, and that 
as for herself she could not remember the time 
before she came to earth. 

The old man listened with great joy as she 
spoke these dutiful words. Then he told her how 
anxious he was to see her safely and happily mar- 
ried before he died. 

" I am an old man, over seventy years of age, and 
my end may come any time now. It is necessary 
and right that you should see these five suitors 
and choose one of them." 

"Oh, why," said the Princess in distress, "must 
I do this ? I have no wish to marry now." 

" I found you," answered the old man, "many 
years ago, when you were a little creature three 
inches high, in the midst of a great white light. 
The light streamed from the bamboo in which 
you were hid and led me to you. So I have always 


thought that you were more than mortal woman. 
While I am alive it is right for you to remain as 
you are if you wish to do so, but some day I shall 
cease to be and who will take care of you then ? 
Therefore I pray you to meet these five brave men 
one at a time and make up your mind to marry 
one of them ! ' 

Then the Princess answered that she felt sure 
that she was not as beautiful as perhaps report 
made her out to be, and that even if she con- 
sented to marry any one of them, not really 
knowing her before, his heart might change after- 
wards. So as she did not feel sure of them, even 
though her father told her they were worthy 
Knights, she did not feel it wise to see them. 

" All you say is very reasonable/' said the old 
man, " but what kind of men will you consent to 
see ? I do not call these five men who have waited 
on you for months, light-hearted. They have 
stood outside this house through the winter and 
the summer, often denying themselves food and 
sleep so that they may win you. What more can 
you demand ? " 

Then Princess Moonlight said she must make 
further trial of their love before she would grant 
their request to interview her. The five warriors 
were to prove their love by each bringing her from 
distant countries something that she desired to 

That same evening the suitors arrived and be- 
gan to play their flutes in turn, and to sing their 


self-composed songs telling of their great and 
tireless love. The bamboo-cutter went out to 
them and offered them his sympathy for all they 
had endured and all the patience they had shown 
in their desire to win his foster-daughter. Then 
he gave them her message, that she would con- 
sent to marry whosoever was successful in bring, 
ing her what she wanted. This was to test them. 

The five all accepted the trial, and thought it 
an excellent plan, for it would prevent jealousy 
between them. 

Princess Moonlight then sent word to the First 
Knight that she requested h' a to bring her the 
stone bowl which had belc-iged to Buddha in 

The Second Knight was asked to go to the 
Mountain of Horai, said to be situated in the 
Eastern Sea, and to bring her a branch of the 
wonderful tree that grew on its summit. The 
roots of this tree were of silver, the trunk of gold, 
and the branches bore as fruit white jewels. 

The Third Knight was told to go to China 
and search for the fire-rat and to bring her its 

The Fourth Knight was told to search for the 
dragon that carried on its head the stone radi- 
ating five colors and to bring the stone to her. 

The Fifth Knight was to find the swallow 
which carried a shell in its stomach and to bring 
the shell to her. 

The old man thought these very hard tasks and 


hesitated to carry the messages, but the Princess 
would make no other conditions. So her com- 
mands were issued word for word to the five 
men who, when they heard what was required of 
them, were all disheartened and disgusted at 
what seemed to them the impossibility of the 
tasks given them and returned to their own 
homes in despair. 

But after a time, when they thought of the 
Princess, the love in their hearts revived for her, 
and they resolved to make an attempt to get 
what she desired of them. 

The First Knight sent word to the Princess 
that lie was starting out that day on the quest 
of Buddha's bowl, and he hoped soon to bring it 
to her. But he had not the courage to go all the 
way to India, for in those days traveling was 
very difficult and full of danger, so he went to 
one of the temples in K} r oto and took a stone bowl 
from the altar there, paying the priest a large 
sum of money for it. He then wrapped it in a 
cloth of gold and, waiting quietly for three years, 
returned and carried it to the old man. 

Princess Moonlight wondered that the Knight 
should have returned so soon. She took the 
bowl from its gold wrapping, expecting it to make 
the room full of light, but it did not shine at all, 
so she knew that it was a sham thing and not the 
true bowl of Buddha. She returned it at once 
and refused to see him. The Knight threw the 
bowl away and returned to his home in despair. 


He gave up now all hopes of ever winning the 

The Second Knight told his parents that he 
needed change of air for his health, for he was 
ashamed to tell them that love for the Princess 
Moonlight was the real cause of his leaving them. 
He then left his home, at the same time sending 
word to the Princess that he was setting out for 
Mount Horai in the hope of getting her a branch 
of the gold and silver tree which she so much 
wished to have. He only allowed his servants to 
accompany him half-way, and then sent them 
back. He reached the seashore and embarked on a 
small ship, and after sailing away for three days he 
landed and employed several carpenters to build 
him a house contrived in such a way that no one 
could get access to it. He then shut himself 
up with six skilled jewelers, and endeavored to 
make such a gold and silver branch as he thought 
would satisfy the Princess as having come from 
the wonderful tree growing on Mount Horai. 
Every one whom he had asked declared that 
Mount Horai belonged to the land of fable and 
not to fact. 

When the branch was finished, he took his 
journey home and tried to make himself look as 
if he were wearied and worn out with travel. 
He put the jeweled branch into a lacquer box and 
carried it to the bamboo-cutter, begging him to 
present it to the Princess. 

The old man was quite deceived by the travel- 


stained appearance of the Knight, and thought 
that he had only just returned from his long 
journey with the branch. So he tried to persuade 
the Princess to consent to see the man. But she 
remained silent and looked very sad. The old 
man began to take out the branch and praised it 
as a wonderful treasure to be found nowhere in 
the whole land. Then he spoke of the Knight,' 
how handsome and how brave he was to have un-, 
dertaken a journey to so remote a place as the 
Mount of Horai. 

Princess Moonlight took the branch in her hand 
and looked at it carefully. She then told her fos- 
ter-parent that she knew it was impossible for the 
man to have obtained a branch from the gold and 
silver tree growing on Mount Horai soquickly or 
so easily, and she was sorry to say she believed it 

The old man then went out to the expectant 
Knight, who had now approached the house, and 
asked where he had found the branch. Then 
the man did not scruple to make up a long 

" Two years ago I took a ship and started in 
search of Mount Horai. After going before the 
wind for some time I reached the far Eastern 
Sea. Then a great storm arose and I was tossed 
about for many da} r s, losing all count of the 
points of the compass, and finally we were blown 
ashore on an unknown island. Here I found the 
place inhabited by demons who at one time 


threatened to kill and eat me. However, I man- 
aged to make friends with these horrible creatures, 
and they helped me and my sailors to repair the 
boat, and I set sail again. Our food gave out, 
arid we suffered much from sickness on board. 
At last, on the five-hundredth day from the day of 
starting, I saw far off on the horizon what looked 
like the peak of a mountain. On nearer ap- 
proach, this proved to be an island, in the center 
of which rose a high mountain. I landed, and 
after wandering about for two or three days, I 
saw a shining being coming towards me on the 
beach, holding in his hands a golden bowl. I 
went up to him and asked him if I had, by good 
chance, found the island of Mount Horai, and he 
answered : 

" ' Yes, this is Mount Horai ! ' 

" With much difficulty I climbed to the sum. 
mit, where stood the golden tree growing with 
silver roots in the ground. The wonders of that 
strange land are many, and if I began to tell you 
about them I could never stop. In spite of my 
wish to stay there long, on breaking off the branch 
I hurried back. With utmost speed it has taken 
me four hundred days to get back, and, as you 
see, my clothes are still damp from exposure on. 
the long sea voyage. I have not even waited to 
change my raiment, so anxious was I to bring 
the branch to the Princess quickly." 

Just at this moment the six jewelers, who had 
been employed on the making of the branch, bufc 


not yet paid by the Knight, arrived at the house 
and sent in a petition to the Princess to be paid 
for their labor. They said that they had worked 
for over a thousand da} T s making the branch of 
gold, with its silver twigs and its jeweled fruit, 
that was now presented to her by the Knight, 
but as yet they had received nothing in payment. 
So this Knight's deception was thus found out, 
and the Princess, glad of an escape from one 
more importunate suitor, was only too pleased to 
send back the branch. She called in the work- 
men and had them paid liberally, and they went 
away happy. But on the way home they were 
overtaken by the disappointed man, who beat 
them till they were nearly dead, for letting out 
the secret, and they barely escaped with their 
lives. The Knight then returned home, raging 
in his heart ; and in despair of ever winning the 
Princess gave up society and retired to a solitary 
life among the mountains. 

Now the Third Knight had a friend in China, 
so he wrote to him to get the skin of the fire-rat. 
The virtue of any part of this animal was that 
no fire could harm it. He promised his friend 
any amount of money he liked to ask if only he 
could get him the desired article. As soon as the 
news came that the ship on which his friend had 
sailed home had come into port, he rode seven 
days on horseback to meet him. He handed his 
friend a large sum of money, and received the 
fire- rat's skin. When he reached home he put it 


carefully in a box and sent it in to the Princess 
while he waited cutside for her answer. 

The bamboo-cutter took the box from the 
Knight and, as usual, carried it in to her and 
tried to coax her to see the Knight at once, but 
Princess Moonlight refused, saying that she must 
first put the skin to test by putting it into the 
fire. If it were the real thing it would not burn. 
So she took off the crape wrapper and opened the 
box, and then threw the skin into the fire. The 
skin crackled and burnt up at once, and the Prin- 
cess knew that this man also had not fulfilled his 
word. So the Third Knight failed also. 

Now the Fourth Knight was no more enter- 
prising than the rest. Instead of starting out 
on the quest of the dragon bearing on its head 
the five-color-radiating jewel, he called all his 
servants together and gave them the order to 
seek for it far and wide in Japan and in China, 
and he strictly forbade any of them to return till 
they had found it. 

His numerous retainers and servants started 
out in different directions, with no intention, 
however, of obeying what they considered an im- 
possible order. They simply took a holiday, went 
to pleasant country places together, and grumbled 
at their master's unreasonableness. 

The Knight meanwhile, thinking that his re- 
tainers could not fail to find the jewel, repaired to 
his house, and fitted it up beautifully for the recep- 
tion of the Princess, he felt so sure of winning her. 


One year passed away in weary waiting, and 
still his men did not return with the dragon- 
jewel. The Knight became desperate. He could 
wait no longer, so taking with him only two men 
he hired a ship and commanded the captain to go 
in search of the dragon ; the captain and the 
sailors refused to undertake what they said was 
an absurd search, hut the Knight compelled them 
at last to put out to sea. 

When they had been hut a few days out they 
encountered a great storm which lasted so long 
that, by the time its fury abated, the Knight had 
determined to give up the hunt of the dragon. 
They were at last blown on shore, for navigation 
was primitive in those days. Worn out with his 
travels and anxiety, the fourth suitor gave him- 
self up to rest. He had caught a very heavy cold, 
and had to go to bed with a swollen face. 

The governor of the place, hearing of his plight, 
sent messengers with a letter inviting him to his 
house. While he was there thinking over all his 
troubles, his love for the Princess turned to anger, 
and he blamed her for all the hardships he had 
undergone. He thought that it was quite prob- 
able she had wished to kill him so that she might 
be rid of him, and in order to carry out her wish 
had sent him upon his impossible quest. 

At this point all the servants he had sent out 
to find the jewel came to see him, and were sur- 
prised to find praise instead of displeasure await- 
ing them. Their master told them that he was 


heartily sick of adventure, and said that he never 
intended to go near the Princess's house again in 
the future. 

Like all the rest, the Fifth Knight failed in his 
quest he could not find the swallow's shell. 

By this time the fame of Princess Moonlight's 
beauty had reached the ears of the Emperor, and 
he sent one of the Court ladies to see if she were 
really as lovely as report said ; if so he would 
summon her to the Palace and make her one of 
the ladies-in-waiting. 

When the Court lady arrived, in spite of her 
father's entreaties, Princess Moonlight refused to 
see her. The Imperial messenger insisted, say- 
ing it was the Emperor's order. Then Princess 
Moonlight told the old man that if she was 
forced to go to the Palace in obedience to the 
Emperor's order, she would vanish from the 

When the Emperor was told of her persistence 
in refusing to obey his summons, and that if 
pressed to obey she would disappear altogether 
from sight, he determined to go and see her. So 
he planned to go on a hunting excursion in the 
neighborhood of the bamboo-cutter's house, and 
see the Princess himself. He sent word to the 
old man of his intention, and he received consent 
to the scheme. The next day the Emperor set 
out with his retinue, which he soon managed to 
outride. He found the bamboo-cutter's house 
and dismounted. He then entered the house and 


went straight to where the Princess was sitting 
with her attendant maidens. 

Never had he seen any one so wonderfully beau- 
tiful, and he could not but look at her, for she 
was more lovely than any human being as she 
shone in her own soft radiance. When Princess 
Moonlight became aware that a stranger was 
looking at her she tried to escape from the room, 
but the Emperor caught her and begged her to 
listen to what he had to say. Her only answer 
was to hide her face in her sleeves. 

The Emperor fell deeply in love with her, and 
begged her to come to the Court, where he would 
give her a position of honor and everything she 
could wish for. He was about to send for one of 
the Imperial palanquins to take her back with 
him at once, saying that her grace and beauty 
should adorn a Court, and not be hidden in ft 
bamboo-cutter's cottage. 

But the Princess stopped him. She said that if 
she were forced to go to the Palace she would 
turn at once into a shadow, and even as she spoke 
she began to lose her form. Her figure faded 
from his sight while he looked. 

The Emperor then promised to leave her free it 
only she would resume her former shape, which 
she did. 

It was now time for him to return, for his 
retinue would be wondering what had happened 
to their Eoyal master when they missed him for so 
long. So he bade her good-by, and left the house 


with a sad heart. Princess Moonlight was for 
him the most beautiful woman in the world ; all 
others were dark beside her, and he thought of 
her night and day. His Majesty now spent much 
of his time in writing poems, telling her of his 
love and devotion, and sent them to her, and 
though she refused to see him again she answered 
with many verses of her own composing, which 
told him gently and kindly that she could never 
marry any one on this earth. These little songs 
always gave him pleasure. 

At this time her foster-parents noticed that 
night after night the Princess would sit on her 
balcony and gaze for hours at the moon, in a spirit 
of the deepest dejection, ending always in a burst 
of tears. One night the old man found her thus 


weeping as if her heart were broken, and he be- 
sought her to tell him the reason of her sorrow. 
With many tears she told him that he had 
guessed rightly when he supposed her not to be- 
long to this world that she had in truth come 
from the moon, and that her time on earth would 
soon be over. On the fifteenth day of that very 
month of August her friends from the moon 
would come to fetch her, and she would have to 
return. Her parents were both there, but having 
spent a lifetime on the earth she had forgotten 
them, and also the moon-world to which she be- 
longed. It made her weep, she said, to think of 
leaving her kind foster-parents, and the home 

where she had been happy for so long. 


When her attendants heard this they were very 
sad, and could not eat or drink for sadness at the 
thought that the Princess was so soon to leave 

The Emperor, as soon as the news was carried 
to him, sent messengers to the house to find out 
if the report were true or not. 

The old bamboo-cutter went out to meet the 
Imperial messengers. The last few days of sor- 
sow had told upon the old man ; he had aged 
greatly, and looked much more than his seventy 
years. Weeping bitterly, he told them that the 
report was only too true, but he intended, how- 
ever, to make prisoners of the envoys from the 
moon, and to do all he could to prevent the Prin- 
cess from being carried back. 

The men returned and told His Majesty all that 
had passed. On the fifteenth day of that month 
the Emperor sent a guard of two thousand war- 
riors to watch the house. One thousand stationed 
themselves on the roof, another thousand kept 
watch rou/ .d all the entrances of the house. All 
,werA\vell crained archers, with bows and arrows. 
Trie bamboo-cutter and his wife hid Princess 
Moonlight in an inner room. 

The old man gave orders that no one was to 
sleep that night, all in the house were to keep a 
strict watch, and be ready to protect the Princess. 
With these precautions, and the help of the Em- 
peror's men-at-arms, he hoped to withstand the 
moon-messengers, but the Princess told him that 


all these measures to keep her would be useless, 
and that when her people came for her nothing 
whatever could prevent them from carrying out 
their purpose. Even the Emperor's men would 
be powerless. Then she added with tears that 
she was very, very sorry to leave him and his 
wife, whom she had learned to love as her parents; 
that if she could do as she liked she would stay 
with them in their old age, and try to make 
some return for all the love and kindness they 
had showered upon her daring all her earthly 

The night wore on ! The yellow harvest moon 
rose high in the heavens, flooding the world 
asleep with her golden light. Silence reigned 
over the pine and the bamboo forests, and on the 
roof where the thousand men-at-arms waited. 

Then the night grew gray towards the dawn 
and all hoped that the danger was over that 
Princess Moonlight would not have to leave them 
after all. Then suddenly the watchers saw a 
cloud form round the moon and while they 
looked this cloud began to roll earthwards. 
Nearer and nearer it came, and every one saw with 
dismay that its course lay towards the house. 

In a short time the sky was entirely obscured, 
till at last the cloud lay over the dwelling only 
ten feet off the ground. In the midst of the 
cloud there stood a flying chariot, and in the 
chariot a band of luminous beings. One amongst 
them who looked like a king and appeared to be 


the chief stepped out of the chariot, and, poised 
in air, called to the old man to come out. 

"The time has come," he said, "for Princess 
Moonlight to return to the moon from whence 
she came. She committed a grave fault, and as 
a punishment was sent to live down here for a 
time. We know what good care you have taken 
of the Princess, and we have rewarded you 
for this and have sent you wealth and pros- 
perity. We put the gold in the bamboos for you 
to find." 

" I have brought up this Princess for twenty 
years and never once has she done a wrong thing, 
therefore the lady you are seeking cannot be this 
one," said the old man. "I pray you to look 

Then the messenger called aloud, saying : 

" Princess Moonlight, come out from this lowly 
dwelling. Rest not here another moment." 

At these words the screens of the Princess's 
room slid open of their own accoT'd, revealing the 
Princess shining in her own radiance, bright' 
and wonderful and full of beauty. 

The messenger led her forth and placed her in 
the chariot. She looked back, and saw with pity 
the deep sorrow of the old man. She spoke to 
him many comforting words, and told him that 
it was not her will to leave him and that he 
must always think of her when looking at the 

The bamboo-cutter implored to be allowed to 


The screens of the Princess' Room slid open revealing the 
Princess in her beauty. Page 116. Japanese Fairy Tales 


accompany her, but this was not allowed. The 
Princess took off her embroidered outer garment 
and gave it to him as a keepsake. 

One of the moon beings in the chariot held a 
wonderful coat of wings, another had a phial full 
of the Elixir of Life which was given the 
Princess to drink. She swallowed a little and 
was about to give the rest to the old man, hut 
she was prevented from doing so. 

The robe of wings was about to be put upon 
her shoulders, but she said : 

'* Wait a little. I must not forget my good 
friend the Emperor. I must write him once 
more to say good- by while still in this human 

In spite of the impatience of the messengers 
and chai ioteers she kept them waiting while she 
wrote. She placed the phial of the Elixir of Life 
with the letter, and, giving them to the old man, 
she asked him to deliver them to the Emperor. 

Then t!ie chariot began to roll heavenwards 
towards the moon, and as they all gazed with 
tearful eyes at the receding Princess, the dawn 
broke, and in the rosy light of day the moon- 
c/i.uiot and all i:i it were lost amongst the fleecy 
cli-u-ls that were now wafted across the sky on 
tne wu-gs of the morning wind. 

Pi iniwss Moonlight's letter was carried to the 
Palace. His Majesty was afraid to touch the 
Elixir of Life, so lie sent it with the letter to 
tLe top of the most sacred mountain in the land, 


Mount Fuji, and there the Royal emissaries 
burnt it on the summit at sunrise. So to this 
day people say there is smoke to he seen rising 
from the top of Mount Fuji to the clouds. 



LONG years ago in old Japan there lived in the 
Province of Echigo, a very remote part of Japan 
even in these days, a man and his wife. When 
this story begins they had been married for some 
years and were blessed with one little daughter. 
She was the joy and pride of both their lives, and 
in her they stored an endless source of happiness 
for their old age. 

What golden letter days in their memory were 
those that had marked her growing up from 
babyhood ; the visit to the temple when she was 
just thirty days old, her proud mother carrying 
her, robed in ceremonial kimono, to be put under 
the patronage of the family's household god ; 
then her first dolls festival, when her parents 
gave her a set of dolls' and their miniature be- 
longings, to be added to as year succeeded year ; 
and perhaps the most important occasion of all, 
on her third birthday, when her first obi (broad 
brocade sash) of scarlet and gold was tied round her 
small waist, a sign that she had crossed the thresh- 
old of girlhood and left infancy behind. Now 

that she was seven years of age, and had learned 



to talk and to wait upon her parents in those several 
little ways so dear to the hearts of fond parents, 
their cup of happiness seemed full. There could 
not be found in the whole of the Island Empire a 
happier little family. 

One day there was much excitement in the 
home, for the father had been suddenly sum- 
moned to the capital on business. In these days of 
railways and jinrickshas and other rapid modes 
of traveling, it is difficult to realize what such a 
journey as that from Matsuyama to Kyoto meant. 
The roads were rough and bad, and ordinary 
people had to walk every step of the way, whether 
the distance were one hundred or several hundred 
miles. Indeed, in those days it was as great an 
undertaking to go up to the capital as it is for a 
Japanese to make a voyage to Europe now. 

So the wife was very anxious while she helped 
her husband get ready for the long journey, 
knowing what an arduous task lay before him. 
Vainly she wished that she could accompany him, 
but the distance was too great for the mother and 
child to go, and besides that, it was the wife's 
duty to take care of the home. 

All was ready at last, and the husband stood in 
the porch with his little family round him. 

" Do not be anxious, I will come back soon," 
said the man. " While I am away take care of 
everything, and especially of our little daughter." 

" Yes, we shall be all right but you you 
must take care of yourself and delay not a day 


in coming back to us," said the wife, while the 
tears fell like rain from her eyes. 

The little girl was the only one to smile, for 
she was ignorant of the sorrow of parting, and 
did not know that going to the capital was at all 
different from walking to the next village, which 
her father did very often. She r;in to his side, 
and caught hold of his long sleeve to keep him a 

" Father, I will be very good while I am wait- 
ing for you to come back, so please bring me a 

As the father turned to take a last look at his 
weeping wife and smiling, eager child, he felt as 
if some one were pulling him back by the hair, so 
hard was it for him to leave them behind, for 
they had never been separated before. But he 
knew that he must go, for the call was impera- 
tive. With a great effort he ceased to think, and 
resolutely turning away he went quickly down 
the little garden and out through the gate. His 
wife, catching up tne child in her arms, ran as 
far as the gate, and watched him as he went 
down the road between the pines till he was lost 
in the haze of the distance and all she could see 
was his quaint peaked hat, and at last that van- 
ished too. 

" Now father has gone, you and I must take 
care of everything till he comes back," said the 
mother, as she made her way back to the house. 

" Yes, I will be very good," said the child, nod- 


ding her head, "and whbu father comes home 
please tell him how good I have been, and then 
perhaps he will give me a present." 

"Father is sure to bring you something that 
you want very much. I know, for 1 asked him 
to bring you a doll. You must think of father 
every day, and pray for a safe journey till he 
comes back." 

" 0, yes, when he comes home again how happ^ 
I shall be," said the child, clapping her hands, 
and her face growing bright with joy at the glad 
thought. It seemed to the mother as she looked 
at the child's face that her love for her grew 
deeper and deeper. 

Then she set to work to make the winter 
clothes for the three of them. She set up her 
simple wooden spinning-wheel and spun the 
thread before she began to weave the stuffs. In 
the intervals of her work she directed the little 
girl's games and taught her to read the old 
stories of her country. Thus did the wife find 
consolation in work during the lonely days of her 
husband's absence. While the time was thus 
slipping quickly by in the quiet home, the hus- 
band finished his business and returned. 

It would have been difficult for any one who did 
not know the man well to recognize him. He 
had traveled day after day, exposed to all 
weathers, for about a month altogether, and was 
sunburnt to bronze, but his fond wife and child 
knew him at a glance, and flew to meet him from 


either side, each catching hold of one of his 
sleeves in their eager greeting. Both the man 
and his wife rejoiced to find each other well. It 
seemed a very long time to all till the mother 
and child helping his straw sandals were un- 
tied, his large umbrella hat taken off, and he was 
again in their midst in the old familiar sitting- 
room that had been so empty while he was away. 

As soon as they had sat down on the white 
mats, the father opened a bamboo basket that he 
had brought in with him, and took out a beauti- 
full doll and a lacquer box full of cakes. 

"Here," he said to the little girl, " is a present 
for you. It is a prize for taking care of mother 
and the house so well while I was away." 

" Thank you," said the child, as she bowed her 
head to the ground, and then put out her hand 
just like a little maple leaf with its eager wide- 
spread fingers to take the doll and the box, both 
of which, coming from the capital, were prettier 
than anything she had ever seen. No words can 
tell how delighted the little girl was her face 
seemed as if it would melt with joy, and she had 
no eyes and no thought for anything else. 

Again the husband dived into the basket, and 
brought out this time a square wooden box, care- 
fully tied up with red and white string, and 
handing it to his wife, said : 

" And this is for you." 

The wife took the box, and opening it carefully 
took out a metal disk with a handle attached. 


One side WAS bright and shining like a crystal, 
and the other was covered with raised figures of 
pine-trees and storks, which had been carved out 
of its smooth surface in lifelike reality. Never 
had she seen such a, thing in her life, for she had 
been born and bred in the rural province of 
Echigo. She gazed into the shining disk, and 
looking up with surprise and wonder pictured on 
her face, she said : 

" I see somebody looking at me in this round 
thing ! What is it that you have given me ? " 

The husband laughed and said : 

" Why, it is your own face that you see. What 
I have brought 3*011 is called a mirror, and who- 
ever looks into its clear surface can see their own 
form reflected there. Although there are none to 
be found in this out of the way place, yet they 
have been in use in the capital from the most aii- 
cient times. There the mirror is considered a 
ver3 r necessary requisite for a woman to possess. 
There is an old proverb that ' As the sword is the 
soul of a samurai, so is the mirror the soul of a 
woman,' and according to popular tradition, a 
woman's mirror is an index to her own heart 
if she keeps it bright and clear, so is her heart- 
pure and good. It is also one of the treasures 
that form the insignia of the Emperor. So you 
,must lay great store by your mirror, and use 
it carefully." 

The wife listened to all her husband told her, 
and was pleased at learning so much that was 


new to her. She was still more pleased at the 
precious gift his token of remembrance while he 
had heen away. 

" If the mirror represents my soul, I shall cer- 
tainly treasure it as a valuable possession, and 
never will I use it carelessly." Saying so, she 
lifted it as high as her forehead, in grateful ac- 
knowledgment of the gift, and then shut it up 
in its box and put it away. 

The wife saw that her husband was very tired, 
and set about serving the evening meal and mak- 
ing everything as com fortable as she could for him. 
It seemed to the little family as if they had not 
known what true happiness was before, so glad 
were they to be together again, and this evening 
the father had much to tell of his journey and of 
all he had seen at the great capital. 

Time passed away in the peaceful home, and 
the parents saw their fondest hopes realized as 
their daughter grew from childhood into a beau- 
tiful girl ot' sixteen. As a gem of priceless value 
is held in its proud owner's hand, so had they 
reared her with unceasing love and care : and 
now their pains were more than doubly rewarded. 
What a comfort she was to her mother as she 
went about the house taking her part in the 
housekeeping, and how proud her father was of 
her, for she daily reminded him of her mother 
when he had first married her. 

But, alas ! in this world nothing lasts forever. 
Even the moon is not always perfect in shape, but 


loses its roundness with time, and flowers bloom 
and then fade. So at last the happiness of this 
family was broken up by a great sorrow. The 
good and gentle wife and mother was one day 
taken ill. 

In the first days of her illness the father and 
daughter thought that it was only a cold, and 
were not particularly anxious. But the days 
went by and still the mother did not get better; 
she only grew worse, and the doctor WHS puzzled, 
for in spite of all he did the poor woman grew 
weaker day by day. The father and daughter 
were stricken with grief, and day or night the 
girl never left her mother's side. But in spite of 
all their efforts the woman's life was not to be 

One day as the girl sat near her mother's bed, 
trying to hide with a cheery smile the gnawing 
trouble at her heart, the mother roused herself 
and taking her daughter's hand, gazed earnestly 
and lovingly into her eyes. Her breath was 
labored and she spoke with difficulty : 

"My daughter, I am sure that nothing can 
save me now. When I am dead, promise me to 
take care of your dear father and to try to be a 
good and dutiful woman." 

" Oh, mother," said the girl as the tears rushed 
to her eyes, "you must not say such things. All 
you have to do is to make haste and get well 
that will bring the greatest happiness to father 
and myself." 


" Yes, I know, and it is a comfort to me in my 
Jast days to know how greatly you long for me 
to get better, but it is not to be. Do not look so 
sorrowful, for it was so ordained in my previous 
state of existence that I should die in this life 
just at this time ; knowing this, I am quite re- 
signed to my fate. And now I have something 
to give you whereby to remember me when I am 

Putting her hand out, she took from the side 
of the pillow a square wooden box tied up with a 
silken cord and tassels. Undoing this very care- 
fully, she took out of the box the mirror that her 
husband had given her years ago. 

11 When you were still a little child your father 
went up to the capital and brought me back as a 
present this treasure ; it is called a mirror. This 
I give you. before I die. If, after I have ceased 
to be in this life, you are lonely and long to see 
me sometimes, then take out this mirror and in 
the clear and shining surface you will always see 
me so will you be able to meet with me often 
and tell me all your heart ; and though I shall 
not be able to speak, I shall understand and sym- 
pathize with you, whatever may happen to you 
in the future." With these words the dying 
woman handed the mirror to her daughter. 

The mind of the good mother seemed to be 
now at rest, and sinking back without another 
word her spirit passed quietly away that day. 

The bereaved father and daughter were wild 


with grief, and they abandoned themselves to 
their bitter sorrow. They felt it to be impossible 
to take leave of the loved woman who till now- 
had filled their whole lives and to commit her 
body to the earth. Bat this frantic burst of grief 
passed, and then they took possession of their own 
hearts again, crushed though they were in resig- 
nation. In spite of this the daughter's life seemed 
to her desolate. Her love for her dead mother 
did not grow less with time, and so keen was her 
remembrance, that everything in daily life, even 
the falling of the rain and the blowing of the 
wind, reminded her of her mother's death and of 
all that they had loved and shared together. One 
day when her father was out, and she was fulfill- 
ing her household duties alone, her loneliness and 
sorrow seemed more than she could bear. She 
threw herself down in her mother's room and 
wept as if her heart would break. Poor child, 
she longed just for one glimpse of the loved face, 
one sound of the voice calling her pet name, or 
for one moment's forgetfulness of the aching void 
in her heart. Suddenly she sat up. Her mother's 
last words had rung through her memory hitherto 
dulled by grief. 

"Oh ! my mother told me when she gave me 
the mirror as a parting gift, that whenever I 
looked into it I should be able to meet her to 
see her. I had nearly forgotten her last words 
how stupid I am ; I will get the mirror now 
and see if it can possibly be true ! " 


She dried her eyes quickly, and going to the 
cupboard took out the box that contained the 
mirror, her heart beating with expectation as 
she lifted the mirror out and gazed into its smooth 
face. Behold, her mother's words were true ! In 
the round mirror before her she saw her mother's 
face ; but, oh, the joyful surprise ! It was not 
her mother thin and wasted by illness, but the 
young and beautiful woman as she remembered 
her far back in the days of her own earliest child- 
hood. It seemed to the girl that the face in the 
mirror must soon speak, almost that she heard the 
voice of her mother telling her again to grow up a 
good woman and a dutiful daughter, so earnestly 
did the eyes in the mirror look back into her own. 

<k lt is certainly my mother's soul that I see. 
She knows how miserable I am without her and 
Bhe has come to comfort me. Whenever I long 
to see her she will meet me here ; how grateful I 
ought to be ! " 

And from this time the weight of sorrow was 
greatly lightened for her young heart. Every 
morning, to gather strength for the day's duties 
before her, and every evening, for consolation 
before she lay down to rest, did the young girl 
take out the mirror and gaze at the reflection 
which in the simplicity of her innocent heart she 
believed to be her mother's soul. Daily she grew 
in the likeness of her dead mother's character, 
and was gentle and kind to all, and a dutiful 
daughter to her father. 


A year spent in mourning had thus passed 
away in the little household, when, by the advice 
of his relations, the man married again, and the 
daughter now found herself under the authority 
of a step-mother. It was a trying position ; but 
her days spent in the recollection of her own be- 
loved mother, and of trying to be what that 
mother would wish her to be, had made the young 
girl docile and patient, and she now determined to 
be filial and dutiful to her father's wife, in all re- 
spects. Everything went on apparently smoothly 
in the family for some time under the new r6- 
gime ; there were no winds or waves of discord 
to ruffle the surface of every-day life, and the 
father was content. 

But it is a woman's danger to be petty and 
mean, and step-mothers are proverbial all the 
world over, and this one's heart was not as her 
first smiles were. As the days and weeks grew 
into months, the step-mother began to treat the 
motherless girl unkindly and to try and come 
between the father and child. 

Sometimes she went to her husband and com- 
plained of her step-daughter's behavior, but the 
father knowing that this was to be expected, 
took no notice of her ill-natured complaints. In- 
stead of lessening his affection for his daughter, 
as the woman desired, her grumblings only made 
him think of her the more. The woman soon 
saw that he began to show more concern for his 
lonely child than before. This did not please her 


at all, and she began to turn over in her mind 
how she could, by some means or other, drive 
her step-child out of the house. So crooked did 
the woman's heart become. 

She watched the girl carefully, and one day 
peeping into her room in the early morning, she 
thought she discovered a grave enough sin of 
which to accuse the child to her father. The 
woman herself was a little frightened too at what 
she had seen. 

So she went at once to her husbiind, and wip- 
ing away some false tears she said in a sad voice : 

" Please give me permission to leave you to- 

The man was completely taken by surprise at 
the suddenness of her request, and wondered 
whatever was the matter. 

"Do you find it so disagreeable," he asked, 
" in my house, that you can stay no longer ? " 

" No ! no ! it has nothing to do with you even 
in my dreams I have never thought that I wished 
to leave } r our side ; but if I go on living here I 
am in danger of losing my life, so I think it best 
for all concerned that you should allow me to go 
home ! " 

And the woman began to weep afresh. Her 
husband, distressed to see her so unhappy, and 
thinking that he could not have heard aright, 
said : 

"Tell me what you mean! How is your life 
in danger here ? " 


" I will tell you since 3-011 ask me. Your 
daughter dislikes me as her step-mother. For 
some time past she has shut herself up in her room 
morning and evening, and looking in as I pass 
by, I am convinced that she has made an image 
of me and is trying to kill me hy magic art, curs- 
ing me daily. It is not safe for me to stay here, 
such being the case ; indeed, indeed, I must go 
away, we cannot live under the same roof any 


The husband listened to the dreadful tale, but he 
could not believe hisgentle daughter guilty of such 
an evil act. He knew that by popular super- 
stition people believed that one person could cause 
the gradual death of another by making an image 
of the hated one and cursing it daily ; but where 
had his young daughter learned such knowledge ? 
the thing was impossible. Yet he remembered 
having noticed that his daughter stayed much in 
her room of late and ki-'pt herself away from 
every one, even when visitors came to the house. 
Putting this fact together with his wife's alarm, 
he thought that there might be something to 
account for the strange story. 

His heart was torn between doubting his wife 
and trusting his child, and he knew not what to 
do. He decided to go at once to his daughter 
and try to find out the truth. Comforting his 
wife and assuringher that her fears were ground- 
less, he glided quietly to his daughter's room. 

The girl had for a long time past been very 


tmhappy. She had tried by amiability and obedi- 
ence to show her goodwill and to mollify the new 
wife, and to break down that wall of prejudice 
and misunderstanding that she knew generally 
stood between step-parents and their step-chil- 
dren. But she soon found that her efforts were in 
vain. The step-mother never trusted her, and 
seemed to misinterpret all her actions, and the 
poor child knew very well that she often carried 
unkind and untrue tales to her father. She could 
not help comparing her present unhappy condition 
with the time when her own mother was alive 
only a little more than a year ago so great a 
change in this short time ! Morning and even- 
ing she wept over the remembrance. Whenever 
she could she went to her room, and sliding the 
screens to, took out the mirror and gazed, as she 
thought, at her mother's face. It was the only 
comfort that she had in these wretched days. 

Her father found her occupied in this way. 
Pushing aside the fusama, he saw her bending 
over something or other very intently. Looking 
over her shoulder, to see who was entering her 
room, the girl was surprised to see her father, for 
he generally sent for her when he wished to speak 
to her. She was also confused at being found 
looking at the mirror, for she had never told any 
one of her mother's last promise, but had kept it 
as the sacred secret of her heart. So before turn- 
ing to her father she slipped the mirror into her 
long sleeve. Her father noting her confusion, 


and her act of hiding something, said in a severe 
manner : 

''Daughter, what are you doing here? And 
what is that that you have hidden in your sleeve ? " 

The girl was frightened by her father's severity. 
Never had he spoken to her in such a tone. Her 
confusion changed to apprehension, her color from, 
scarlet to white. She sat dumb and shamefaced, 
unable to reply. 

Appearances were certainly against her ; the 
young girl looked guilty, and the father thinking 
that perhaps after all what his wife had told him 
was true, spoke angrily : 

" Then, is it really true that you are daily curs, 
ing your step-mother and praying for her death \ 
Have you forgotten what I told you, that al- 
though she is your step-mother you must be obe- 
dient and loyal to her? What evil spirit has 
taken possession of your heart that you should 
be so wicked ? You have certainly changed, my 
daughter ! What has made you so disobedient 
avid unfaithful ? " 

And the father's eyes filled with sudden tears 
to think that he should have to upbraid his 
daughter in this way. 

She on her part did not know what he meant, 
for she had never heard of the superstition that 
by praying over an image it is possible to cause 
the death of a hated person. But she saw that 
she must speak and clear herself somehow. She 
loved her father dearly, and could not bear the 


idea of his anger. She put out her hand on his 
knee deprecatingly : 

"Father! father! do not say such dreadful 
things to me. I am still your obedient child. 
Indeed, I am. However stupid I may be, I should 
never be able to curse any one who belonged to 
you, much less pray for the death of one you love. 
Surely some one has been telling you lies, and you 
are dazed, and you know not what you say or 
some evil spirit has taken possession of your 
heart. As for me I do not know no, not so much 
as a dew-drop, of the evil thing of which you ac- 

cuse me." 

But the father remembered that she had hidden 
something away when he first entered the room, 
and even this earnest protest did not satisfy him. 
He wished to clear up his doubts once for all. 

"Then why are you always alone in your room 
these days ? And tell me what is that that you 
have hidden in your sleeve show it to me at 


Then the daughter, though shy of confessing 
how she had cherished her mother's memory, saw 
that she must tell her father all in order to clear 
herself. So she slipped the mirror out from her 
long sleeve and laid it before him. 

" This," she said, " is what you saw me looking 
at just now." 

" Why," he said in great surprise, " this is the 
mirror that I brought as a gift to your mother 
when I went up to the capital many years ago .' 


And so you have kept it ah this time ? Now, why 
do you spend so much of your time before this 
mirror ? " 

Then she told him of her mother's last words, 
and of how she had promised to meet her child 
whenever she looked into the glass. But still the 
father could not understand the simplicity of his 
daughter's character in not knowing that what 
she saw reflected in the mirror was in reality her 
own face, and not that of her mother. 

"What do you mean ?" he asked. " I do not 
understand how you can meet the soul of your 
lost mother by looking in this mirror ? " 

" It is indeed true," said the girl ; " and if you 
don't believe what I say, look for yourself," and 
she placed the mirror before her. There, looking 
back from the smooth metal disk, was her own 
sweet face. She pointed to the reflection seri- 
ously : 

"Do you doubt me still ? " she asked earnestly, 
looking up into his face. 

With an exclamation of sudden understanding 
the father smote his two hands together. 

" How stupid I am! At last I understand. 
Your face is as like your mother's as the two sides 
of a melon thus you have looked at the reflec- 
tion of your face ail this time, thinking that you 
were brought face to face with your lost mother ! 
You are truly a faithful child. It seems at 
first a stupid thing to have done, but it is not 
really so. It shows how deep has been your filial 


piety, and how innocent your heart. Living in 
constant remembrance of your lost mother has 
helped you to grow like her in character. How 
clever it was of her to tell you to do this. I admire 
and respect you, my daughter, and I am ashamed 
to think that for one instant I believed your sus- 
picious step-mother's story and suspected you of 
evil, and came with the intention of scolding you 
severely, while all this time you have been so true 
and good. Before you I have no countenance left, 
and I beg you to forgive me." 

And here the father wept. He thought of how 
lonely the poor girl must have been, and of all 
that she must have suffered under her step- 
mother's treatment. His daughter steadfastly 
keeping her faith and simplicity in the midst of 
such adverse circumstances bearing all her 
troubles with so much patience and amiability 
made him compare her to the lotus which rears 
its blossom of dazzling beauty out of the slime 
and mud of the moats and ponds, fitting emblem 
of a heart which keeps itself unsullied while pass- 
ing through the world. 

The step-mother, anxious to know what would 
happen, had all this while been standing outside 
the room. She had grown interested, and had 
gradually pushed the sliding screen back till she 
could see all that went on. At this moment she 
suddenly entered the room, and dropping to the 
mats, she bowed her head over her outspread 
hands before her step-daughter. 


" I am ashamed ! I am ashamed ! " she ex- 
claimed in broken tones. " I did not know what 
a filial child you were. Through no fault of 
yours, but with a step-mother's jealous heart, I 
have disliked you all the time. Hating you so 
much myself, it was but natural that I should 
think you reciprocated the feeling, and thus when 
I saw you retire so often to your room I followed 
you, and when I saw you gaze daily into the 
mirror for long intervals, I concluded that you 
had found out how I disliked you, and that you 
were out of revenge trying to take my life by 
magic art. As long as I live I shall never forget 
the wrong I have clone you in so misjudging 
you, and in causing your father to suspect 
you. From this day I throw away my old and 
wicked heart, and in its place I put a new one, 
clean and full of repentance. I shall think of 
you as a child that I have borne myself. I 
shall love and cherish you with all my heart, and 
thus try to make up for all the unhappiness 
I have caused you. Therefore, please throw into 
the water all that has gone before, and give 
me, I beg of you, some of the filial love that you 
have hitherto given to your own lost mother." 

Thus did the unkind step-mother humble her- 
self and ask forgiveness of the girl she had so 

Such was the sweetness of the girl's disposition 
that she willingly forgave her step-mother, and 
never bore a moment's resentment or malice to- 


wards her afterwards. The father saw by his 
wife's face that she was truly sorry for the past, 
and was greatly relieved to see the terrible mis- 
understanding wiped out of remembrance by both 
the wrong-doer and the wronged. 

From this time on, the three lived together as 
happily as fish in water. No such trouble ever 
darkened the home again, and the young girl 
gradually forgot that year of unhappiness in the 
tender love and care that her step-mother now be- 
stowed on her. Her patience and goodness were 
rewarded at last. 


LONG, long ago there was a large plain called 
Adachigahara, in the province of Mutsu in Japan. 
This place was said to be haunted by a cannibal 
goblin who took the form of an old woman. 
From time to time many travelers disappeared 
and were never heard of more, and the old women 
round the charcoal braziers in the evenings, and 
the girls washing the household rice at the wells 
in the mornings, whispered dreadful stories of 
how the missing folk had been lured to the 
goblin's cottage and devoured, for the goblin 
lived only on human flesh. No one dared to vent- 
ure near the haunted spot after sunset, and all 
those who could, avoided it in the daytime, and 
travelers were warned of the dreaded place. 

One day as the sun was setting, a priest came 
to the plain. He was a belated traveler, and his 
robe showed that he was a Buddhist pilgrim 
walking from shrine to shrine to pray for some 
blessing or to crave for forgiveness of sins. He 
had apparently lost his way, and as it was late 
he met no one who could show him the road or 
warn him of the haunted spot. 

He had walked the whole day and was now 

tired and hungry, and the evenings were chilly, 




for it was late autumn, and he began to be very 
anxious to find some house where he could ob- 
tain a night's lodging. He found himself lost in 
the midst of the large plain, and looked about in 
vain for some sign of human habitation. 
At last, after wandering about for some hours, 

He pressed the Old Woman to let him Stay, but she 
seemed very Reluctant. 

he saw a clump of trees in the distance, and 
through the trees he caught sight of the glimmer 
of a single ray of light. He exclaimed with joy : 

"Oh, surely that is some cottage where I can 
get a night's lodging ! " 

Keeping the light before his eyes he dragged 
his weary, aching feet as quickly as he could 


towards the spot, and soon came to a miserable- 
looking little cottage. As he drew near he saw 
that it was in a tumble-down condition, the bam- 
boo fence was broken and weeds and grass pushed 
their way through the gaps. The paper screens 
which serve as windows and doors in Japan were 
full of holes, and the posts of the house were bent 
with age and seemed scarcely able to support the 
old thatched roof. The hut was open, and by 
the light of an old lantern an old woman sat 
industriously spinning. 

The pilgrim called to her across the bamboo 
fence and said : 

" Baa San (old woman), good evening ! I am 
a traveler ! Please excuse me, but I have lost my 
way and do not know what to do, for I have no- 
where to rest to-night. I beg you to be good 
enough to let me spend the night under your 

The old woman as soon as she heard herself 
spoken to stopped spinning, rose from her seat 
and approached the intruder. 

" I am very sorry for you. You must indeed 
be distressed to have lost your way in such a 
lonely spot so late at night. Unfortunately I 
cannot put you up, for I have no bed to offer you, 
and no accommodation whatsoever for a guest in 
this poor place ! " 

" Oh, that does not matter, " said the priest ; 
" all I want is a shelter under some roof for the 
night, and if you will be good enough just to let 


me lie on the kitchen floor I shall be grateful. I 
am too tired to walk further to-night, so I hope 
you will not refuse me, otherwise I shall have to 
sleep out on the cold plain." And in this way he 
pressed the old woman to let him stay. 

She seemed very reluctant, but at last she 
said : 

"Very well, I will let you stay here. lean 
offer you a very poor welcome only, but come in 
now and I will make a fire, for the night is cold." 

The pilgrim was only too glad to do as he was 
told. He took off his sandals and entered the hut. 
The old woman then brought some sticks of wood 
and lit the fire, and bade her guest draw near and 
warm himself. 

" You must be hungry after your long tramp," 
said the old woman. " I will go and cook some 
supper for you." She then went to the kitchen 
to cook some rice. 

After the priest had finished his supper the old 
woman sat down by the fire-place, and they talked 
together for a long time. The pilgrim thought 
to himself that he had been very lucky to come 
across such a kind, hospitable old woman. At 
last the wood gave out, and as the fire died slowly 
down he began to shiver with cold just as he had 
done when he arrived. 

" I see you are cold," said the old woman ; "I 
will go out and gather some wood, for we have 
used it all. You must stay and take care of the 
house while I am gone." 



"No, no," said the pilgrim, "let me go in- 
stead, for you are old, and I cannot think of let- 
ting you go out to get wood for me this eld 

The old woman shook her head and said : 

" You must stay quietly here, for you are my 
guest." Then she left him and went out. 

In a minute she came back and said : 

"You must sit where you are and not move, 
and whatever happens don't go near or look 
into the inner room. Now mind what I tell 
! " 

If you tell me not to go near the back room, 
of course I won't," said the priest, rather bewil- 

The old woman then went out again, and the 
priest was left alone. The fire had died out, and 
the only light in the hut was that of a dim lan- 
tern. For the first time that night he began to 
feel that he was in a weird place, and the old 
woman's words, " Whatever you do don't peep 
into the back room," aroused his curiosity and 
his fear. 

What hidden thing could be in that room that 
she did not wish him to see ? For some time the 
remembrance of his promise to the old woman 
kept him still, but at last he could no longer 
resist his curiosity to peep into the forbidden place. 

He got up and began to move slowly towards 
the back room. Then the thought that the old 
woman would be very angry with him if he dis- 



obeyed her made him come back to his place by 
the fireside. 

As the minutes went slowly by and the old 
woman did not return, he began to feel more and 
more frightened, and to wonder what dreadful 

What he saw froze the Blood in his Veins. 

secret was in the room behind him. He must 
find out. 

" She will not know that I have looked unless I 
tell her. I will just have a peep before she comes 
back," said the man to himself. 

With these words he got up on his feet (for he 

had been sitting all this time in Japanese fashion 


with his feet under him) and stealthily crept 
towards the forbidden spot. With trembling 
hands he pushed back the sliding door and looked 
in. What he saw froze the blood in his veins. 
The room was full of dead men's bones and the 
walls were splashed and the floor was covered 
with human blood. In one corner skull upon 
skull rose to the ceiling, in another was a heap 
of arm bones, in another a heap of leg bones. 
The sickening smell made him faint. He fell 
backwards with horror, and for some time lay in 
a heap with fright on the floor, a pitiful sight. 
He trembled all over and his teeth chattered, and 
he could hardly crawl away from the dreadful 

"How horrible!" he cried out. "What aw- 
ful den have I come to in my travels ? May 
Buddha help me or I am lost. Is it possible that 
that kind old woman is really the cannibal goblin ? 
When she comes back she will show herself in 
her true character and eat me up at one mouth- 
ful ! " 

With these words his strength came back to 
him and, snatching up his hat and staff, he rushed 
out of the house as fast as his legs could carry 
him. Out into the night he ran, his one thought 
to get as far as he could from the goblin's haunt. 
He had not gone far when he heard steps behind 
him and a voice crying : "Stop ! stop ! " 

He ran on, redoubling his speed, pretending 
not to hear. As he ran he heard the steps behind 


him come nearer and nearer, and at last he rec- 
ognized the old woman's voice which grew louder 
and louder as she came nearer. 

"Stop! stop, you wicked man, why did you 
look into the forbidden room ? " 

The priest quite forgot how tired he was and 
his feet flew over the ground faster than ever. 
Fear gave him strength, for he knew that if 
the goblin caught him he would soon be one of 
her victims. With all his heart he repeated the 
prayer to Buddha : 

"NamuAmida Butsu, Namu Amida Butsu." 

And after him rushed the dreadful old hag, 
her hair flying in the wind, and her face chang- 
ing with rage into the demon that she was. 
In her hand she carried a large blood-stained 
knife, and she still shrieked after him, " Stop ! 
stop ! " 

At last, when the priest felt he could run no 
more, the dawn broke, and with the darkness 
of night the goblin vanished and he was safe. 
The priest now knew that he had met the 
Goblin of Adachigahara, the story of whom he 
had often heard but never believed to be true. 
He felt that he owed his wonderful escape to 
the protection of Buddha to whom he had prayed 
for help, so he took out his rosary and bowing 
his head as the sun rose he said his prayers and 
made his thanksgiving earnestly. He then set 
forward for another part of the country, only 
too glad to leave the haunted plain behind him. 



LONG, long ago, there lived in the province 
of Shinshin in Japan, a traveling monkey-man, 
who earned his living by taking round a monkey 
and showing off the animal's tricks. 

One evening the man came home in a very 
bad temper and told his wife to send for the 
butcher the next morning. 

The wife was very bewildered and asked her 
husband : 

" Why do you wish me to send for the 
butcher ? " 

"It's no use taking that monkey round any 
longer, he's too old and forgets his tricks. I 
beat him with my stick all I know how, but he 
won't dance properly. I must now sell him to 
the butcher and make what money out of him I 
can. There is nothing else to be done." 

The woman felt very sorry for the poor little 
animal, and pleaded for her husband to spare 
the monkey, but her pleading was all in vain, 
the man was determined to sell him to the 

Now the monkey was in the next room and 

overheard every word of the conversation. He 



soon understood that he was to be killed, and 
he said to himself : 

" Barbarous, indeed, is my master ! Here I 
have served him faithfully for years, and instead 
of allowing me to end my days comfortably and 
in peace, he is going to let me be cut up by the 

The Monkey began his Tale of Woe. 

butcher, and my poor body is to be roasted and 
stewed and eaten ? Woe is me ! What am I to do. 
Ah ! a bright thought has struck me ! There is, 
I know, a wild boar living in the forest near by. 
I have often heard tell of his wisdom. Perhaps 
if I go to him and tell him the strait I am in he 
will give me his counsel. I will go and try." 


There was no time to lose. The monkey 
slipped out of the house and ran as quickly as he 
could to the forest to find the boar. The boar 
was at home, and the monkey began his tale of 
woe at once. 

" Good Mr. Boar, I have heard of your excellent 
wisdom. I am in great trouble, you alon$ can 
help me. I have grown old in the service of my 
master, and because I cannot dance properly now 
he intends to sell me to the butcher. What do 
you advise me to do ? I know how clever you 
are ! " 

The boar was pleased at the flattery and de* 
termined to help the monkey. He thought for a 
little while and then said : 

" Hasn't your master a baby ? " 

"Oh, yes," said the monkey, "he has one 
infant son." 

' ' Doesn't it lie by the door in the morning when 
your mistress begins the work of the day ? Well, 
I will come round early and when I see my 
opportunity I will seize the child and run off 
with it." 

"What then ?" said the monkey. 

"Why the mother will be in a tremendous 
scare, and before your master and mistress know 
what to do, you must run after me and rescue the 
child and take it home safely to its parents, and 
you will see that when the butcher comes they 
won't have the heart to sell you." 

The monkey thanked the boar many times and 


then went home. He did not sleep much that 
night, as you may imagine, for thinking of the 
morrow. His life depended on whether the boar's 
plan succeeded or not. He was the first up, wait- 
ing anxiously for what was to happen. It seemed 
to him a very long time before his master's wife 
began to move about and open the shutters to let 
in the light of day. Then all happened as the 
boar had planned. The mother placed her child 
near the porch as usual while she tidied up the 
house and got her breakfast ready. 

The child was crooning happily in the morning 
sunlight, dabbing on the mats at the play of light 
and shadow. Suddenly there was a noise in the 
porch and a loud cry from the child. The mother 
ran out from the kitchen to the spot, only just in 
time to see the boar disappearing through the gate 
with her child in its clutch. She flung out her 
hands with a loud cry of despair and rushed into 
the inner room where her husband was still sleep- 
ing soundly. 

He sat up slowly and rubbed his eyes, and 
crossly demanded what his wife was making all 
that noise about. By the time that the manwas ( 
alive to what had happened, and they both got 
outside the gate, the boar had got well away, 
but they saw the monkey running after the thief 
as hard as his legs would carry him. 

Both the man and wife were moved to admira- 
tion at the plucky conduct of the sagacious 
monkey, and their gratitude knew no bounds 


when the faithful monkey brought the child safely 
back to their arms. 

" There !" said the wife. "This is the animal 
you wpnt to kill if the monkey hadn't been here 
we should have lost our child forever." 

"You are right, wife, for once," said the man 
as he carried the child into the house. "You 
may send the butcher back when he comes, and 
now give us all a good breakfast and the monkey 

When the butcher arrived he was sent away 
with an order for some boar's meat for the even- 
ing dinner, and the monkey was petted and lived 
the rest of his days in peace, nor did his master 
ever strike him again. 



LONG, long ago Japan was governed by Hoho- 
demi, the fourth Mikoto (or Augustness) in de- 
scent from the illustrious Amaterasu, the Sun 
Goddess. He was not only as handsome as his 
ancestress was beautiful, but he was also very 
strong and brave, and was famous for being the 
greatest hunter in the laud. Because of his 
matchless skill as a hunter, he was called il Yama- 
sachi-hiko "or " The Happy Hunter of the Mount- 


His elder brother was a very skillful fisher, and 
as he far surpassed all rivals in fishing, he was 
named " Umi-sachi-hiko " or the " Skillful Fisher 
of the Sea." The brothers thus led happy lives, 
thoroughly enjoying their respective occupations, 
and the days passed quickly and pleasantly while 
each pursued his own way, the one hunting and 
the other fishing. 

One day the Happy Hunter came to his brother, 
the Skillful Fisher, and said : 

"Well, my brother, I see you go to the sea 
every day with your fishing rod in your hand, 
and when you return you come laden with fish. 

And as for me, it is my pleasure to take my bow 



and arrow and to hunt the wild animals up the 
mountains and down in the valleys. For a long 
time we have each followed our favorite occupa- 
tion, so that now we must both be tired, you of 
your fishing and I of my hunting. Would it not 
be wise for us to make a change ? Will you try 
hunting in the mountains and I will go and fish 
in the sea ? " 

The Skillful Fisher listened in silence to his 
brother, and for a moment was thoughtful, but 
at last he answered : 

" yes, why not ? Your idea is not a bad one 
at all. Give me your bow and arrow and I will set 
out at once for the mountains and hunt for game." 

So the matter was settled by this talk, and the 
two brothers each started out to try the other's 
occupation, little dreaming of all that would 
happen. It was very unwise of them, for the 
Happy Hunter knew nothing of fishing, and the 
Skillful Fisher, who was bad tempered, knew as 
much about hunting. 

The Happy Hunter took his brother's much- 
prized fishing hook and rod and went down to 
the seashore and sat down on the rocks. He 
baited his hook and then threw it into the 
sea clumsily. He sat and gazed at the little 
float bobbing up and down in the water, and 
longed for a good fish to come and be caught. 
Every time the buoy moved a little he pulled up 
his rod, but there was never a fish at the end of 
it, only the hook and the bait. If he had kuown 


how to fish properly, he would have been able to 
catch plenty of fish, but although he was the 
greatest hunter in the land he could not help 
being the most bungling fisher. 

The whole day passed in this way, while he sat 
on the rocks holding the fishing rod and waiting 
in vain for his luck to turn. At last the day 
began to darken, and the evening came ; still he 
had caught not a single fish. Drawing up his 
line for the last time before going home, he found 
that he had lost his hook without even knowing 
when he had dropped it. 

He now began to feel extremely anxious, for he 
knew that his brother would be angry at his hav- 
ing lost his hook, for, it being his only one, ho 
valued it above all other things. The Happj 
Hunter now set to work to look among the rocks 
and on the sand for the lost hook, and while he 
was searching to and fro, his brother, the Skillful 
Fisher, arrived on the scene. He had failed to 
find any game while hunting that day, and was 
not only in a bad temper, but looked fearfully 
cross. When he saw the Happy Hunter search- 
ing about on the shore he knew that something 
must have gone wrong, so he said at once : 
" What are you doing, my brother ? " 
The Happy Hunter went forward timidly, for 
he feared his brother's anger, and said : 

" Oh, my brother, I have indeed done badly." 
" What is the matter ? what have you done ? " 
asked the elder brother impatiently. 


" I have lost your precious fishing hook " 

While he was still speaking his brother 
stopped him, and cried out fiercely : 

"Lost my hook! It is just what I expected. 
For this reason, when you first proposed your 
plan of changing over our occupations I was 
really against it, but you seemed to wish it so 
much that I gave in and allowed you to do as 
you wished. The mistake of our trying unfa- 
miliar tasks is soon seen ! And you have done 
badly. I will not return you your bow and arrow 
till you have found my hook. Look to it that 
you find it and return it to me quickly." 

The Happy Hunter felt that he was to blame 
for all that had come to pass, and bore his 
brother's scornful scolding with humility and pa- 
tience. He hunted everywhere for the hook most 
diligently, but it was nowhere to be found. He 
was at last obliged to give up all hope of finding 
it. He then went home, and in desperation 
broke his beloved sword into pieces and made five 
hundred hooks out of it. 

He took these to his angry brother and 
offered them to him, asking his forgiveness, and 
begging him to accept them in the place of the 
one he had lost for him. It was useless ; his 
brother would not listen to him, much less grant 
his request. 

The Happy Hunter then made another five 
hundred hooks, and again took them to his 
brother, beseeching him to pardon him. 


" Though you make a million hooks," said the 
Skillful Fisher, shaking his head, " they are of no 
use to me. I cannot forgive you unless you bring 
me back my own hook." 

Nothing would appease the anger of the Skill- 
ful Fisher, for he had a bad disposition, and had 
always hated his brother because of his virtues, 
and now with the excuse of the lost fishing hook 
he planned to kill him and to usurp his place as 
ruler of Japan. The Happy Hunter knew all this 
full well, but he could say nothing, for being the 
younger he owed his elder brother obedience ; so 
he returned to the seashore and once more began 
to look for the missing hook. He was much cast 
down, for he had lost all hope of ever finding his 
brother's hook now. While he stood on the 
beach, lost in perplexity and wondering what he 
had best do next, an old man suddenly appeared 
carrying a stick in his hand. The Happy Hunter 
afterwards remembered that he did not see 
from whence the old man came, neither did he 
know how he was there he happened to look up 
and saw the old man coming towards him. 

"You are Hohodemi, the Augustness, some- 
times called the Happy Hunter, are you not ? " 
asked the old man. " What are you doing alone 
in such a place ? " 

"Yes, I am he," answered the unhappy young 
man. "Unfortunately, while fishing I lost my 
brother's precious fishing hook. 1 have hunted 
this shore all over, but alas ! I cannot find it, and 


I am very troubled, for my brother won't forgive 
me till I restore it to him. But who are you ? " 

" My name is Shiwozuchino Okina, and I live 
near by on this shore. I am sorry to hear what 
misfortune has befallen you. You must indeed 
be anxious. But if I tell you what I think, the 
hook is nowhere here it is either at the bottom 
of the sea or in the body of some fish who has 
swallowed it, and for this reason, though you 
spend your whole life in looking for it here, you 
will never find it." 

"Then what can I do? "asked the distressed 

" You had better go down to Ryn Gu and tell 
Ryn Jin, the Dragon King of the Sea, what your 
trouble is and ask him to find the hook for you. 
I think that would be the best way." 

" Your idea is a splendid one," said the Happy 
Hunter, "but I fear I cannot get to the Sea 
King's realm, for I have always heard that it is 
situated at the bottom of the sea." 

" Oh, there will be no difficulty about your 
getting there," said the old man ; " I can soon 
make something for you to ride on through the 

" Thank you," said the Happy Hunter, " I shall 
be very grateful to you if you will be so kind." 

The old man at once set to work, and soon 
made a basket and offered it to the Happy 
Hunter. He received it with joy, and taking it 
to the water, mounted it, and prepared to start. 


He bade good-by to the kind old man who had 
helped him so much, and told him that he would 
certainly reward him as soon as he found his 
hook and could return to Japan without fear of 
his brother's anger. The old man pointed out 
the direction he must take, and told him how to 
reach the realm of Ryn Gu, and watched him 
ride out to sea on the basket, which resembled a 
small boat. 

The Happy Hunter made all the haste he could, 
riding on the basket which had been given him 
by his friend. His queer boat seemed to go 
through the water of its own accord, and the 
distance was much shorter than he had expected, 
for in a few hours he caught sight of the gate 
and the roof of the Sea King's Palace. And 
what a large place it was, with its numberless 
sloping roofs and gables, its huge gateways, and 
its gray stone walls ! He soon landed, and leav- 
ing his basket on the beach, he walked up to the 
large gateway. The pillars of the gate were 
made of beautiful red coral, and the gate itself 
was adorned with glittering gems of all kinds. 
Large katsura trees overshadowed it. Our hero 
had often heard of the wonders of the Sea King's 
Palace beneath the sea, but all the stories he had 
ever heard fell short of the reality which he now 
saw for the first time. 

The Happy Hunter would have liked to enter 
the gate there and then, but he saw that it was 
fast closed, and also that there was no one about 


whom he could ask to open it for him, so he 
stopped to think what he should do. In the shade 
of the trees before the gate he noticed a well full 
of fresh spring water. Surely some one would 
come out to draw water from the well some time, 
he thought. Then he climbed into the tree over 
hanging the well, and seated himself to rest on 
one of the branches, and waited for what might 
happen. Ere long he saw the huge gate swing 
open, and two beautiful women came out. Now 
the Mikoto (Augustness) had always heard that 
Ryn Gu was the realm of the Dragon King under 
the Sea, and had naturally supposed that the 
place was inhabited by dragons and similar ter- 
rible creatures, so that when he saw these two 
lovely princesses, whose beauty would be rare 
even in the world from which he had just come, 
he was exceedingly surprised, and wondered what 
it could mean. 

He said not a word, however, but silently 
gazed at them through the foliage of the trees, 
waiting to see what they would do. He saw that 
in their hands they carried golden buckets. 
Slowly and gracefully in their trailing garments 
they approached the well, standing in the shade 
of the katsura trees, and were about to draw 
water, all unknowing of the stranger who was 
watching them, for the Happy Hunter was quite 
hidden among the branches of the tree where he 
had posted himself. 

As the two ladies leaned over the side of the 


to let down their golden buckets, which they 
did every day in the year, they saw reflected in 
the deep still water the face of a handsome youth 
gazing at them from amidst the branches of the 
tree in whose shade they stood. Never before had 
they seen the face of mortal man ; they were 
frightened, and drew back quickly with their 
golden buckets in their hands. Their curiosity, 
however, soon gave them courage, and they 
glanced timidly upwards to see the cause of the 
unusual reflection, and then they beheld the 
Happy Hunter sitting in the tree looking down 
at them with surprise and admiration. They 
gazed at him face to face, but their tongues were 
still with wonder and could not find a word to say 
to him. 

When the Mikoto saw that he was discovered, 
he sprang down lightly from the tree and said : 

" I am a traveler, and as I was very thirsty I 
came to the well in the hopes of quenching my 
thirst, but I could find no bucket with which to 
draw the water. So I climbed into the tree, much 
vexed, and waited for some one to come. Just at 
that moment, while I was thirstily and impa- 
tiently waiting, you noble ladies appeared, as if 
in answer to my great need. Therefore I pray 
you of your mercy give me some water to drink, 
for I am a thirsty traveler in a strange land." 

His dignity and graciousness overruled their 
timidity, and bowing in silence they both once 
more approached the well, and letting down their 


golden buckets drew up some water and poured 
it into a jeweled cup and offered it to the 

He received it from them with both hands, 
raising it to the height of his forehead in token of 
high respect and pleasure, and then drank the 
water quickly, for his thirst was great. When 
he had finished his long draught he set the cup 
down on the edge of the well, and drawing his 
short sword he cut off one of the strange curved 
jewels (magatama\ a necklace of which hung 
round his neck and fell over his breast. He 
placed the jewel in the cup and returned it to 
them, and said, bowing deeply : 

" This is a token of my thanks ! ' : 

The two ladies took the cup, and looking into 
it to see what he had put inside for they did not 
yet know what it was they gave a start of sur- 
prise, for there lay a beautiful gem at the bottom 
of the cup. 

u No ordinary mortal would give away a jewel 
so freely. Will you not honor us by telling us 
who you are ? " said the elder damsel. 

" Certainly," said the Happy Hunter,"! am 
Hohodemi, the fourth Mikoto, also called in Japan, 
the Happy Hunter." 

"Are you indeed Hohodemi, the grandson of 
ALinaterasu, the Sun Goddess ? " asked the damsel 
fevho had spoken first. " I am the eldest daughter 
r>f Ryn Jin, the King of the Sea, and my name is 
Princess Tayotama." 


"And," said the younger maiden, who at last 
found her tongue, ' ' I am her sister, the Princess 

" Are you indeed the daughters of Eyn Jin, the 
King of the Sea ? I cannot tell you how glad I 
am to meet you," said the Happy Hunter. And 
without waiting for them to reply he went on : 

"The other day I went fishing with my 
brother's hook and dropped it, how, I am sure I 
can't tell. As my brother prizes his fishing hook 
above all his other possessions, this is the greatest 
calamity that could have befallen me. Unless I 
find it again I can never hope to win my brother's 
forgiveness, for he is very angry at what I have 
done. I have searched for it many, many times, 
but I cannot find it, therefore I am much 
troubled. While I was hunting for the hook, in 
great distress, I met a wise old man, and he told 
me that the best thing I could do was to come to 
Ryn Gu, and to Ryn Jin, the Dragon King of the 
Sea, and ask him to help me. This kind old man 
also showed me how to come. Now you know 
how it is I am here and why. I want to ask Ryn 
Jin, if he knows where the lost hook is. Will 
you be so kind as to take me to your father ? 
And do you think he will see me ?" asked the 
Happy Hunter anxiously. 

Princess Tayotama listened to this long story, 
and then said : 

" Not only is it easy for you to see my father, 
but he will be much pleased to meet you. I am 


sure he will say that good fortune has befallen 
him, that so great and noble a man as you, the 
grandson of Amaterasu, should come down to the 
bottom of the sea." And then turning to her 
younger sister, she said : 

" Do you not think so, Tarnayori ? " 

"Yes, indeed," answered the Princess Tama- 
yori, in her sweet voice. " As you say, we can 
know no greater honor than to welcome the 
Mikoto to our home." 

" Then I ask you to be so kind as to lead the 
way," said the Happy Hunter. 

" Condescend to enter, Mikoto (Augustness)," 
said both the sisters, and bowing low, they led 
him through the gate. 

The younger Princess left her sister to take 
charge of the Happy Hunter, and going faster than 
they, she reached the Sea King's Palace first, and 
running quickly to her father's room, she told 
him of all that had happened to them at the gate, 
and that her sister was even now bringing the 
Augustness to him. The Dragon King of the Sea 
was much surprised at the news, for it was but 
seldom, perhaps only once in several hundred 
years, that the Sea King's Palace was visited by 

Ryn Jin at once clapped his hands and sum- 
moned all his courtiers and the servants of the 
Palace, and the chief fish of the sea together, and 
solemnly told them that the grandson of the Sun 
Goddess, Amaterasu, was coming to the Palace, 


and that they must be very ceremonious and 
polite in serving the august visitor. He then 
ordered them all to the entrance of the Palace to 
welcome the Happy Hunter. 

Eyn Jin then dressed himself in his robes of cere- 
mony, and went out to welcome him. In a few 
moments the Princess Tayotama and the Happy 
Hunter reached the en trance, and the Sea King and 
his wife bowed to the ground and thanked him for 
the honor he did them in coming to see them. 
The Sea King then led the Happy Hunter to the 
guest room, and placing him in the uppermost 
seat, he bowed respectfully before him, and said : 

" I am Eyn Jin, the Dragon King of the Sea, 
and this is my wife. Condescend to remember 
us forever ! " 

"Are you indeed Ryn Jin, the King of the Sea, 
of whom I have so often heard ? " answered the 
Happy Hunter, saluting his host most ceremoni- 
ously. " I must apologize for all the trouble I 
am giving you by my unexpected visit." And he 
bowed again, and thanked the Sea King. 

"You need not thank me," said Eyn Jin. "It 
is I who must thank you for coming. Although 
the Sea Palace is a poor place, as you see, I shall 
be highly honored if you will make us a long 

There was much gladness between the Sea King 
and the Happy Hunter, and they sat and talked 
for a long time. At last the Sea King clapped 
his hands, and then a huge retinue of fishes 


appeared, all robed in ceremonial garments, and 
bearing in their fins various trays on which all 
kinds of sea delicacies were served. A great feast 
was now spread before the King and his Royal 
guest. All the fishes-in-waiting were chosen from 
amongst the finest fish in the sea, so you can 
imagine what a wonderful array of sea creatures it 
was that waited upon the Happy Hunter that day. 
All in the Palace tried to do their best to please 
him and to show him that he was a much hon- 
ored guest. During the long repast, which lasted 
for hours, Ryn Jin commanded his daughters to 
play some music, and the two Princesses came in 
and performed on the koto ( the Japanese harp), 
and sang and danced in turns. The time passed 
so pleasantly that the Happy Hunter seemed to 
forget his trouble and why he had come at all to 
the Sea King's Realm, and he gave himself up to 
the enjoyment of this wonderful place, the land 
of fairy fishes ! Who has ever heard of such a 
marvelous place ? But the Mikoto soon remem- 
bered what had brought him to Ryn Gu, and said 
to his host : 

" Perhaps your daughters have told you, King 
R} T n Jin, that I have come here to try and re- 
cover my brother's fishing hook, which 1 lost 
"while fishing the other day. May I ask you to be 
so kind as to inquire of all your subjects if any of 
them have seen a fishing hook lost in the sea ? " 

" Certainly," said the obliging Sea King, " 1 will 
immediately summon them all here and ask them." 


As soon as he had issued his command, the oc- 
topus, the cuttlefish, the bonito, the oxtail fish, 
the eel, the jelly fish, the shrimp, and the plaice, 
'and many other fishes of all kinds came in and sat 
down before Ryn Jin their King, and arranged 
themselves and their fins in order. Then the Sea 
King said solemnly : 

" Our visitor who is sitting before you all is 
the august grandson of Amaterasu. His name 
is Hohodemi, the fourth Augustness, and he is 
also called the Happy Hunter of the Mountains. 
While he was fishing the other day upon the shore 
of Japan, some one robbed him of his brother's 
fishing hook. He has come all this way down to 
the bottom of che sea to our Kingdom because he 
thought that one of you fishes may have taken 
the hook from him in mischievous play. If any 
of you have done so you must immediately return 
it, or if any of you know who the thief is you 
must at once tell us his name and where he is 

All the fishes were taken by surprise when they 
heard these words, and could say nothing for some 
time. They sat looking at each other and at the 
Dragon King. At last the cuttlefish came for- 
ward and said : 

" I think the tai (the red bream) must be the 
thief who has stolen the hook ! " 

"Where is your proof ? " asked the King. 

"Since yesterday evening the tai has not been 
able to eat anything, and he seems to be suffering 


from a bad throat ! For this reason I think the 
hook may be in his throat. You had better send 
for him at once ! ' : 

All the fish agreed to this, and said : 

" It is certainly strange that the tai is the only 
fish who has not obeyed your summons. Will you 
send for him and inquire into the matter. Then 
our innocence will be proved." 

" Yes," said the Sea King, "it is strange that 
the tai has not come, for he ought to be the first 
to be here. Send for him at once ! " 

Without waiting for the King's order the 
cuttlefish had already started for the tai's dwell- 
ing, and he now returned, bringing the tai with 
him. He led him before the King. 

The tai sat there looking frightened and ill. 
He certainly was in pain, for his usually red 
face was pale, and his eyes were nearly closed and 
looked but half their usual size. 

" Answer, Tai /" cried the Sea King, "why 
did you not come in answer to my summons to- 

" I have been ill since yesterday," answered 
the tai ; " that is why I could not come." 

" Don't say another word ! " cried out Ryn Jin 
angrily. " Your illness is the punishment of the 
gods for stealing the Mikoto's hook." 

" It is only too true I " said the tai ; "the hook 
is still in my throat, and all my efforts to get it 
out have been useless. I can't eat, and I can 
scarcely breathe, and each moment I feel that it 


will choke me, and sometimes it gives me great 
pain. I had no intention of stealing the Mikoto's 
hook. I heedlessly snapped at the bait which I 
saw in the water, and the hook came off and 
stuck in my throat. So I hope you will pardon 

The cuttlefish now came forward, and said to 
the King : 

" What I said was right. You see the hook 
still sticks in the tai's throat. I hope to be able 
to pull it out in the presence of the Mikoto, and 
then we can return it to him safely ! " 

" O please make haste and pull it out !" cried 
the tai, pitifully, for he felt the pains in his throat 
coming on again ; "I do so want to return the 
hook to the Mikoto." 

"All right, Tai San," said his friend the cuttle- 
fish, and then opening the tai's mouth as wide as 
he could and putting one of his feelers down tho 
tai's throat, he quickly and easily drew the hook 
out of the sufferer's large mouth. He then 
washed it and brought it to the King. 

Ryn Jin took the hook from his subject, and 
then respectfully returned it to the Happy Hunter 
(the Mikoto or Augustness, the fishes called him), 
who was overjoyed at getting back his hook. He 
thanked Ryn Jin many times, his face beaming 
with gratitude, and said that he owed the happy 
ending of his quest to the Sea King's wise 
authority and kindness. 

Kyn Jin now desired to punish the tai, but the 


Happy Hunter begged him not to do so ; since 
his lost hook was thus happily recovered he did 
not wish to make more trouble for the poor tai. 
It was indeed the tai who had taken the hook, 
but he had already suffered enough for his fault, 
if fault it could be called. What had been done 
was done in heedlessness and not by intention. 
The Happy Hunter said he blamed himself ; if 
he had understood how to fish properly he would 
never have lost his hook, and therefore all this 
trouble had been caused in the first place by his 
trying to do something which he did not know 
how to do. So he begged the Sea King to forgive 
his subject. 

Who could resist the pleading of so wise and 
compassionate a judge? Ryn Jin forgave his 
subject at once at the request of his august 
guest. The tai was so glad that he shook his fins 
for joy, and he and all the other fish went out from 
the presence of their King, praising the virtues of 
the Happy Hunter. 

Now that the hook was found the Happy Hunter 
had nothing to keep him in R} T n Gu, and he was 
anxious to get back to his own kingdom and to 
make peace with his angry brother, the Skillful 
Fisher ; but the Sea King, who had learnt to 
love him and would fain have kept him as a son, 
begged him not to go so soon, but to make the 
the Sea Palace his home as long as ever he liked. 
While the Happy Hunter was still hesitating, 
the two lovely Princesses, Tayotama and Tama- 


yori, came, and with the sweetest of bows and 
voices joined with their father in pressing him to 
stay, so that without seeming ungracious he could 
not say them " Nay," and was obliged to stay on 
for some time. 

Between the Sea Realm and the Earth there 
was no difference in the flight of time, and the 
Happy Hunter found that three years went fleet- 
ing quickly by in this delightful land. The years 
pass swiftly when any one is truly happy. But 
though the wonders of that enchanted land 
seemed to be new every day, and though the Sea 
King's kindness seemed rather to increase than to 
grow less with time, the Happy Hunter grew 
more and more homesick as the days passed, and 
he could not repress a great anxiety to know what 
had happened to his home and his country and 
his brother while he had been away. 

So at last he went to the Sea King and said : 
" My stay with you here has been most happy 
and I am very grateful to you for all your kind- 
ness to me, but I govern Japan, and, delightful 
as this place is, I cannot absent myself forever 
from my country. I must also return the fishing 
hook to my brother and ask his forgiveness for 
having deprived him of it for so long. I am in- 
deed very sorry to part from you, but this time 
it cannot be helped. With your gracious per- 
mission, I will take my leave to-day. I hope to 
make you another visit some day. Please give 
up the idea of my staying longer now." 


King Ryn Jin was overcome with sorrow at the 
thought that he must lose his friend who had 
made a great diversion in the Palace of the Sea, 
and his tears fell fast as he answered : 

" We are indeed very sorry to part with you, 

Mikoto, for we have enjoyed your stay with us 

very much. You have heen a noble and honored 

guest and we have heartily made you welcome. 

I quite understand that as you govern Japan you 

ought to be there and not here, and that it is vain 

for us to try and keep you longer with us, much 

as we would like to have you stay. I hope you 

will not forget us. Strange circumstances have 

brought us together and I trust the friendship 

thus begun between the Land and the Sea will last 

and grow stronger than it has ever been before. 

When the Sea King had finished speaking he 

turned to his two daughters and bade them bring 

him the two Tide- Jewels of the Sea. The two 

Princesses bowed low, rose and glided out of the 

hall. In a few minutes they returned, each one 

carrying in her hands a flashing gem which filled 

the room with light. As the Happy Hunter 

looked at them he wondered what they could be. 

The Sea King took them from his daughters and 

said to his guest : 

' These two valuable talismans we have in- 
herited from our ancestors from time immemorial. 
We now give them to you as a parting gift in 
token of our great affection for you. These two 
gems are called the Nanjiu and the Kanjiu." 


The Happy Hunter bowed low to the ground 
and said : 

"I can never thank you enough for all your 
kindness to me. And now will you add one more 
favor to the rest and tell me what these jewels 
are and what I am to do with them ? " 

"The Nanjiu," answered the Sea King, "is 
also called the Jewel of the Flood Tide, and who- 
ever holds it in his possession can command the 
sea to roll in and to flood the land at any time 
that he wills. The Kanjiu is also called the Jewel 
of the Ebbing Tide, and this gem controls the sea 
and the waves thereof, and will cause even a 
tidal wave to recede." 

Then Ryn Jin showed his friend how to use the 
talismans one by one and handed them to him. 
The Happy Hunter was very glad to have these 
two wonderful gems, the Jewel of the Flood Tide 
and the Jewel of the Ebbing Tide, to take back 
with him, for he felt that they would preserve 
him in case of danger from enemies at any time. 
After thanking his kind host again and again, 
he prepared to depart. The Sea King and the 
two Princesses, Tayotama and Tarnayori, and all 
the inmates of the Palace, came out to say " Good- 
by," and before the sound of the last farewell 
had died away the Happy Hunter passed out from 
under the gateway, past the well of happy mem- 
ory standing in the shade of the great katsura 
trees on his way to the beach. 

Here he found, instead of the queer basket on 


which he had come to the Realm of Ryn Gu, a 
large crocodile waiting for him. Never had he 
seen such a huge creature. It measured eight 
fathoms in length from the tip of its tail to the 
end of its long mouth. The Sea King had or- 
dered the monster to carry the Happy Hunter 
back to Japan. Like the wonderful basket which 
Shiwozuchino Okina had made, it could travel 
faster than any steamboat, and in this strange 
way, riding on the back of a crocodile, the Happy 
Hunter returned to his own land. 

As soon as the crocodile landed him, the Happy 
Hunter hastened to tell the Skillful Fisher of his 
safe return. He then gave him back the fishing 
hook which had been found in the mouth of the 
tai and which had been the cause of so much 
trouble between them. He earnestly begged his 
brother's forgiveness, telling him all that had 
happened to him in the Sea King's Palace and 
what wonderful adventures had led to the find- 
ing of the hook. 

Now the Skillful Fisher had used the lost hook 
as an excuse for driving his brother out of the 
country. When his brother had left him that 
day three years ago, and had not returned, he 
had been very glad in his evil heart and had at 
once usurped his brother's place as ruler of the 
land, and had become powerful and rich. Now 
in the midst of enjoying what did not belong to 
him, and hoping that his brother might never re- 



turn to claim his rights, quite unexpectedly there 
stood the Happy Hunter before him. 

The Skillful Fisher feigned forgiveness, for he 
could make no more excuses for sending his 

He took out the Jewel of the Flood Tide. 

brother away again, but in his heart he was very 
angry and hated his brother more and more, till 
at last he could no longer bear the sight of him 
day after day, and planned and watched for an 
opportunity to kill him. 


One day when the Happy Hunter was walking 
in the rice fields his brother followed him with a 
dagger. The Happy Hunter knew that his 
brother was following him to kill him, and he 
felt that now, in this hour of great danger, was 
the time to use the Jewels of the Flo\v and Ebb 
of the Tide and prove whether what the Sea King 
had told him was true or not. 

So he took out the Jewel of the Flood Tide 
from the bosom of his dress and raised it to his 
forehead. Instantly over the fields and over the 
farms the sea came rolling in wave upon wave 
till it reached the spot where his brother was 
standing. The Skillful Fisher stood amazed and 
terrified to see what was happening. In another 
minute he was struggling in the water and call- 
ing on his brother to save him from drowning. 

The Happy Hunter had a kind heart and could 
not bear the sight of his brother's distress. He 
at once put back the Jewel of the Flood Tide and 
took out the Jewel of the Ebb Tide. No sooner 
did he hold it up as high as his forehead than the 
sea ran back and back, and ere long the tossing 
rolling floods had vanished, and the farms and 
fields and dry land appeared as before. 

The Skillful Fisher was very frightened at the 
peril of death in which he had stood, and was 
greatly impressed by the wonderful things he 
had seen his brother do. He learned now that 
he was making a fatal mistake to set himself 
against his brother, younger than he thought 


he was, for he now had become so powerful 
that the sea would flow in and the tide ebb at 
his word of command. So he humbled himself 
before the Happy Hunter and asked him to for- 
give him all the wrong he had done him. The 
Skillful Fisher promised to restore his brother to 
his rights and also swore that though the Happy 
Hunter was the 3^ounger brother and owed him 
allegiance by right of birth, that he, the Skillful 
Fisher, would exalt him as his superior and bow 
before him as Lord of all Japan. 

Then the Happy Hunter said that he would for- 
give his brother if he would throw into the receding 
tide all his evil ways. The Skillful Fisher promised 
and there was peace between the two brothers. 
From this time he kept his word and became a 
good man and a kind brother. 

The Happy Hunter now ruled his Kingdom 
without being disturbed by family strife, and 
there was peace in Japan for a long, long time. 
Above all the treasures in his house he prized the 
wonderful Jewels of the Flow and Ebb of the 
Tide which had been given him by Kyn Jin, the 
Dragon King of the Sea. 

This is the congratulatory ending of the Happy 
Hunter and the Skillful Fisher. 



LONG, long ago there lived an old man and his 
wife who supported themselves by cultivating a 
small plot of land. Their life had been a very 
happy and peaceful one save for one great sorrow, 
and this was they had no child. Their only pet 
was a dog named Shiro, and on him they lavished 
all the affection of their old age. Indeed, they 
loved him so much that whenever they had any- 
thing nice to eat they denied themselves to give 
it to Shiro. Now Shiro means " white," and he 
was so called because of his color. He was a 
real Japanese dog, and very like a small wolf in 

The happiest hour of the day both for the old 
man and his dog was when the man returned from 
his work in the field, and having finished his 
frugal supper of rice and vegetables, would take 
what he had saved from the meal out to the little 
veranda that ran round the cottage. Sure 
enough, Shiro was waiting for his master and 
Ae evening tit-bit. Then the old man said " Chin, 
chin ! " and Shiro sat up and begged, and his 
master gave him the food. Next door to this 

good old couple there lived another old man and 




his wife who were both wicked and cruel, and 
who hated their good neighbors and the dog Shiro 

The deeper he Dug the more Gold Coins did the Old 

Man find. 

with all their might. Whenever Shiro happened 
to look into their kitchen they at ouce kicked 


him or threw something at him, sometimes even 
wounding him. 

One day Shiro was heard barking for a long 
time in the field at the back of his master's house. 
The old man, thinking that perhaps some birds 
were attacking the corn, hurried out to see what 
was the matter. As soon as Shiro saw his master 
he ran to meet him, wagging his tail, and, seizing 
the end of his kimono, dragged him under a large 
yenoki tree. Here he began to dig very indus- 
triously with his paws, yelping with joy all the 
time. The old man, unable to understand what 
it all meant, stood looking on in bewilderment. 
But Shiro went on barking and digging with all 
his might. 

The thought that something might be hidden 
beneath the tree, and that the dog had scented it, 
at last struck the old man. He ran back to the 
house, fetched his spade and began to dig the 
ground at that spot. What was his astonish- 
ment when, after digging for some time, he came 
upon a heap of old and valuable coins, and the 
deeper he dug the more gold coins did he find. 
So intent was the old man on his work that he 
never saw the cross face of his neighbor peering 
at him through the bamboo hedge. At last all 
the gold coins lay shining on the ground. Shiro 
sat by erect with pride and looking fondly at his 
master as if to say, " You see, though only a dog, 
I can make some return for all the kindness you 
show me." 


The old man ran in to call his wife, and to- 
gether they carried home the treasure. Thus in 
one day the poor old man became rich. His grati- 
tude to the faithful dog knew no bounds, and he 
loved and petted him more than ever, if that were 

The cross old neighbor, attracted by Shiro's 
barking, had been an unseen and envious witness 
of the finding of the treasure. He began to think 
that he, too, would like to find a fortune. So a 
few days later he called at the old man's house 
and very ceremoniously asked permission to 
borrow Shiro for a short time. 

Shiro's master thought this a strange request, 
because he knew quite well that not only did his 
neighbor not love his pet dog, but that he never 
lost an opportunity of striking and tormenting 
him whenever the dog crossed his path. But the 
good old man was too kind-hearted to refuse 
his neighbor, so he consented to lend the dog 
on condition that he should be taken great 
care of. 

The wicked old man returned to his home with 
an evil smile on his face, and told his wife how 
he had succeeded in his crafty intentions. He 
then took his spade and hastened to his own field, 
forcing the unwilling Shiro to follow him. As 
soon as he reached a yenoki tree, he said to the 
dog, threateningly : 

" If there were gold coins under your master's 
tree, there must also be gold coins under my tree. 


You must find them for me ! Where are they? 
Where? Where?" 

And catching hold of Shiro's neck he held the 
dog's head to the ground, so that Shiro began to 
scratch and dig in order to free himself from the 
horrid old man's grasp. 

The old man was very pleased when he saw the 
dog begin to scratch and dig, for he at. once sup- 
posed that some gold coins lay buried under his 
tree as well as under his neighbor's, and that the 
dog had scented them as before ; so pushing Shiro 
away he began to dig himself, but there was 
nothing to be found. As he went on digging a 
foul smell was noticeable, and he at last came 
upon a refuse heap. 

The old man's disgust can be imagined. This 
soon gave way to anger. He had seen his neigh- 
bor's good fortune, and hoping for the same luck 
himself, he had borrowed the dog Shiro ; and 
now, just as he seemed on the point of finding 
what he sought, only a horrid smelling refuse 
heap had rewarded him for a morning's digging. 
Instead of blaming his own greed for his disap- 
pointment, he blamed the poor dog. He seized 
his spade, and with all his strength struck Shiro 
: and killed him on the spot. He then threw the 
dog's body into the hole which he had dug in the 
hope of finding a treasure of gold coins, and cov- 
ered it over with the earth. Then he returned to 
the house, telling no one, not even his wife, what 
he had done. 


After waiting several days, as the dog Shiro 
did not return, his master began to grow anxious. 
Day after day went by and the good old man 
waited in vain. Then he went to his neighbor 
and asked him to give him back his dog. With- 
out any shame or hesitation, the wicked neighbor 
answered that he had killed Shiro because of his 
bad behavior. At this dreadful news Shiro's 
master wept many sad and bitter tears. Great 
indeed, was his woful surprise, but he was too 
good and gentle to reproach his bad neighbor. 
Learning that Shiro was buried under the yenoki 
tree in the field, he asked the old man to give him 
the tree, in remembrance of his poor dog Shiro. 

Even the cross old neighbor could not refuse 
such a simple request, so he consented to give the 
old man the tree under which Shiro lay buried. 
Shiro's master then cut the tree down and carried 
it home. Out of the trunk he made a mortar. In 
this his wife put some rice, and he began to pound 
it with the intention of making a festival to the 
memory of his dog Shiro. 

A strange thing happened ! His wife put the 
rice into the mortar, and no sooner had he begun 
to pound it to make the cakes, than it began to 
increase in quantity gradually till it was about 
five times the original amount, and the cakes 
were turned out of the mortar as if an invisible 
hand were at work. 

When the old man and his wife saw this, they 
understood that it was a reward to them from 


Shiro for their faithful love to him. They tasted 
the cakes and found them nicer than any other 
food. So from this time they never troubled 
about food, for they lived upon the cakes with 
which the mortar never ceased to supply them. 

The greedy neighbor, hearing of this new piece 
of good luck, was filled with envy as before, and 
called on the old man and asked leave to borrow 
the wonderful mortar for a short time, pretend- 
ing that he, too, sorrowed for the death of Shiro, 
and wished to make cakes for a festival to the 
dog's memory. 

The old man did not in the least wish to lend it 
to his cruel neighbor, but he was too kind to re- 
fuse. So the envious man carried home the mor- 
tar, but he never brought it back. 

Several days passed, and Shiro's master waited 
in vain for the mortar, so he went to call on the 
borrower, and asked him to be good enough to 
return the mortar if he had finished with it. 
He found him sitting by a big fire made of pieces 
of wood. On the ground lay what looked very 
much like pieces of a broken mortar. In answer 
to the old man's inquiry, the wicked neighbor 
answered haughtily : 

: ' Have you come to ask me for your mortar ? 
I broke it to pieces, and now I am making a fire 
of the wood, for when I tried to pound cakes in it 
only some horrid smelling stuff came out." 

The good old man said : 

" I am very sorry for that. It is a great pity 



you did not ask me for the cakes if you wanted 
them. I would have given you as many as ever 
you wanted. Now please give me the ashes of 
the mortar, as I wish to keep them in remem- 
brance of my dog." 

The Withered Tree at once Burst into Full Bloom. 

The neighbor consented at once, and the old 
man carried home a basket full of ashes. 

Not long after this the old man accidentally 
scattered some of the ashes made by the burning 
of the mortar on the trees of his garden. A won- 
derful thing happened ! 


It was late in autumn and all the trees had shed 
their leaves, but no sooner did the ashes touch 
their branches than the cherry trees, the plum 
trees, and all other blossoming shrubs burst into 
bloom, so that the old man's garden was sud- 
denly transformed into a beautiful picture of 
spring. The old man's delight knew no bounds, 
and he carefully preserved the remaining 

The story of the old man's garden spread far 
and wide, and people from far and near came to 
see the wonderful sight. 

One day, soon after this, the old man heard 
some one knocking at his door, and going to the 
porch to see who it was he was surprised to see a 
Knight standing there. This Knight told him 
that he was a retainer of a great Daimio (Earl) ; 
that one of the favorite cherry trees in this 
nobleman's garden had withered, and that though 
every one in his service had tried all manner of 
means to revive it, none took effect. The Knight 
was sore perplexed when he saw what great dis- 
pleasure the loss of his favorite cherry tree 
caused the Daimio. At this point, fortunately, 
they had heard that there was a wonderful old 
man who could make withered trees to blossom, 
and that his Lord had sent him to ask the old man 
to come to him. 

"And," added the Knight, "I shall be very 
much obliged if you will come at once."' 

The good old man was greatly surprised at 


what he heard, but respectfully followed the 
Knight to the nobleman's Palace. 

The Dairaio, who had been impatiently awaiting 
the old man's coining, as soon as he saw him asked 
him at once : 

" Are you the old man who can make withered 
trees flower even out of season ? " 

The old man made an obeisance, and replied : 

" I am that old man ! " 

Then the Daimio said : 

11 You must make that dead cherry tree in my 
garden blossom again by means of your famous 
ashes. I shall look on." 

Then they all went into the garden the Daimio 
and his retainers and the ladies-in-waiting, who 
carried the Daimio's sword. 

The old man now tucked up his kimono and 
made ready to climb the tree. Saying "Excuse 
me," he took the pot of ashes which he had 
brought with him, and began to climb the tree, 
every one watching his movements with great 

At last he climbed to the spot where the tree 
divided into two great branches, and taking up 
his position here, the old man sat down and scat- 
tered the ashes right and left all over the branches 
and twigs. 

Wonderful, indeed, was the result ! Thewith> 
ered tree at once burst into full bloom ! The 
Daimio was so transported with joy that he looked 
as if he would go mad. He rose to his feet and 



spread out his fan, calling the old man down from 
the tree. He himself gave the old man a wine 
cup filled with the best sake, and rewarded him 



The Daimio ordered his Retainers to put the Impostor 

in Prison. 

with much sflrer and gold and many other preci- 
ous things. The Daimio ordered that henceforth 
the old man should call himself by the name of 


Hana-Saka-Jijii, or " The Old Man who makes 
the Trees to Blossom," and that henceforth all 
were to recognize him by this name, and he sent 
him home with great honor. 

The wicked neighbor, as before, heard of the 
good old man's fortune, and of all that had so 
auspiciously befallen him, and he could not sup- 
press all the envy and jealousy that filled his 
heart. He called to mind how he had failed in 
his attempt to find the gold coins, and then in 
making the magic cakes ; this time surely he 
must succeed if he imitated the old man, who 
made withered trees to flower simply by sprink- 
ling ashes on them. This would be the simplest 
task of all. 

So he set to work and gathered together all the 
ashes which remained in the fire-place from the 
burning of the wonderful mortar. Then he set 
out in the hope of finding some great man to 
employ him, calling out loudly as he went along : 

"Here comes the wonderful man who can 
make withered trees blossom ! Here comes the 
old man who can make dead trees blossom ! " 

The Daimio in his Palace heard this cry, and 
said : 

"That must be the Hana-Saka-Jijii passing. 
I have nothing to do to-day. Let him try his art 
again ; it will amuse me to look on." 

So the retainers went out and brought in the 
impostor before their Lord. The satisfaction of 
the false old man can now be imagined. 


But the Daimio looking at him, thought it 
strange that he was not at all like the old man 
he had seen before, so he asked him : 

" Are you the man whom I named Hana-Sdka 
Jijii f " 

And the envious neighbor answered with a lie : 

"Yes, my Lord!" 

"That is strange!" said the Daimio. "I 
thought there was only one Hana-Saka- Jijii in 
the world ! Has he now some disciples ? " 

"I am the true Hana-Saka- Jijii. The one 
who came to you before was only my disciple ! " 
replied the old man again. 

"Then you must be more skillful than the 
other. Try what you can do and let me see ! " 

The envious neighbor, with the Daimio and 
his Court following, then went into the garden, 
and approaching a dead tree, took out a handful 
of the ashes which he carried with him, and 
scattered them over the tree. 

But not only did the tree not burst into flower, 
but not even a bud came forth. Thinking that 
he had not used enough ashes, the old man took 
handfuls and again sprinkled them over the 
withered tree. But all to no effect. After trying 
several times, the ashes were blown into the 
Daimio's eyes. This made him very angry, and 
he ordered his retainers to arrest the false Jlana- 
Saka- Jijii at once and put him in prison for 
an impostor. From this imprisonment the 
wicked old man was never freed. Thus did he 


meet with punishment at last for all his evil 

The good old man, however, with the treasure 
of gold coins which Shiro had found for him, and 
with all the gold and the silver which the Daanio 
had showered on him, became a rich and pros- 
perous man in his old age, and lived a long and 
happy life, beloved and respected by all. 


LONG, long ago, in old Japan, the Kingdom of 
the Sea was governed by a wonderful King. He 
was called Ein Jin, or the Dragon King of the 
Sea. His power was immense, for he was the 
ruler of all sea creatures both great and small, 
and in his keeping were the Jewels of the Ebb 
and Flow of the Tide. The Jewel of the Ebbing 
Tide when thrown into the ocean caused the sea 
to recede from the land, and the Jewel of the 
Flowing Tide made the waves to rise mountains 
high and to flow in upon the shore like a tidal 

The Palace of Rin Jin was at the bottom of 
the sea, and was so beautiful that no one has 
ever seen anything like it even in dreams. The 
walls were of coral, the roof of jadestone and 
chrysoprase, and the floors were of the finest 
mother-of-pearl. But the Dragon King, in spite 
of his wide-spreading Kingdom, his beautiful 
Palace and all its wonders, and his power which 
none disputed throughout the whole sea, was 
not at all happy, for he reigned alone. At last 
he thought that if he married he would not only 
be happier, but also more powerful. So he de- 
cided to take a wife. Calling all his fish retainers 


together, he chose several of them as ambassa- 
dors to go through the sea and seek for a young 
Dragon Princess who would be his bride. 

At last they returned to the Palace bringing 
with them a lovely young dragon. Her scales 
were of glittering green like the wings of summer 
beetles, her eyes threw out glances of fire, and 
she was dressed in gorgeous robes. All the 
jewels of the sea worked in with embroidery 
adorned them. 

The King fell in love with her at once, and the 
wedding ceremony was celebrated with great 
splendor. Every living thing in the sea, from 
the great whales down to the little shrimps, came 
in shoals to offer their congratulations to the 
bride and bridegroom and to wish them a long 
and prosperous life. Never had there been such 
an assemblage or such gay festivities in the Fish- 
World before. The train of bearers who carried 
the bride's possessions to her new home seemed to 
reach across the waves from one end of the sea to 
the other. Each fish carried a phosphorescent 
lantern and was dressed in ceremonial robes, 
gleaming blue and pink and silver ; and the 
waves as they rose and fell and broke that night 
seemed to be rolling masses of white and green 
fire, for the phosphorus shone with double brill- 
iancy in honor of the event. 

Now for a time the Dragon King and his bride 
lived very happily. They loved each other dearly, 
and the bridegroom day after day took delight in 


showing his hride all the wonders and treasures 
of his coral Palace, and she was never tired of 
wandering with him through its vast halls and 
gardens. Life seemed to them both like a long 
summer's day. 

The Dragon King Blamed the Doctor for not Curing 

the Queen. 

Two months passed in this happy way, and 
then the Dragon Queen fell ill and was obliged to 
.stay in bed. The King was sorely troubled when 
he saw his precious bride so ill, and at once sent 
for the fish doctor to come and give her some 


medicine. He gave special orders to the servants 
to nurse her carefully and to wait upon her with 
diligence, but in spite of all the nurses' assiduous 
care and the medicine that the doctor prescribed, 
the young Queen showed no signs of recovery, 
but grew daily worse. 

Then the Dragon King interviewed the doctor 
and blamed him for not curing the Queen. The 
doctor was alarmed at Rin Jin's evident displeas- 
ure, and excused his want of skill b}' saying that 
although he knew the right kind of medicine to 
give the invalid, it was impossible to find it in the 

" Do you mean to tell me that you can't get the 
medicine here ? " asked the Dragon King. 

" It is just as you say ! " said the doctor. 

" Tell me what it is you want for the Queen ? " 
demanded Rin Jin. 

" I want the liver of a live monkey ! " answered 
$he doctor. 

"The liver of a live monkey! Of course 
that will be most difficult to get," said the 

" If we could only get that for the Queen, Her 
Majesty would soon recover," said the doctor. 

" Very well, that decides it ; we must get it 
somehow or other. But where are we most likely 
to find a monkey ? " asked the King. 

Then the doctor told the Dragon King that 
some distance to the south there was a Monkey 
Island where a great many monkeys lived. 


"If only you could capture one of these 
monkeys ? " said the doctor. 

"How can any of my people capture a mon- 
key? "said the Dragon King, greatly puzzled. 
" The monkeys live on dry land, while we live in 
the water ; and out of our element we are quite 
powerless ! I don't see what we can do ! " 

"That has been my difficulty too," said the 
doctor. " But amongst your innumerable serv- 
ants you surely can find one who can go on shore 
for that express purpose ! " 

" Something must be done," said the King, 
and calling his chief steward he consulted him on 
the matter. 

The chief steward thought for some time, and 
then, as if struck by a sudden thought, said joy- 
fully : 

" I know what we must do ! There is the 
kurage (jelly fish). He is certainly ugly to look 
at, but he is proud of being able to walk on land 
with his four legs like a tortoise. Let us send 
him to the Island of Monkeys to catch one." 

The jelly fish was then summoned to the King's 
presence, and was told by His Majesty what was 
required of him. 

The jelly fish, on being told of the unexpected 
mission which was to be intrusted to him, looked 
very troubled, and said that he had never been to 
the island in question, and as he had never had 
any experience in catching monkeys he was afraid 
that he would not bo able to get one. 


" Well," said the chief steward, " if you depend 
on your strength or dexterity you will never catch 
a monksy. The only way is to play a trick on 
one ! " 

" How can I play a trick on a monkey ? I don't 
know how to do it," said the perplexed jelly fish. 

" This is what you must do," said the wily chief 
steward. "When you approach the Island of 
Monkeys and meet some of them, you must try 
to get very friendly with one. Tell him that you 
are a servant of the Dragon King, and invite him 
to come and visit you and see the Dragon King's 
Palace. Try and describe to him as vividly as 
you can the grandeur of the Palace and the won- 
ders of the sea so as to arouse his curiosity and 
make him long to see it all ! " 

" But how am I to get the monkey here ? You 
know monkeys don't swim ?" said the reluctant 
jelly fish. 

" You must carry him on your back. What is 
the use of your shell if you can't do that ! " said 
the chief steward. 

"Won't he be very heavy?" queried kurage 

"You mustn't mind that, for you are working 
for the Dragon King," replied the chief steward. 

" I will do my best then," said the jelly fish, 
and he swam away from the Palace and started 
off towards the Monkey Island. Swimming 
swiftly he reached his destination in a few hours, 
and landed by a convenient wave upon the shore- 


On looking round he saw not far away a big pine, 
tree with drooping branches and on one of those 
branches was just what he was looking for a live 

" I'm in luck ! " thought the jelly fish. " Now 
I must flatter the creature and try to entice him 
to come back with me to the Palace, and my part 
will be done ! " 

So the jelly fish slowly walked towards the pine* 
tree. In those ancient days the jelly fish had 
four legs and a hard shell like a tortoise. When he 
got to the pine-tree he raised his voice and said : 

" How do you do, Mr. Monkey? Isn't it a 
lovely day ? " 

" A very fine day," answered the monkey from 
the tree. "I have never seen you in this part of 
the world before. Where have you come from 
and what is your name ? " 

" My name is kurage or jelly fish. I am one of 
the servants of the Dragon King. I have heard 
so much of your beautiful island that I have 
come on purpose to see it," answered the jelly 

" I am very glad to see you," said the monkey. 

"By the bye," said the jelly fish, " have you 
ever seen the Palace of the Dragon King of the 
Sea where I live ? " 

"I have often heard of it, but I have never 
seen it!" answered the monkey. 

"Then you ought most surely to come. It is 
a great pity for you to go through life without 


seeing it. The beauty of the Palace is beyond all 
description it is certainly to my mind the most 
lovely place in the world," said the jelly fish. 

"Is it so beautiful as all that ? " asked ths 
monkey in astonishment. 

Then the jelly fish saw his chance, and went on 
describing to the best of his ability the beauty 
and grandeur of the Sea King's Palace, and the 
wonders of the garden with its curious trees of 
white, pink and red coral, and the still more curi- 
ous fruits like great jewels hanging on the 
branches. The monkey grew more and more in- 
terested, and as he listened he came down the 
tree step by step so as not to lose a word of the 
wonderful story. 

" I have got him at last ! " thought the jelly 
fish, but aloud he said : 

"Mr. Monkey, I must now go back. As you 
have never seen the Palace of the Dragon King, 
won't you avail yourself of this splendid oppor- 
tunity by coming with me ? I shall then be able 
to act as guide and show you all the sights of the 
sea, which will be even more wonderful to you 
a land lubber." 

u I should love to go," said the monkey, "but 
how am I to cross the water ! I can't swim, as 
you surely know ! ' 

" There is no difficulty about that. I can carry 
you on my back." 

"That will be troubling you too much," said 
the monkey. 


" I can do it quite easily. I am stronger than 
I look, so you needn't hesitate," said the jelly fish, 
and taking the monkey on his back he stepped 
into the sea. 

; Please don't go so fast, or I am sure I shall fall off," 
said the Monkey. 

" Keep very still, Mr. Monkey," said the jelly 
fish. "You mustn't fall into the sea; I am re- 
sponsible for your safe arrival at the King's 


" Please don't go so fast, or I am sure I shall 
fall off," said the monkey. 

Thus they went along, the jelly fish skimming 
through the waves with the monkey sitting on 
his back. When they were about half-way, the 
jelly fish, who knew very little of anatomy, be- 
gan to wonder if the monkey had his liver with 
him or not ! 

" Mr. Monkey, tell me, have you such a thing 
as a liver with you ? " 

The monkey was very much surprised at this 
queer question, and asked what the jelly fish 
wanted with a liver. 

"That is the most important thing of all, "said 
the stupid jelly fish, " so as soon as 1 recollected 
it, I asked you if you had yours with you ? ' 

"Why is my liver so important to you ? " asked 
the monkey. 

" Oh ! you will learn the reason later," said the 
jelly fish. 

The monkey grew more and more curious and 
suspicious, and urged the jelly fish to tell him for 
what his liver was wanted, and ended up by ap- 
pealing to his hearer's feelings by saying that he 
was very troubled at what he had been told. 

Then the jelly fish, seeing how anxious the 
monkey looked, was sorry for him, and told him 
everything. How the Dragon Queen had fallen 
ill, and how the doctor had said that only the 
liver of a live monkey would cure her, and how 
the Dragon King had sent him to find one. 


" Now I have done as I was told, and as soon 
as we arrive at the Palace the doctor will want 
your liver, so I feel sorry for you ! " said the silly 
jelly fish. 

The poor monkey was horrified when he learnt 
all this, and very angry at the trick played upon 
him. He trembled with fear at the thought of 
what was in store for him. 

But the monkey was a clever animal, and he 
thought it the wisest plan not to show any sign 
of the fear he felt, so he tried to calm himself and 
to think of some way by which he might escape. 

"The doctor means to cut me open and then 
take my liver out ! Why I shall die ! " thought the 
monkey. At last a bright thought struck him, 
so he said quite cheerfully to the jelly fish : 

" What a pity it was, Mr. Jelly Fish, that 
you did not speak of this before we left the 
island ! " 

" If I had told why I wanted you to accompany 
me you would certainly have refused to come," 
answered the jelly fish. 

"You are quite mistaken," said the monkey. 
" Monkeys can very well spare a liver or two, 
especially when it is wanted for the Dragon Queen 
of the Sea. If I had only guessed of what you 
were in need, I should have presented you with one 
without waiting to be asked. I have several 
livers. But the greatest pity is, that as you did 
not speak in time, I have left all my livers hang 
ing on the pine-tree." 


" Have you left your liver behind you ? " asked 
the jelly fish. 

" Yes," said the cumring monkey, " during the 
daytime I usually leave my liver hanging up on 
the branch of a tree, as it is very much in the 
way when I am climbing about from tree to tree. 
To-day, listening to your interesting conversation, 
I quite forgot it, and left it behind when I came 
off with you If only you had spoken in time I 
should have remembered it, and should have 
brought it along with me ! " 

The jelly fish was very disappointed when he 
heard this, for he believed every word the monkey 
said. The monkey was of no good without a 
liver. Finally the jelly fish stopped and told the 
monkey so. 

" Well," said the monkey, " that is soon rem- 
edied. I am really sorry to think of all your 
trouble ; but if you will only take me back to the 
place where you found nae, I shall soon be able to 
get my liver." 

The jelly fish did not at all like the idea of 
going all the way back to the island again ; but 
the monkey assured him that if he would be so 
kind as to take him back he would get his very 
best liver, and bring it with him the next time. 
Thus persuaded, the jelly fish turned his course 
towards the Monkey Island once more. 

No sooner had the jelly fish reached the shore 
than the sly monkey landed, and getting up into 
the pine-tree where the jelly fish had first seen 


him, he cut several capers amongst the branches 
with joy at being safe home again, and then look- 
ing down at the jelly fish said : 

" So many thanks for all the trouble you have 
taken ! Please present my compliments to the 
Dragon King on your return ! ' ; 

The jelly fish wondered at this speech and the 
mocking tone in which it was uttered. Then he 
asked the monkey if it wasn't his intention to 
come with him at once after getting his liver. 

The monkey replied laughingly that he couldn't 
afford to lose his liver ; it was too precious. 

"But remember your promise!" pleaded the 
jelly fish, now very discouraged. 

" That promise was false, and anyhow it is now 
broken ! " answered the monkey. Then he began 
to jeer at the jelly fish and told him that he had 
been deceiving him the whole time ; that he had 
no wish to lose his life, which he certainly would 
have done had he gone on to the Sea King's 
Palace to the old doctor waiting for him, instead 
of persuading the jelly fish to return under false 

"Of course, I won't give you my liver, but 
come and get it if you can ! " added the monkey 
mockingly from the tree. 

There was nothing for the jelly fish to do now 
but to repent of his stupidity, and to return to the 
Dragon King of the Sea and to confess his failure, 
so he started sadly and slowly to swim back. 
The last thing he heard as he glided away, leav 

"".', ;,? 'v' 1 ' 1 '' '''.' 

*.' 'V',',V . 

; ;.; ; -,; V;; ,, ; , 

. * * * *. 
.* i 

The servants of the Palace beat the Jelly Fish to a flat pulp. 
Page 20.5. r Japanese Fairy Tales 


ing the island behind him, was the monkey 
laughing at him. 

Meanwhile the Dragon King, the doctor, the 
chief steward, and all the servants were wait- 
ing impatiently for the return of the jelly fish. 
When they caught sight of him approaching the 
Palace, they hailed him with delight. They began 
to thank him profusely for all the trouble he had 
taken in going to Monkey Island, and then they 
asked him where the monkey was. 

Now the day of reckoning had come for the 
jelly fish. He quaked all over as he told his 
story. How he had brought the monkey half- 
way over the sea, and then had stupidly let out 
the secret of his commission ; how the monkey 
had deceived him by making him believe that he 
had left his liver behind him. 

The Dragon King's wrath was great, and he at 
once gave orders that the jelly fish was to be 
severely punished. The punishment was a horri- 
ble one. All the bones were to be drawn out 
from his living body, and he was to be beaten 
with sticks. 

The poor jelly fish, humiliated and horrified be- 
yond all words, cried out for pardon. But the 
Dragon King's order had to be obeyed. The serv- 
ants of the Palace forthwith each brought out a 
stick and surrounded the jelly fish, and after pull- 
ing out his bones they beat him to a flat pulp, 
and then took him out beyond the Palace gates 
and threw him into the water. Here he was left 


to suffer and repent his foolish chattering, and to 
grow accustomed to his new state of bonelessness. 
From this story it is evident that in former 
times the jelly fish once had a shell and bones 
something like a tortoise, but, ever since the 
Dragon King's sentence was carried out on the 
ancestor of the jelly fishes, his descendants have 
all been soft and boneless just as you see them 
to-day thrown up by the waves high upon the 
shores of Japan. 


LONG, long ago, one bright autumn day in Ja- 
pan, it happened that a pink-faced monkey and 
a yellow crab were playing together along the 
bank of a river. As they were running about, 
the crab found a rice-dumpling and the monkey 
a persimmon-seed. 

The crab picked up the rice-dumpling and 
showed it to the monkey, saying : 

" Look what a nice thing I have found ! " 

Then the monkey held up his persimmon-seed 
and said : 

" I also have found something good ! Look ! " 

Now though the monkey is always very fond of 
persimmon fruit, he had no use for the seed he 
had just found. The persimrnon-seed is as hard 
and uneatable as a stone. He, therefore, in his 
greedy nature, felt very envious of the crab's nice 
dumpling, and he proposed an exchange. The 
crab naturally did not see why he should give up 
his prize for a hard stone-like seed, and would 
not consent to the monkey's proposition. 

Then the cunning monkey began to persuade 
the crab, saying : 

" How unwise you are not to think of the 



future ! Your rice-dumpling can be eaten now, 
and is certainly much bigger than my seed ; but 
if you sow this seed in the ground it will soon 
grow and become a great tree in a few years, and 
bear an abundance of fine ripe persimmons year 
after year. If only I could show it to you then 
with the yellow fruit hanging on its branches ! 
Of course, if you don't believe me I shall sow 
it myself ; though I am sure, later on, you will 
be very sorry that you did not take my advice." 

The simple-minded crab could not resist the 
monkey's clever persuasion. He at last gave in 
and consented to the monkey's proposal, and the 
exchange was made. The greedy monkey soon 
gobbled up the dumpling, and with great reluc- 
tance gave up the persimmon-seed to the crab. 
He would have liked to keep that too, but he was 
afraid of making the crab angry and of being 
pinched by his sharp scissor-like claws. They 
then separated, the monkey going home to his 
forest trees and the crab to his stones along the 
river-side. As soon as the crab reached home he 
put the persimmon-seed in the ground as the 
monkey had told him. 

In the following spring the crab was delighted 
to see the shoot of a young tree push its way up 
through the ground. Each year it grew bigger, 
till at last it blossomed one spring, and in the fol- 
lowing autumn bore some fine large persimmons 
Among the broad smooth green leaves the fruit 
hung like golden balls, and as they ripened they 


fflellowed to a deep orange. Ifc was the little 
crab's pleasure to go out day by day and sit in 
the sun and put out his long eyes in the same 
way as a snail puts out its horn, and watch the 
persimmons ripening to perfection. 

" How delicious they will be to eat!" he said 
to himself. 

At last, one day, he knew the persimmons must 
be quite ripe and he wanted very much to taste 
one. He made several attempts to climb the tree, 
in the vain hope of reaching one of the beautiful 
persimmons hanging above him ; but he failed 
each time, for a crab's legs are not made for 
climbing trees but only for running along the 
ground and over stones, both of which he can do 
most cleverly. In his dilemma he thought of his 
old playmate the monkey, who, he knew, could 
climb trees better than any one else in the world. 
He determined to ask the monkey to help him, 
and set out to find him. 

Running crab-fashion up the stony river bank, 
over the pathways into the shadowy forest, the 
crab at last found the monkey taking an after- 
noon nap in his favorite pine-tree, with his tau\ 
curled tight around a branch to prevent him from 
falling off in his dreams. He was soon wide 
awake, however, when he heard himself called, 
and eagerly listening to what the crab told him. 
When he heard that the seed which he had long 
ago exchanged for a rice-durnpling had grown 
into a tree and was now bearing good fruit, he 


was delighted, for he at once devised a cunning 
plan which would give him all the persimmons 
for himself. 

He consented to go with the crab to pick the 
fruit for him. When they both reached the spot, 
the monkey was astonished to see what a fine 
tree had sprung from the seed, and with what a 
number of ripe persimmons the branches were 

He quickly climbed the tree and began to pluck 
and eat, as fast as he could, one persimmon after 
another. Each time he chose the best and ripest 
he could find, and went on eating till he could eat 
no more. Not one would he give to the poor 
hungry crab waiting below, and when he had 
finished there was little but the hard, unripe fruit 

You can imagine the feelings of the poor crab 
after waiting patiently, for so long as he had done, 
for the tree to grow and the fruit to ripen, when 
he saw the monkey devouring all the good per- 
simmons. He was so disappointed that he ran 
round and round the tree calling to the monkey 
to remember his promise. The monkey at first 
took no notice of the crab's complaints, but at last 
he picked out the hardest, greenest persimmon he 
could find and aimed it at the crab's head. The 
persimmon is as hard as stone when it is unripe. 
The monkey's missile struck home and the crab 
was sorely hurt by the blow. Again and again, as 
fast as he could pick them, the monkey pulled off 


the hard persimmons and threw them at the de- 
fenseless crab till he dropped dead, covered with 
wounds all over his body. There he lay a 
pitiful sight at the foot of the tree he had himself 

When the wicked monkey saw that he had 
killed the crab he ran away from the spot as fast 
as he could, in fear and trembling, like a coward 
as he was. 

Now the crab had a son who had been playing 
with a friend not far from the spot where this 
sad work had taken place. On the way home he 
came across his father dead, in a most dreadful 
condition his head was smashed and his shell 
broken in several places, and around his body lay 
the unripe per,simmons which had done their 
deadly work. At this dreadful sight the poor 
young crab sat down and wept. 

But when he had wept for some time he told 
himself that this crying would do no good ; it 
was his duty to avenge his father's murder, and 
this he determined to do. He looked about for 
some clue which would lead him to discover the 
murderer. Looking up at the tree he noticed that 
the best fruit had gone, and that all around lay bits 
of peel and numerous seeds strewn on the ground 
as well as the unripe persimmons which had evi- 
dently been thrown at his father. Then he un- 
derstood that the monkey was the murderer, for 
he now remembered that his father had once told 
him the story of the rice-dumpling and the per- 


simmon-seed. The young crab knew that monkeys 
liked persimmons above all other fruit, and he felt 
sure that his greed for the coveted fruit had been 
the cause of the old crab's death. Alas ! 

He at first thought of going to attack the mon- 
key at once, for he burned with rage. Second 
thoughts, however, told him that this was useless, 
for the monkey was an old and cunning animal 
and would be hard to overcome. He must meet 
cunning with cunning and ask some of his friends 
to help him, for he knew it would be quite out of 
his power to kill him alone. 

The young crab set out at once to call on the 
mortar, his father's old friend, and told him of all 
that had happened. He besought the mortar with 
tears to help him avenge his father's death. 
The mortar was very sorry when he heard the 
woful tale and promised at once to help the 
young crab punish the monkey to death. He 
warned him that he must be very careful in what 
he did, for the monkey was a strong and cunning 
enemy. The mortar now sent to fetch the bee 
and the chestnut (also the crab's old friends) to 
consult them about the matter. In a short time 
the bee and the chestnut arrived. When they 
were told all the details of the old crab's death 
and of the monkey's wickedness and greed, they 
both gladly consented to help the young crab in 
his revenge. 

After talking for a long time as to the ways 
and means of carrying out their plans they sepa- 


rated, and Mr. Mortar went home with the young 
crab to help him bury his poor father. 

While all this was taking place the monkey was 
congratulating himself (as the wicked often do 
before their punishment comes upon them) on all 
he had done so neatly. He thought it quite a fine 
thing that he had robbed his friend of all his ripe 
persimmons and then that he had killed him. 
Still, smile as hard as he might, he could not 
banish altogether the fear of the consequences 
should his evil deeds be discovered. If he were 
found out (and he told himself that this could not 
be for he had escaped unseen) the crab's family 
would be sure to bear him hatred and seek to take 
revenge on him. So he would not go out, and 
kept himself at home for several days. He found 
this kind of life, however, extremely dull, accus- 
tomed as he was to the free life of the woods, and 
at last he said : 

" No one knows that it was I who killed the 
crab ! I am sure that the old thing breathed his last 
before I left him. Dead crabs have no mouths ! 
Who is there to tell that I am the murderer ? 
Since no one knows, what is the use of shutting 
myself up and brooding over the matter ? What 
is done cannot be undone ! " 

With this he wandered out into the crab settle- 
ment and crept about as slyly as possible near the 
crab's house and tried to hear the neighbors' gos- 
sip round about. He wanted to find out what 
the crabs were saying about their chief's death, 


for the old crab had been the cnief of the tribe. 
But he heard nothing and said to himself : 

''They are all such fools that they don't know 
and don't care who murdered their chief ! " 

Little did he know in his so-called "monkey's 
wisdom " that this seeming unconcern was part 
of the young crab's plan. He purposely pre- 
tended not to know who killed his father, and also 
to believe that he had met his death through his 
own fault. By this means he could the better 
keep secret the revenge on the monkey, which he 
was meditating. 

So the monkey returned home from his walk 
quite content. He told himself he had nothing 
now to fear. 

One fine day, when the monkey was sitting at 
home, he was surprised by the appearance of a 
messenger from the young crab. While he was 
wondering what this might mean, the messenger 
bowed before him and said : 

" I have been sent by my master to inform you 
that his father died the other day in falling from 
a persimmon tree while trying to climb the tree 
after fruit. This, being the seventh day, is the first 
anniversary after his death, and my master has 
prepared a little festival in his father's honor, and 
bids you come to participate in it as you were one 
of his best friends. My master hopes you will 
honor his house with your kind visit." 

When the monkey heard these words he re- 
joiced in his inmost heart, for all his fears of 


being suspected were now at rest. He could not 
guess that a plot had just been set in motion 
against him. He pretended to be very surprised 
at the news of the crab's death, and said : 

" I am, indeed, very sorry to hear of your 
chief's death. We were great friends as you 
know. I remember that we once exchanged a 
rice-dumpling for a persimmon-seed. It grieves 
me much to think that that seed was in the end 
the cause of his death. I accept your kind invita- 
tion with many thanks. I shall be delighted to do 
honor to my poor old friend ! " And he screwed 
some false tears from his eyes. 

The messenger laughed inwardly and thought, 
" The wicked monkey is now dropping false tears, 
but within a short time he shall shed real ones." 
But aloud he thanked the monkey politely and 
went home. 

When he had gone, the wicked monkey laughed 
aloud at what he thought was the young crab's 
innocence, and without the least feeling began to 
look forward to the feast to be held that day in 
honor of the dead crab, to which he had been in- 
vited. He changed his dress and set out solemnly 
to visit the young crab. 

He found all the members of the crab's family 
and his relatives waiting to receive and welcome 
him. As soon as the bows of meeting were over^ 
they led him to a hall. Here the young chief 
mourner came to receive him. Expressions of con- 
dolence and thanks were exchanged between them, 



and then they all sat down to a luxurious feast 

and entertained the monkey as the guest of honor. 

The feast over, he was next invited to the tea- 

"It was your Father's fault, not Mine," gasped the unre- 
pentant Monkey. 

ceremony room to drink a cup of tea. When the 
young crab had conducted the monkey to the tea- 
room he left him and retired. Time passed and 


still he did not return. At last the monkey be- 
came impatient. He said to himself : 

" This tea ceremony is always a very slow 
affair. I am tired of waiting so long. I am very 
thirsty after drinking so much sake at the 
dinner ! ' : 

He then approached the charcoal fire-place and 
began to pour out some hot water from the kettle 
boiling there, when something burst out from the 
ashes with a great pop and hit the monkey right 
in the neck. It was the chestnut, one cf the crab's 
friends, who had hidden himself in the tire- 
place. The monkey, taken by surprise, jumped 
backward, and then started to run out of the 

The bee, who was hiding outside the screens, now 
flew out and stung him on the cheek. The 
monkey was in great pain, his neck was burned by 
the chestnut and his face badly stung by the bee, 
but he ran on screaming and chattering with 

Now the stone mortar had hidden himself with 
several other stones on the top of the crab's gate, 
and as the monkey ran underneath, the mortar 
and all fell down on the top of the monkey's head. 
Was it possible for the monkey to bear the weight 
of the mortar falling on him from the top of the 
gate ? He lay crushed and in great pain, quite 
unable to get up. As he lay there helpless the 
young crab came up, and, holding his great claw 
scissors over the monkey, he said : 


" Do you now remember that you murdered my 
father ? " 

<; Then you are my enemy?" gasped the 
monkey brokenly. 

" Of course," said the young crab. 

" It was your father's fault not mine ! " 
gasped the unrepentant monkey. 

u Can you still lie ? I will soon put an end to 
your breath ! " and with that he cut off the 
monkey's head with his pincher claws. Thus the 
wicked monkey met his well-merited punishment, 
and the young crab avenged his father's death. 

This is the end of the story of the monkey, the 
crab, and the persimmon-seed. 


LONG, long ago, when all the animals could 
talk, there lived in the province of Inaba in Japan, 
a little white hare. His home was on the island 
of Oki, and just across the sea was the mainland 
of Inaba. 

Now the hare wanted very much to cross over 
to Inaba. Diiy after day he would go out and sit 
on the shore and look longingly over the water in 
the direction of Inaba, and day after day he 
hoped to find some way of getting across. 

One day as usual, the hare wis standing on the 
beach, looking towards the mainland across the 
water, when he saw a great crocodile swimming 
near the island. 

"This is very lucky!" thought the hare. 
"Now I shall be able to get my wish. I will ask 
the crocodile to carry me across the sea ! " 

But he was doubtful whether the crocodile 
would consent to do what he asked, so he thought 
instead of asking a favor he would try to get 
what he wanted by a trick. 

So with a loud voice he called to the crocodile, 
and said : 

" Oh, Mr. Crocodile, isn't it a lovely day ?" 



The crocodile, who had come out all by itself 
that day to enjoy the bright sunshine, was just 
beginning to feel a bit lonely when the hare's 
cheerful greeting broke the silence. The croco- 
dile swam nearer the shore, very pleased to hear 
some one speak. 

" 1 wonder who it was that spoke to me just 
now ! Was it you, Mr. Hare ? You must be very 
lonely all by yourself ! " 

" Oh, no, I am not at all lonely," said the hare, 
" but as it was such a fine day I came out here to 
enjoy myself. Won't you stop and play with me 
a little while?" 

The crocodile came out of the sea and sat on the 
shore, and the two played together for some time. 
Then the hare said : 

" Mr. Crocodile, you live in the sea and I live 
on this island, and we do not often meet, so I 
know very little about you. Tell me, do you 
think the number of your company is greater 
than mine?" 

"Of course, there are more crocodiles than 
hares," answered the crocodile. "Can you not 
see that for yourself ? You live on this small 
island, while I live in the sea, which spreads 
through all parts of the world, so if I call to- 
gether all the crocodiles who dwell in the sea you 
hares will be as nothing compared to us ! " The 
crocodile was very conceited. 

The hare, who meant to play a trick on the 
crocodile, said : 


"Do you think it possible for you to call up 
enough crocodiles to form a line from this island 
across the sea to Inaba ? " 

The crocodile thought for a moment and then 
answered : 

" Of course, it is possible." 

"Then do try," said the artful hare, "and I 
will count the number from here ! " 

The crocodile, who was very simple-minded, 
and who hadn't the least idea that the hare in- 
tended to play a trick on him, agreed to do what 
the hare asked, and said : 

" Wait a little while I go back into the sea and 
call my company together ! " 

The crocodile plunged into the sea and was 
gone for some time. The hare, meanwhile, 
waited patiently on the shore. At last the croco- 
dile appeared, bringing with him a large number 
of other crocodiles. 

"Look, Mr. Hare !" said the crocodile, "it is 
nothing for my friends to form a line between 
here and Inaba. There are enough crocodiles to 
stretch from here even as far as China or India. 
Did you ever see so many crocodiles ? " 

Then the whole company of crocodiles arranged 
themselves in the water so as to form a bridge 
between the Island of Oki and the mainland of 
Inaba. When the hare saw the bridge of croco- 
diles, he said : 

" How splendid ! I did not believe this was pos- 
sible. Now let me count you all 1 To do this, 


however, with your permission, I must walk over 
on your backs to the other side, so please be so 
good as not to move, or else I shall fall into the 
sea and be drowned ! " 

So the hare hopped off the island on to the 
strange bridge of crocodiles, counting as he 
jumped from one crocodile's back to the other : 

" Please keep quite still, or I shall not be able 
to count. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, 
eight, nine " 

Thus the cunning hare walked right across to 
the mainland of Inaba. Not content with getting 
his wish, he began to jeer at the crocodiles instead 
of thanking them, and said, as he leapt off the 
last one's back : 

" Oh ! you stupid crocodiles, now I have done 
with you ! " 

And he was just about to run away as fast as 
he could. But he did not escape so easily, for so 
soon as the crocodiles understood that this was a 
trick played upon them by the hare so as to en- 
able him to cross the sea, and that the hare was 
now laughing at them for their stupidity, they 
became furiously angry and made up their minds 
to take revenge. So some of them ran after the 
hare and caught him. Then they all surrounded 
the poor little animal and pulled out all his fur. 
He cried out loudly and entreated them to spare 
him, but with each tuft of fur they pulled out. 
they said : 

" Serve you right ! " 


When the crocodiles had pulled out the last bit 
of fur, they threw the poor hare on the beach, 
and all swam away laughing at what they had 

The hare was now in a pitiful plight, all his 
beautiful white fur had been pulled out, and his 
bare little body was quivering with pain and 

Some of the Crocodiles ran after the Hare and caught him. 

bleeding all over. He could hardly move, and all 
he could do was to lie on the beach quite helpless 
and weep over the misfortune that had befallen 
him. Notwithstanding that it was his own fault 
that had brought all this misery and suffering upon 
the white hare of Inaba, any one seeing the poor lit- 
tle creature could not help feeling sorry for him in 


his sad condition, for the crocodiles had been very 
cruel in their revenge. 

Just at this time a number of men, who looked 
like King's sons, happened to pass by, and seeing 
the hare lying on the beach crying, stopped and 
asked what was the matter. 

The hare lifted up his head from between his 
paws, and answered them, saying : 

" I had a fight with some crocodiles, but I was 
beaten, and they pulled out all my fur and left 
me to suffer here that is why I am crying." 

Now one of these young men had a bad and 
spiteful disposition. But he feigned kindness, 
and said to the hare : 

" I feel very sorry for you. If you will only 
try it, I know of a remedy which will cure your 
sore body. Go and bathe yourself in the sea, and 
then come and sit in the wind. This will make 
your fur grow again, and you will be just as you 
were before." 

Then all the young men passed on. The hare 
was very pleased, thinking that he had found a 
cure. He went and bathed in the sea and then 
came out and sat where the wind could blow upon 

But as the wind blew and dried him, his skin 
became drawn and hardened, and the salt in- 
creased the pain so much that he rolled on the 
sand in his agony and cried aloud. 

Just then another King's son passed by, carry- 
ing a great bag on his back. He saw the hare, 


and stopped and asked why he was crying so 

This Man had a kind Heart and looked at the Hare 
very pityingly. 

But the poor hare, remembering that he had 
been deceived by one very like the man who now 


spoke to him, did not answer, but continued to 
cry. I 

But this man had a kind heart, and looked at 
the hare very pityingly, and said : 

" You poor thing ! 1 see that your fur is all 
pulled out and that your skin is quite bare. Who 
can have treated you so cruelly ? " 

When the hare heard these kind words he felt 
very grateful to the man, and encouraged by his 
gentle manner the hare told him all that had be, 
fallen him. The little animal hid nothing from 
his friend, but told him frankly how he had 
played a trick on the crocodiles and how he had 
come across the bridge they had made, thinking 
that he wished to count their number ; how he 
had jeered at them for their stupidity, and then 
how the crocodiles had revenged themselves on 
him. Then he went on to say how he had been 
deceived by a party of men who looked very like 
his kind friend ; and the hare ended his long 
tale of woe by begging the man to give him some 
medicine that would cure him and make his fur 
grow again. 

When the hare had finished his story, the man 
was full of pity towards him, and said : 

" I am very sorry for all you have suffered, but 
remember, it was only the consequence of the 
deceit you practiced on the crocodiles." 

" I know,'' answered the sorrowful hare, "but 
I have repented and made up my mind never to 
use deceit again, so I beg you to show me how I 


may cure my sore body and make the fur grow 

" Then I will tell you of a good remedy," said 
the man. " First go and bathe well in that pond 
over there and try to wash all the snlt from your 
body. Then pick some of those kaba flowers that 
are growing near the edge of the water, spread 
them on the ground and roll yourself on them. 
If you do this the pollen will cause your fur to 
grow again, and you will be quite well in a little 

The hare was very glad to be told what to do, 
so kindly. He crawled to the pond pointed out 
to him, bathed well in it, and then picked the 
kaba flowers growing near the water, and rolled 
himself on them. 

To his amazement, even while he was doing 
this, lie saw his nice white fur growing again, 
the pain ceased, and he felt just as he had done 
before all his misfortunes. 

The hare was overjoyed at his quick recovery, 
and went hopping joyfully towards the young 
man wno had so helped him, and kneeling down 
at his feet, said : 

"I cannot express my thanks for all you have 
done for me ! It is my earnest wish to do some- 
thing for you in return. Please tell me who you 
are ? " 

"I am no King's son as you think me. I am a 
fairy, and my name is Okuni-nushi-no-Mikoto," 
answered the man, " and those beings who passed 


here before me are my brothers. They have 
heard of a beautiful Princess called Yakami who 
lives in this province of Inaba, and they are on 

When the Princess had looked at the kind Brother's face 
she went straight up to him. 

their way to find her and to ask her to marry one 
of them. But on this expedition I am only an 
attendant, so I am walking behind them with 
this great big bag on my back." 


The hare humbled himself before this great 
fairy Okuni-nushi-no-Mikoto, whom many in that 
part of the land worshiped as a god. 

"Oh, I did not know that you were Okuni- 
nushi-no-Mikoto. How kind you have been to 
me ! It is impossible to believe that that unkind 
fellow who sent me to bathe in the sea is one of 
your brothers. I am quite sure that the Princess, 
whom your brothers have gone to seek, will re- 
fuse to be the bride of any of them, arid will pre- 
fer you for your goodness of heart. I am quite 
sure that you will win her heart without intend- 
ing to do so, and she will ask to be your bride/' 

Okuni-uushi-no-Mikoto took no notice of what 
the hare said, but bidding the little animal good- 
by, went on his way quickly and soon overtook 
his brothers. He found them just entering the 
Princess's gate. 

Just as the hare had said, the Princess could 
not be persuaded to become the bride of any of 
the brothers, but when she looked at the kind 
brother's face she went straight up to him and 
said : 

"To you I give myself," and so they were 

This is the end of the story. Okuni-nushi-no- 
Mikoto is worshiped by the people in some parts 
of Japan, as a god, and the hare has become 
famous as "The White Hare of Inaba." But 
what became of the crocodiles nobody knows. 


THE insignia of the great Japanese Empire is 
composed of three treasures which have been con- 
sidered sacred, and guarded with jealous care 
from time immemorial. These are the Yatano- 
no-Kagamior the Mirror of Yata, the Yasakami- 
no Magatama or the Jewel of Yasakami, and the 
Murakumo-no-Tsurugi or the Sword of Mura- 

Of these three treasures of the Empire, the sword 
of Murakurno, afterwards known as Kusanagi- 
no-Tsurugi, or the grass-cleaving sword, is con- 
sidered the most precious and most highly to be 
honored, for it is the symbol of strength to this 
nation of warriors and the talisman of invinci- 
bility for the Emperor, while he holds it sacred 
in the shrine of his ancestors. 

Nearly two thousand years ago this sword was 
kept at the shrines of Ite, the temples dedicated 
to the worship of Amaterasu, the great and 
beautiful Sun Goddess from whom the Japanese 
Emperors are said to be descended. 

There is a story of knightly adventure and 
daring which explains why the name of the sword 
was changed from that of Murakumo to Kusanagi^ 
which means grass cleaving. 



Once, many, many years ago, there was born a 
son to th 3 Emperor Keiko, the twelfth in descent 
from the great Jimmu, tho founder of the 
Japanese dynasty. This Prince was the second 
son of the Emperor Keiko, and he was named 
Yarnato. From his childhood he proved himself 
to be of remarkable strength, wisdom and cour- 
age, and his father noticed with pride that he 
gave promise of great things, and he loved him 
even more than he did his elder son. 

Now when Prince Yamato had grown to man- 
hood (in the olden days of Japanese history, a 
boy was considered to have reached man's estate 
at the early age of sixteen) the realm was much 
troubled by a band of outlaws whose chiefs were 
two brothers, Kumaso and Takeru. These rebels 
seemed to delight in rebelling against tho King, 
in breaking the laws and defying all authority. 

At last King Keiko ordered his younger son 
Prince Yamato to subdue the brigands and, if 
possible, to rid the land of their evil lives. Prince 
Yamato was only sixteen years of age, he had 
but reached his manhood according to the law, 
yet though he was such a youth in years he pos- 
sessed the dauntless spirit of a warrior of fuller 
age and knew not what fear was. Even then 
there was no man who could rival him for cour- 
age and bold deeds, and he received his father's 
command with great joy. 

He at once made ready to start, and great was 
the stir in the precincts of the Palace as be and 


his trusty followers gathered together and pre- 
pared for the expedition, and polished up their 
armor and donned it. Before he left his father's 
ourt he went to pray at the shrine of Ise and to 
take leave of his aunt the Princess Yamato, for 
his heart was somewhat heavy at the thought of 
the dangers he had to face, and he felt that he 
needed the protection of his ancestress, Ama- 
terasu, the Sun Goddess. The Princess his aunt 
came out to give him glad welcome, and con- 
gratulated him on being trusted with so great a 
mission by his father the King. She then gave 
him one of her gorgeous robes as a keepsake to 
go with him and to bring him good luck, saying 
that it would surely be of service to him on this 
adventure. She then wished him all success in 
his undertaking and bade him good speed. 

The young Prince bowed low before his aunt, 
and received her gracious gift with much pleas- 
ure and many respectful bows. 

*' I will now set out," said the Prince, and re- 
turning to the Palace he put himself at the head 
of his troops. Thus cheered by his aunt's bless- 
ing, he felt ready for all that might befall, and 
marching through the land he went down to the 
Southern Island of Kiushiu, the home of the 

Before many days had passed he reached the 
Southern Island, and then slowly but surely made 
his way to the head-quarters of the chiefs Kumaso 
and Takeru. He now met with great difficulties, 


for he found the country exceedingly wild and 
rough. The mountains were high and steep, the 
valleys dark and deep, and huge trees and bowlders 
of rock blocked up the road and stopped the prog- 
ress of his army. It was all but impossible to 
go on. 

Though the Prince was but a youth he had the 
wisdom of years, and, seeing that it was vain to 
try and lead his men further, he said to himself : 

" To attempt to fight a battle in this impassable 
country unknown to my men only makes my task 
harder. We cannot clear the roads and fight as 
well. It is wiser for me to resort to stratagem 
and come upon my enemies unawares. In that 
way I may be able to kill them without much 

So he now bade his army halt by the way. His 
wife, the Princess Ototachibana, had accompanied 
him, and he bade her bring him the robe his aunt 
the priestess of Ise had given him, and to help 
him attire himself as a woman. With her help 
he put on the robe, and let his hair down till it 
flowed over his shoulders. Ototachibana then 
brought him her comb, which he put in his black 
tresses, and then adorned himself with strings of 
strange jewels just as you see in the picture. 
When he had finished his unusual toilet, Ototachi- 
bana brought him her mirror. He smiled as he 
gazed at himself the disguise was so perfect. 

He hardly knew himself, so changed was he. 
All traces of the warrior had disappeared, and in 


the shining surface only a beautiful lady looked 
back at him. 

Thus completely disguised, he set out for the 
enemy's camp alone. In the folds of his silk 
gown, next his strong heart, was hidden a sharp 

The two chiefs Kumaso and Takeru were sitting 
in their tent, resting in the cool of the evening, 
when the Prince approached. They were talking 
of the news which had recently been carried to 
them, that the King's son had entered their 
country with a large army determined to exter- 
minate their band. They had both heard of the 
young warrior's renown, and for the first time in 
their wicked lives they felt afraid. In a pause in 
their talk they happened to look up, and saw 
through the door of the tent a beautiful woman 
robed in sumptuous garments coming towards 
them. Like an apparition of loveliness she ap- 
peared in the soft twilight. Little did they dream 
that it was their enemy whose coming they so 
dreaded who now stood before them in this 

" What a beautiful woman ! Where has she 
come from ? " said the astonished Kumaso, for- 
getting war and council and everything as he 
looked at the gentle intruder. 

He beckoned to the disguised Prince and bade 
him sit down and serve them with wine. Yamato 
Take felt his heart swell with a fierce glee for he 
now knew that his plan would succeed. However, 


he dissembled cleverly, and putting on a sweet air 
of shyness he approached the rebel chief with slow 
steps and eyes glancing like a frightened deer. 
Charmed to distraction by the girl's loveliness 
Kumaso drank cup after cup of wine for the pleas- 
ure of seeing her pour it out for him, till at last 
he was quite overcome with the quantity he had 

This was the moment for which thebravw Prince 
had been waiting. Flinging down the wine jar, 
he seized the tipsy and astonished Kumaso and 
quickly stabbed him to death with the dagger 
which he had secretly carried hidden in his 

Takeru, the brigand's brother, was terror-struck 
as soon as he saw what was happening and tried 
to escape, but Prince Yamato was too quick for 
him. Ere he could reach the tent door the Prince 
was at his heel, his garments were clutched by a 
hand of iron, and a dagger flashed be fore his eyes 
and he lay stabbed to the earth, dying but not yet 

" Wait one moment ! " gasped the brigand pain- 
fully, and he seized the Prince's hand. 
Yamato relaxed his hold somewhat and said : 
" Why should I pause, thou villain ? "' 
The brigand raised himself fearfully and said : 
"Tell me from whence you come, and whom I 
have the honor of addressing ? Hitherto I be- 
lieved that my dead brother and I were the 
strongest men in the land, and that there was no 


one who could overcome us. Alone you have 
ventured into our stronghold, alone you have at- 
tacked and killed us ! Surely you are more than 
mortal ? " 

Then the young Prince answered with a proud 
smile : " I am the son of the King and my name 
is Yamato, arid I have been sent by my father as 
the avenger of evil to bring death to all rebels! 
No longer shall robbery and murder hold my 
people in terror ! " and he held the dagger drip- 
ping red above the rebel's head. 

"Ah," gasped the dying man with a great 
effort, " I have often heard of you. You are in- 
deed a strong man to have so easily overcome us. 
Allow me to give you a new name. From hence- 
forth you shall be known as Yamato Take. Our 
title I bequeath to you as the bravest mail in 

And with these noble words, Takeru fell back 
and died. 

The Prince having thus successfully put an end 
to his father's enemies in the West, now prepared 
to return to the capital. On the way back he 
passed through the province of Idzumo. Here he 
met with another outlaw named Idzumo Takeru 
who he knew had done much harm in the land. 
He again resorted to stratagem, and feigned 
friendship with the rebel under an assumed name. 
Having done this he made a sword of wood and 
jammed it tightly in the sheath of his own steel 
sword. This he purposely buckled to his side and 


wore on every occasion when he expected to meet 
the third robber Takeru. 

He now invited Takeru to the bank of the 
River Hinokawa, and persuaded him to try a 
swim with him in the coot refreshing waters of 
the river. 

As it was a hot summer's day, the rebel was 
nothing loath to take a plunge in the river. While 
his enemy was still swimming down the stream 
the Prince turned back and landed with all pos- 
sible haste. Unperceived, he managed to change 
swords, putting his wooden one in place of the 
keen steel sword of Takeru. 

Knowing nothing of this, the brigand came up to 
the bank shortly. As soon as he had lauded and 
donned his clothes, the Prince came forward and 
asked him to cross swords with him to prove his 
skill, saying : 

"Let us two prove which is the better swords- 
man of the two ! " 

The robber agreed with delight, feeling certain 
of victory, for he was famous as a fencer in his 
province and he did not know who his adversary 
was. He seized quickly what he thought was his 
sword and stood on guard to defend himself. 
Alas ! for the rebel, the sword was the wooden 
one of the young Prince, and in vain Takeru 
tried to unsheathe it it was jammed fast, not all 
his exerted strength could move it. Even if his 
efforts had been successful the sword would have 
been of no use to him for it was of wood. Ya- 


mato Take saw that his enemy was in his power, 
and swinging high the sword he had taken from 
Takeru he brought it down with great might and 
dexterity and cut off the robber's head. 

In this way, sometimes by using his wisdom 
and sometimes by using his bodily strength, and 
at other times by resorting to craftiness, which 
was as much esteemed in those days as it is de- 
spised in these, he prevailed against all the King's 
foes one by one, and brought peace and rest to 
the land and the people. 

When he returned to the capital the King praised 
him for his brave deeds, and held a feast in tho 
Palace in honor of his safe coming home and pre- 
sented him with many rare gifts. From this 
time forth the King loved him more than ever 
and would not let Yamato Take go from his side, 
for he said that his son was now as precious to 
him as one of his arms. 

But the Prince was not allowed to live an idlo 
life long. When he was about thirty years old, 
news was brought that the Ainu race, the abo- 
rigines of the islands of Japan, who had been con- 
quered and pushed northwards by the Japanese, 
had rebelled in the Eastern provinces, and leav- 
ing the vicinity which had been allotted to them 
were causing great trouble in the land. The King 
decided that it was necessary to send an army to 
do battle with them and bring them to reason. 
But who was to lead the men ? 

Prince Yainato Take at once offered to go and 


bring the newly arisen rebels into subjection. 
Now as the King loved the Prince dearly, and 
could not bear to have Ir'm go out of his sight 
even for the length of one day, he was of course 
very loath to send him on his dangerous expedi- 
tion. But in the whole arrny there was no war- 
rior so strong or so brave as the Prince his son, 
so that His Majesty, unable to do otherwise, 
reluctantly complied with Yamato's wish. 

When the time came for the Prince to start, 
the King gave him a spear called the Eight- 
Anns-Length-Spear of the Holly Tree (the handle 
was probably made from the wood of the holly 
tree), and ordered him to set out to subjugate 
the Eastern Barbarians as the Ainu were then 

The Eight- Arms-Length Spear of the Holly 
Tree of those old days, was prized by warriors 
just as much as the Standard or Banner is valued 
by a regiment in these modern days, when given 
by the King to his soldiers on the occasion of 
setting out for war. 

The Prince respectfully and with great rever- 
ence received the King's spear, and leaving the 
capital, marched with his army to the East. On 
his way he visited first of all the temples of Ise 
for worship, and his aunt the Princess of Yamato 
and High Priestess came out to greet him. She 
it was who had given him her robe which had 
proved such a boon to him before in helping him 
to overcome and slay the brigands of the West. 


He told her all that had happened to him, and 
of the great part her keepsake had played in the 
success of his previous undertaking, and thanked 
her very heartily. When she heard that he was 
starting out once again to do battle with his 
father's enemies, she went into the temple, and 
reappeared bearing a sword and a beautiful bag 
which she had made herself, and which was full 
of flints, which in those times people used instead 
of matches for making fire. These she presented 
to him as a parting gift. 

The sword was the sword of Murakumo, one 
of the three sacred treasures which comprise the 
insignia of the Imperial House of Japan. No 
more auspicious talisman of luck and success 
could she have given her nephew, and she bade 
him use it in the hour of his greatest need. 

Yamato Take now bade farewell to his aunt, 
and once more placing himself at the head of his 
men he marched to the farthest East through the 
province of Owari, and then he reached the prov- 
ince of Suruga. Here the governor welcomed 
the Prince right heartily and entertained him 
royally with many feasts. When these were 
over, the governor told his guest that his country 
was famous for its fine deer, and proposed a deer 
hunt for the Prince's amusement. The Prince 
was utterly deceived by the cordiality of his host, 
which was all feigned, and gladly consented to 
join in the hunt. 

The governor then led the Prince to a wild and 


extensive plain where the grass grew high and in 
great abundance. Quite ignorant that the gov- 
ernor had laid a trap for him with the desire to 
compass his death, the Prince began to ride hard 
and hunt down the deer, when all of a sudden to 
his amazement he saw flames and smoke bursting 
out from the bush in front of him. Realizing his 
danger he tried to retreat, but no sooner did he 
turn his horse in the opposite direction than he 
saw that even there the prairie was on fire. At 
the same time the grass on his left and right 
burst into flames, and these began to spread 
swiftly towards him on all sides. He looked 
round for a chance of escape. There was none. 
He was surrounded by fire. 

" This deer hunt was then only a cunning trick 
of the enemy ! " said the Prince, looking round 
on the flames and the smoke that crackled and 
rolled in towards him on every side. "What a 
fool I was to be lured into this trap like a wild 
beast ! " and he ground his teeth with rage as he 
thought of the governor's smiling treachery. 

Dangerous as was his situation now, the Prince 
was not in the least confounded. In his dire ex- 
tremity he remembered the gifts his aunt had 
given him when they parted, and it seemed to 
him as if she must, with prophetic foresight, have 
divined this hour of need. He coolly opened the 
flint-bag that his aunt had given him and set fire 
to the grass near him. Then drawing the sword 

of Mnrakumo from its sheath he set to work to 


cut clown the grass on either side of him with all 
speed. He determined to die, if that were neces- 
sary, fighting for his life and not standing still 
waiting for death to come to him. 

Strange to say the wind began to change and 
to blow from the opposite direction, and the fierc- 
est portion of the burning bush which had hitherto 
threatened to come upon him was now blown right 
away from him, and the Prince, without even a 
scratch on his body or a single hair burned, lived 
to tell the tale of his wonderful escape, while the 
wind rising to a gale overtook the governor, and 
he was burned to death in the flames he had set 
alight to kill Yamato Take. 

Now the Prince ascribed his escape entirely to 
the virtue of the sword of Murakumo, and to the 
protection of Amaterasu, the Sun Goddess of Ise, 
who controls the wind and all the elements and 
insures the safety of all who pray to her in the 
hour of danger. Lifting the precious sword ho 
raised it above his head many times in token of 
his great respect, and as he did this he re-named 
it Kusanacji-no-Tsnrugi or the Grass-Cleaving 
Sword, and the place where he set fire to the 
grass round him and escaped from death in the 
burning prairie, he called Yaidzu. To this day 
there is a spot along the great Tokaido railway 
named Yaidzu, which is said to be the very place 
where this thrilling event took place. 

Thus did the brave Prince Yamato Take escape 
out of the snare laid for him by his enemy. He 


was full of resource and courage, and finally out- 
witted and subdued all his foes. Leaving Yaidzu 
be marched eastward, and came to the shore at 
Idzu from whence he wished to cross to Kadzusa. 

In these dangers and adventures he had been 
followed by his faithful loving wife the Princess 
Ototachibana. For his sake she counted the 
weariness of the long journeys and the dangers 
of war as nothing, and her love for her warrior 
husband was so great that she felt well repaid for 
all her wanderings if she could but hand him his 
sword when he sallied forth to battle, or minister 
to his wants when he returned weary to the 

But the heart of the Prince was full of war and 
conquest and he cared little for the faithful Oto- 
tachibana. From long exposure in traveling, and 
from care and grief at her lord's coldness to her, 
her beauty had faded, and her ivory skin was 
burnt brown by the sun, and the Prince told her 
one day that her place was in the Palace behind 
the screens at home and not with him upon the 
warpath. But in spite of rebuffs and indifference 
on her husband's part, Ototachibana could not 
find it in her heart to leave him. But perhaps it 
would have been better for her if she had done 
so, for on the way to Idzu, when they came to 
Owari, her heart was well-nigh broken. 

Here dwelt in a Palace shaded by pine-trees and 
approached by imposing gates, the Princess Mi- 
yadzu, beautiful as the cherry blossom in the blush- 


ing dawn of a spring morning. Her garments 
were dainty and bright, and her skin was white as 
snow, for she had never known what it was to be 
weary along the path of duty or to walk in the heat 
of a summer's sun. And the Prince was ashamed 
of his sunburnt wife in her travel-stained gar- 
ments, and bade her remain behind while he 
went to visit the Princess Miyadzu. Day after 
day he spent hours in the gardens and the Palace 
of his new friend, thinking only of his pleasure, 
and caring little for his poor wife who remained 
behind to weep in the tent at the misery which 
had come into her life. Yet she was so faithful 
a wife, and her character so patient, that she 
never allowed a reproach to escape her lips, or a 
frown to mar the sweet sadness of her face, and 
she was ever ready with a smile to welcome her 
husband back or usher him forth wherever he 

At last the day came when the Prince Yamato 
Take must depart for Idzu and cross over the sea 
to Kadzusa, and he bade his wife follow in his 
retinue as an attendant while he went to take a 
ceremonious farewell of the Princess Miyadzu. 
She came out to greet him dressed in gorgeous 
robes, and she seemed more beautiful than ever, 
and when Yamato Take saw her he forgot his 
wife, his duty, and everything except the joy of 
the idle present, and swore that he would return 
to Owari and marry her when the war was over. 
And as he looked up when he had said these 


words he met the large almond eyes of Ototachi- 
bana fixed full upon him in unspeakable sadness 
and wonder, and he knew that he had done 
wrong, but he hardened his heart and rode on, 
caring little for the pain he had caused her. 

When they reached the seashore at Idzu his 
men sought for boats in which to cross the straits 
to Kadzusa, but it was difficult to find boats 
enough to allow all the soldiers to embark. Then 
the Prince stood on the beach, and in the pride of 
his strength he scoffed and said : 

"This is not the sea ! This is only a brook! 
Why do you men want so many boats ? I could 
jump this if I would." 

When at last they had all embarked and were 
fairly on their way across the straits, the sky 
suddenly clouded and a great storm arose. The 
waves rose mountains high, the wind howled, the 
lightning flashed and the thunder rolled, and the 
boat which held Ototachibana and the Prince and 
his men was tossed from crest to crest of the roll- 
ing waves, till it seemed that every moment must 
be their last and that they must all be swallowed 
up in the angry sea. For Rin Jin, the Dragon 
King of the Sea, had heard Yamato Take jeer, 
and had raised this terrible storm in anger, to 
show the scoffing Prince how awful the sea could 
be though it did but look like a brook. 

The terrified crew lowered the sails and looked 
after the rudder, and worked for their dear lives' 
sake, but all in vain the storm only seemed to 


increase in violence, and all gave themselves up 
for lost. Then the faithful Ototachibana rose, 
and forgetting all the grief that her husband had 
caused her, forgetting even that he had wearied 
of her, in the one great desire of her love to save 
him, she determined to sacrifice her life to rescue 
him from death if it were possible. 

While the waves dashed over the ship and the 
wind whirled round them in fury she stood up 
and said : 

"Surely all this has come because the Prince 
has angered Rin Jin, the God of the Sea, by his 
jesting. If so, I, Ototachibana, will appease the 
wrath of the Sea God who desires nothing less 
than my husband's life ! ' : 

Then addressing the sea she said : 

" I will take the place of His Augustness, Ya- 
mato Take. I will now cast myself into your 
outraged depths, giving my life for his. There- 
fore hear me and bring him safely to the shore of 

With these words she leaped quickly into the 
boisterous sea, and the waves soon whirled her 
away and she was lost to sight. Strange to say, 
the storm ceased at once, and the sea became as 
calm and smooth as the matting on which the 
astonished onlookers were sitting. The gods of 
the sea were now appeased, and the weather 
cleared and the sun shone as on a summer's day. 

Yamato Take soon reached the opposite shore 
and landed safely, even as his wife Ototachibana 


had prayed. His prowess in war was marvelous, 
and he succeeded after some time in conquering 
the Eastern Barbarians, the Ainu. 

He ascribed his safe landing wholly to the faith, 
fulness of his wife, who had so willingly and 
lovingly sacrificed herself in the hour cf his 
utmost peril. His heart was softened at the re- 
membrance of her, and he never allowed her to 
pass from his thoughts even for a moment. Too 
late had he learned to esteem the goodness of her 
heart and the greatness of her love for him. 

As he was returning on his homeward way he 
came to the high pass of the Usui Toge, and here 
he stood and gazed at the wonderful prospect 
beneath him. The country, from this great ele- 
vation, all lay open to his sight, a vast panorama 
of mountain and plain and forest, with rivers 
winding like silver ribbons through the land ; 
then far off he saw the distant sea, which shim- 
mered like a luminous mist in the great distance, 
where Ototachibana had given her life for him, 
and as he turned towards it he stretched out his 
arms, and thinking of her love which he had 
scorned and his faithlessness to her, his heart 
burst out into a sorrowful and bitter cry : 

" Azuma, Azuma, Ya ! " (Oh ! my wife, my 
wife !) And to this day there is a district in 
Tokio called Azuma, which commemorates the 
words of Prince Yamato Take, and the place 
where his faithful wife leapt into the sea to save 
him is still pointed out. So, though in life the 


Princess Ototachibana was unhappy, history keeps 
her memory green, and the story of her unselfish- 
ness and heroic death will never pass away. 

Yamato Take had now fulfilled all his father's 
orders, he had subdued all rebels, and rid the 
land of all robbers and enemies to the peace, and 
his renown was great, for in the whole land there 
was no one who could stand up against him, he 
was so strong in battle and wise in council. 

He was about to return straight for home by 
the way he had come, when the thought struck 
him that he would find it more interesting to 
take another route, so he passed through the 
province of Ovvari and came to the province of 

When the Prince reached Omi he found the 
people in a state of great excitement and fear. 
In many houses as he passed along he saw the 
signs of mourning and heard loud lamentations. 
On inquiring the cause of this he was told that 
a terrible monster had appeared in the mountains, 
who daily came down from thence and made 
raids on the villages, devouring whoever he could 
seize. Many homes had been made desolate and 
the men were afraid to go out to their daily work 
in the fields, or the women to go to the rivers to 
wash their rice. 

When Yamato Take heard this his wrath was 
kindled, and he said fiercely : 

"From the western end of Kiushiu to the 
eastern corner of Yezo I have subdued all the 

enemies there is no one who dares to 

\. t 

break the la\vs or to rebel against the King. It 
is indeed a matter for wonder that here in this 
place, so near the capital, a wicked monster has 
dared to take up his abode and be the terror of 
the King's subjects. Not long shall it find pleas- 
ure in devouring innocent folk. I will start out 
and kill it at once." 

With these words he set out for the Ibuki 
Mountain, where the monster was said to live. 
He climbed up a good distance, when all of a 
sudden, at a winding in the path, a monster ser- 
pent appeared before him and stopped the way. 

" This must be the monster," said the Prince ; 
" I do not need my sword for a serpent. I can 
kill him with my hands." 

He thereupon sprang upon the serpent and tried 
to strangle it to death with his bare arms. It 
was not long before his prodigious strength gained 
the mastery and the serpent lay dead at his feet. 
Now a sudden darkness came over the mountain 
and rain began to fall, so that for the gloom and 
the rain the Prince could hardly see which way 
to take. In a short time, however, while he was 
groping his way down the pass, the weather 
cleared, and our brave hero was able to make his 
way quickly down the mountain. 

When he got back he began to feel ill and to 
have burning pains in his feet, so he knew that 
the serpent had poisoned him. So great was his 
suffering that he could hardly move, much less 


walk, so he bad himself carried to a place in the 
mountains famous for its hot mineral springs, 
which rose bubbling out of the earth, and almost 
boiling from the volcanic fires beneath. 

Yamato Take bathed daily in these waters, 
and gradually he felt his strength come again, 
and the pains left him, till at last one day he 
found with great joy that he was quite recovered. 
He now hastened to the temples of Ise, where 
you will remember that he prayed before under- 
taking this long expedition. His aunt, priestess 
of the shrine, who had blessed him on his setting 
out, now came to welcome him back. He told 
her of the many dangers he had encountered 
and of how marvelously his life had been pre- 
served through all and she praised his courage 
and his warrior's prowess, and then putting on 
her most magnificent robes she returned thanks 
to their ancestress the Sun Goddess Amaterasu, 
to whose protection they both ascribed the 
Prince's wonderful preservation. 

Here ends the story of Prince Yamato Take 
of Japan. 


LONG, long ago there lived an old man and 
an old woman ; they were peasants, and had to 
work hard to earn their daily rice. The old man 
used to go and cut grass for the farmers 
around, and while he was gone the old woman, 
his wife, did the work of the house and worked 
in their own little rice field. 

One day the old man went to the hills as 
usual to cut grass and the old woman took some 
clothes to the river to wash. 

It was nearly summer, and the country was 
very beautiful to see in its fresh greenness as the 
two old people went on their way to work. The 
grass on the hanks of the river looked like 
emerald velvet, and the pussy willows along the 
edge of the water were shaking out their soft 

The hreezes hlew and ruffled the smooth sur- 
face of the water into wavelets, and passing on 
touched the cheeks of the old couple who, for 
some reason they could not explain, felt very 
happy that morning. 

The old woman at last found a nice spot hy 

the river bank and put her basket down. Then 




she set to work to wash the clothes ; she took 
them one by one out of the basket and washed 
them in the river and rubbed them on the stones. 
The water was as clear as crystal, and she could 

She set to Work to Wasli the Clothes. 

see the tiny fish swimming to and fro, and the 
pebbles at the bottom. 

As she was busy washing her clothes a great 
peach came bumping down the stream. The old 


woman looked up from her work and saw this 
large peach. She was sixty years of age, yet in 
all her life she had never seen such a big peach 
as this. 

" How delicious that peach must be ! " she said 
to herself. " I must certainly get it and take it 
home to my old man." 

She stretched out her arm to try and get it, but 
it was quite out of her reach. She looked about 
for a stick, but there was not one to be seen, and 
if she went to look for one she would lose the 

Stopping a moment to think what she would 
do, she remembered an old charm- verse. Now 
Bhe began to clap her hands to keep time to the 
rolling of the peach down stream, and while she 
clapped she sang this song : 

" Distant water is bitter, 
The near water is sweet ; 
Pass by the distant water 
And come into the sweet." 

Strange to say, as soon as she began to repeat 
this iittle son^ the peach began to come nearer 
and nearer the bank where the old woman was 
standing, till at last it stopped just in front of her 
so that she was able to take it up in her hands. 
The old woman was delighted. She could not go 
on with her work, so happy and excited was she, 
so she put all the clothes back in her bamboo 
basket, and with the basket on her back and the 
peach in her hand she hurried homewards. 


It seemed a very long time to her to wait till her 
husband returned. The old man at last came 
back as the sun was setting, with a big bundle 
of grass on his back so big that he was almost 
hidden and she could hardly see him. He 
seemed very tired and used the scythe for a 
walking stick, leaning on it as he walked 

As soon as the old woman saw him she 
called out : 

"O Fii San! (old man) I have been wait- 
ing for you to come home for such a long time 
to-day ! " 

' ' What is the matter ? Why are you so im- 
patient ? " asked the old man, wondering at her 
unusual eagerness. " Has anything happened 
while I have been away ? " 

" Oh, no ! " answered the old woman, " nothing 
has happened, only I have found a nice present for 
you ! " 

"That is good," said the old man. He then 
washed his feet in a basin of water and stepped up 
to the veranda. 

The old woman now ran into the little room' 
and brought out from the cupboard the big peach. 
It felt even heavier than before. She held it up 
to him, saying : 

"Just look at this! Did you ever see such a 
large peach in all your life ? " 

When the old man looked at the peach he was 
greatly astonished and said : 


" This is indeed the largest peach I have ever 
seen ! Wherever did you buy it ? " 

" I did not buy it," answered the old woman. 
"I found it in the river where I was washing." 
And she told him the whole story. 

" I am very glad that you have found it. Let 
us eat it now, for I am hungry," said the O Fii 

He brought out the kitchen knife, and, placing 
the peach on a board, was about to cut it when, 
wonderful to tell, the peach split in two of itself 
and a clear voice said : 

"Wait a bit, old man ! " and out stepped a beau- 
tiful little child. 

The old man and his wife were both so aston- 
ished at what they saw that they fell to the 
ground. The child spoke again : 

" Don't be afraid. I am no demon or fairy. I 
will tell you the truth. Heaven has had compas- 
sion on you. Every day and every night you have 
lamented that you had no child. Your cry has 
been heard and I am sent to be the son of your old 
age ! 

On hearing this the old man and his wife were 
very happy. They had cried night and day for 
sorrow at having no child to help them in their 
lonely old age, and now that their prayer was 
answered they were so lost with joy that they did 
not know where to put their hands or their feet. 
First the old man took the child up in his arms, 
and then the old woman did the same ; and they 


named him Momotaro, or Son of a Peach, because 
he had come out of a peach. 

The years passed quickly by and the child grew 
to be fifteen years of age. He was taller and far 
stronger than any other boys of his own age, he 
had a handsome face and a heart full of courage, 
and he was very wise for his years. The old 
couple's pleasure was very great when they looked 
at him, for he was just what they thought a hero 
ought to be like. 

One day Momotaro came to his foster-father 
and said solemnly : 

" Father, by a strange chance we have become 
father and son. Your goodness to me has been 
higher than the mountain grasses which it was 
your daily work to cut, and deeper than the river 
where my mother washes the clothes. I do not 
know how to thank you enough." 

" Why," answered the old man, " it isamatter 
of course that a father should bring up his son. 
When you are older it will be your turn to take 
care of us, so after all there will be no profit or 
loss between us all will be equal. Indeed, I am 
rather surprised that you should thank me in this 
way ! " and the old man looked bothered. 

"I hope you will be patient with me," said 
Momotaro ; " but before I begin to pay back your 
goodness to me I have a request to make which I 
hope you will grant me above everything else." 

" I will let you do whatever you wish, for you 
are quite different to all other boys ! " 


" Then let me go away at once ! " 

" What do you say ? Do you wish to leave 
your old father and mother and go away from 
your old home ? " 

" I will surely come back again, if you let me 
go now ! ' 

" Where are you going ? '' 

" You must think it strange that I want to go 
away." said Momotaro, " because I have not yet 
told you my reason. Far away from here to the 
northeast of Japan there is an island in the sea. 
This island is the stronghold of a band of devils. 
I have often heard how they invade this land, 
kill and rob the people, and carry off all they can 
find. They are not only very wicked but they are 
disloyal to our Emperor and disobey his laws. 
They are also cannibals, for they kill and eat 
some of the poor people who are so unfortunate 
as to fall into their hands. These devils are very 
hateful beings. I must go and conquer them and 
bring back all the plunder of which they have 
robbed this land. It is for this reason that I want 
to go away for a short time ! " 

The old man was much surprised at hearing all 
this from a mere boy of fifteen. He thought it 
best to let the boy go. He was strong and fear- 
less, and besides all this, the old man knew he 
was no common child, for he had been sent to 
them as a gift from Heaven, and he felt quite 
sure that the devils would be powerless to harm 


"All you say is very interesting, Momotaro, ' 
said the old man. " I will not hinder you in your 
determination. You may go if you wish. Go 
to the island as soon as ever you like and destroy 
the demons and bring peace to the land." 

" Thank you. for all your kindness," said Mo- 
motaro, who began to get ready to go that very 
day. He was full of courage and did not know 
what fear was. 

The old man and woman at once set to work to 
pound rice in the kitchen mortar to make cakes 
for Momotaro to take with him on his journey. 

At last the cakes were made and Momotaro 
ready to start on his long journey. 

Parting is always sad. So it was now. The 
eyes of the two old people were filled with tears 
and their voices trembled as they said : 

" Go with all care and speed. We expect you 
back victorious ! " 

Momotaro was very sorry to leave his old parents 
(though he knew he was coming back as soon as 
he could), for he thought of how lonely they would 
be while he was away. But he said " Good-by 1 " 
quite bravely. 

' ' I am going now. Take good care of yourselves 
while I am away. Good-by ! " And he stepped 
quickly out of the house. In silence the eyes of 
Momotaro and his parents met in farewell." 

Momotaro now hurried on his way till it was 
midday. He began to feel hungry, so he opened 
his bag and took out one of the rice-cakes and sat 


down under a tree by the side of the road to cat 
it. While he was thus having his lunch a dog 
almost as large as a colt came running out from 
the high grass. He made straight for Momotaro, 
and showing his teeth, said in a fierce way : 

" You are a rude man to pass my field without 
asking permission first. If you leave me all the 
cakes you have in your bag you may go ; other- 
wise I will bite you till I kill you ! ' ; 

Momotaro only laughed scornfully : 

" What is that you are saying ? Do you know 
who I am ? I am Momotaro. and I am on my 
way to subdue the devils in their island strong- 
hold in the northeast of Japan. If you try to 
stop me on my way there I will cut you in two 
from the head downwards ! " 

The dog's manner at once changed. His tail 
dropped between his legs, and coming near he 
bowed so low that his forehead touched the 

"What do I hear? The name of Momotaro! 
Are you indeed Momotaro ? I have often heard 
of your great strength. Not knowing who you 
were I have behaved in a very stupid way. Will 
you please pardon my rudeness ? Are you indeed 
on your way to invade the Island of Devils ? If 
you will take such a rude fellow with you as one 
of your followers, I shall be very grateful to 


" I think I can take you with me if you wish to 
go," said Momotaro. 


" Thank you ! " said the dog. " By the way, V 
am very very hungry. Will you give me one of 
the cakes you are carrying ? " 

" This is the best kind of cake there is in Japan," 
said Momotaro. l ' I cannot spare you a whole one ; 
I will give you half of one." 

''Thank you very much," said the dog, taking 
the piece thrown to him. 

Then Mornotaro got up and the dog followed. 
For a long time they walked over the hills and 
through the valleys. As they were going along 
an animal came down from a tree a little ahead 
of them. The creature soon came up to Momo- 
taro and said : 

' Good morning, Momotaro ! You are welcome 
in this part of the country. Will you allow me 
to go with you ? " 

The dog answered jealously : 
' Momotaro already has a dog to accompany 
him. Of what use is a monkey like you in battle ? 
We are on our way to fight the devils ! Get 
away ! " 

The dog and the monkey began to quarrel and 
bite, for these two animals always hate each 

"Now, don't quarrel!" said Momotaro, put- 
ting himself between them. "Wait a moment, 
dog ! " 

" It is not at all dignified for you to have such 
a creature as that following you ! " said the dog. 

" What do you know about it ? " asked Momo- 





taro ; and pushing aside the dog, he spoke to the 
monkey : 

" Who are you ? " 

"I am a monkey living in these hills," replied 
the monkey. " I heard of your expedition to the 
Island of Devils, and I have come to go with you. 
Nothing will please me more than to follow 

" Do you really wish to go to the Island of Devils 
and fight with me ? " 

Yes, sir," replied the monkey. 

I admire your courage," said Momotaro. 

Here is a piece of one of my fine rice-cakes. 
Come along ! " 

So the monkey joined Momotaro. The dog and 
the monkey did not get on well together. They 
were always snapping at each other as they went 
along, and always wanting to have a fight. This 
made Momotaro very cross, and at last he sent 
the dog on ahead with a flag and put the monkey 
behind with a sword, and he placed himself be- 
tween them with a war-fan, which is made of 

By and by they came to a large field. Here a 
bird flew down and alighted on the ground just 
in front of the little party. It was the most 
beautiful bird Momotaro had ever seen. On its 
body were five different robes of feathers and its 
head was covered with a scarlet cap. 

The dog at once ran at the bird and tried to 
seize and kill it. But the bird struck out its spurs 


and flew at the dog's tail, and the fight went hard 
with both. 

Momotaro, as he looked on, could not help ad- 
miring the hird ; it showed so much spirit in the 
fight. It would certainly make a good fighter. 

Momotaro went up to the two combatants, and 
holding the dog back, said to the bird : 

" You rascal ! you are hindering my journey. 
Surrender at once, and I will take you with me. 
If you don't I will set this dog to bite your head 
off ! " 

Then the bird surrendered at once, and begged 
to be taken into Momotaro's company. 

" I do not know what excuse to offer for quarrel- 
ing with the dog, your servant, but I did not see 
you. I am a miserable bird called a pheasant. 
It is very generous of you to pardon my rudeness 
and to take me with you. Please allow me to 
follow you behind the dog and the monkey ! " 

" I congratulate you on surrendering so soon," 
said Momotaro, smiling. "Come and join us in 
our raid on the devils." 

"Are you going to take this bird with you 
also ? " asked the dog, interrupting. 

" Why do you ask such an unnecessary 
question ? Didn't you hear what I said ? I take 
the bird with me because I wish to ! " 

" Humph ! " said the dog. 

Then Momotaro stood and gave this order : 

"Now all of you must listen to me. The first 
thing necessary in an army is harmony. It is a 


Wise saying which says that ' Advantage on earth 
is better than advantage in Heaven!' Union 
amongst ourselves is better than any earthly gain. 
When we are not at peace amongst ourselves it 
is no easy thing to subdue an enemy. From now, 
you three, the dog, the monkey and the pheasant, 
must be friends with one mind. The one who 
first begins a quarrel will be discharged on the 
spot ! " 

All the three promised not to quarrel. The 
pheasant was now made a member of Momotaro'a 
Buite, and received half a cake. 

Momotaro's influence was so great that the three 
became good friends, and hurried onwards with 
him as their leader. 

Hurrying on day after day they at last came 
out upon the shore of the North-Eastern Sea. 
There was nothing to be seen as far as the horizon 
not a sign of any island. All that broke the 
stillness was the rolling of the waves upon the 

Now, the dog and the monkey and the pheasant 
had come very bravely all the way through the long 
valleys and over the hills, but they had never seen 
the sea before, and for the first time since they 
set out they were bewildered and gazed at each 
other in silence. How were they to cross the 
water and get to the Island of Devils ? 

Momotaro soon saw that they were daunted by 
the sight of the sea, and to try them he spoke 
loudly and roughly : 


" Why do you hesitate ? Are you afraid of the 
sea ? Oh ! what cowards you are ! It is impos- 
sible to take such weak creatures as you with 
me to fight the demons. It will be far better for 
me to go alone. I discharge you all at once ! '' 

The three animals were taken aback at this 
sharp reproof, and clung to Momotaro's sleeve, 
begging him not to send them awa) T . 
" Please, Momotaro ! " said the dog. 
'We have come thus far ! " said the monkey. 
1 'It is inhuman to leave us here!" said the 

<4 We are not at all afraid of the sea," said the 
monkey again. 

" Please do take us with you," said the pheasant. 
" Do please," said the dog. 

They had now gained a little courage, so Mo- 
motaro said : 

" Well, then, I will take you with me, but be 
careful ! " 

Momotaro now got a small ship, and they all 
got on board. The wind and weather were fair, 
and the ship went like an arrow over the sea. It 
was the first time they had ever been on the water, 
and so at first the dog, the monkey and the 
pheasant were frightened at the waves and the 
rolling of the vessel, but by degrees they grew 
accustomed to the water and were quite happy 
again. Every day they paced the deck of their 
little ship, eagerly looking out for the demons 1 


When they grew tired of this, they told each 
other stories of all their exploits of which they 
were proud, and then played games together ; and 
Momotaro found much to amuse him in listening 
to the three animals and watching their antics, 
and in this way he forgot that the way was long 
and that he was tired of the voyage and of doing 
nothing. He longed to be at work killing the 
monsters who had done so much harm in his 

As the wind blew in their favor and they met 
no storms the ship made a quick voyage, and 
one day when the sun was shining brightly a 
sight of land rewarded the four watchers at 
the bow. 

Momotaro knew at once that what they saw was 
the devils' stronghold. On the top of the precip- 
itous shore, looking out to sea, was a large castle. 
Now that his enterprise was close at hand, he was 
deep in thought with his head leaning on his 
hands, wondering how he should begin the attack. 
His three followers watched him, waiting for 
orders. At last he called to the pheasant : 

"It is a great advantage for us to have you 
with us," said Momotaro to the bird, " for you 
have good wings. Fly at once to the castle and 
engage the demons to fight. We will follow 

The pheasant at once obeyed. He flew off from 
the ship beating the air gladly with his wings, 
The bird soon reached the island and took up his 


position on the roof in the middle of the castle, 
calling out loudly : 

"All you devils listen to me! The great 
Japanese general Momotaro has come to fight you 
and to take your stronghold from you. If you 
wish to save your lives surrender at once, and in 
token of your submission you must break off the 
horns that grow on your forehead. If you do not 
surrender at once, but make up your mind to 
fight, we, the pheasant, the dog and the monkey, 
will kill you all by biting and tearing you to 
death ! " ' 

The horned demons looking up and only seeing 
a pheasant, laughed and said : 

" A wild pheasant, indeed ! It is ridiculous to 
hear such words from a mean thing like you. 
Wait till you get a blow from one of our iron 
bars ! " 

Very angry, indeed, were the devils. They 
shook their horns and their shocks of red hair 
fiercely, and rushed to put on tiger skin trousers 
to make themselves look more terrible. They 
then brought out great iron bars and ran to where 
the pheasant perched over their heads, and tried 
to knock him down. The pheasant flew to one 
side to escape the blow, and then attacked the head 
of first one and then another demon. He flew 
round and round them, beating the air with his 
wings so fiercely and ceaselessly, that the devils 
began to wonder whether they had to fight one or 
many more birds. 


In the meantime, Momotaro had brought his 
ship to land. As they had approached, he saw 
that the shore was like a precipice, and that the 
large castle was surrounded by high walls and 
large iron gates and was strongly fortified. 

Momotaro landed, and with the hope of finding 
some way of entrance, walked up the path towards 
the top, followed by the monkey and the dog. 
They soon came upon two beautiful damsels 
washing clothes in a stream. Momotaro saw that 
the clothes were blood-stained, and that as the 
two maidens washed, the tears were falling fast 
down their cheeks. He stopped and spoke to 
them : 

" Who are you, and why do you weep ? " 

"We are captives of the Demon King. We 
were carried away from our homes to this island, 
and though we are the daughters of Daimios 
(Lords), we are obliged to be his servants, and one 
day he will kill us " and the maidens held up the 
blood-stained clothes " and eat us, and there is 
no one to help us 1 " 

And their tears burst out afresh at this horrible 

" I will rescue you," said Momotaro. " Do not 
weep any more, only show me how I may get into 
the castle." 

Then the two ladies led the way and showed 
Momotaro a little back door in the lowest part of 
the castle wall so small that Momotaro could 
hardly crawl in. 



The pheasant, who was all this time fighting 
hard, saw Momotaroand his little band rush in at 
the back. 

Momotaro's onslaught was so furious that the 
devils could not stand against him. At first their 

Momotaro returned triumphantly Home, taking with him 
the Devil Chief as his Captive. 

foe had been a single bird, the pheasant, but now 
that Momotaro and the dog and the monkey had 
arrived they were bewildered, for the four enemies 
fought like a hundred, so strong were they. Some 
of the devils fell off the parapet of the castle and 
were dashed to pieces on the rocks beneath; 


others fell into the sea and were drowned ; many 
were beaten to death by the three animals. 

The chief of the devils at last was the only one 
left. He made up his mind to surrender, for he 
kuew that his enemy was stronger than mortal 

He came up humbly to Momotaro and threw 
down his iron bar, and kneeling down at the vic- 
tor's feet he broke off the horns on his head ill 
token of submission, for they were the sign of 
his strength and power. 

"I arn afraid of you," he said meekly. "I 
cannot stand against you. I will give you all the 
treasure hidden in this castle if you will spare my 
life ! " 

Momotaro laughed. 

1 ' It is not like you, big devil, to beg for mercy, 
is it ? I cannot spare your wicked life, however 
much you beg, for you have killed and tortured 
many people and robbed our country for many 

Then Momotaro tied the devil chief up and 
gave him into the monkey's charge. Having 
done this, he went into all the rooms of the castle 
and set the prisoners free and gathered together 
all the treasure he found. 

The dog and the pheasant carried home the 
plunder, and thus Momotaro returned triumph- 
antly to his home, taking with him the devil chief 
as a captive. 

The two poor damsels, daughters of Daimios, 


and others whom the wicked demon had carried off 
to be his slaves, were taken safely to their own 
homes and delivered to their parents. 

The whole country made a hero of Momotaro 
on his triumphant return, and rejoiced that the 
country was now freed from the robber devils 
who had been a terror of the land for a long time. 

The old couple's joy was greater than ever, and 
the treasure Momotaro had brought home with 
him enabled them to live in peace and plenty to 
the end of their days. 


LONG, long ago in Kyoto, the people of the city 
were terrified by accounts of a dreadful ogre, 
who, it was said, haunted the Gate of Rashomon 
at twilight and seized whoever passed by. The 
missing victims were never seen again, so it was 
whispered that the ogre was a horrible cannibal, 
who not only killed the unhappy victims but ate 
them also. Now everybody in the town and 
neighborhood was in great fear, and no one durst 
venture out after sunset near the Gate of Rasho- 

Now at this time there lived in Kyoto a general 
named Raiko, who had made himself famous for 
his brave deeds. Some time before this he made 
the country ring with his name, for he had at- 
tacked Oeyama, where a band of ogres lived with 
their chief, who instead of wine drank the blood 
of human beings. He had routed them all and 
cut off the head of the chief monster. 

This brave warrior was always followed by a 
band of faithful knights. In this band there 
were five knights of great valor. One evening 
as the five knights sat at a feast quaffing sak6 
in their rice bowls and eating all kinds of fish, 

raw, and stewed, and broiled, and toasting each 



other's healths and exploits, the first knight, 
Hojo, said to the others : 

" Have you all heard the rumor that every even- 
ing after sunset there comes an ogre to the Gate of 
Rashomon, and that he seizes all who pass by ? " 

The second knight, Watanabe, answered him, 
saying : 

"Do not talk such nonsense! All the ogres 
were killed by our chief Raiko at Oeyarna ! It 
cannot be true, because even if any ogres did es- 
cape from that great killing they would not dare 
to show themselves in this city, for they know 
that our brave master would at once attack them 
if he knew that any of them were still alive ! " 

" Then do you disbelieve what I say, and think 
that I am telling you a falsehood ?" 

" No, I do not think that you are telling a lie," 
said Watanabe ; " but you have heard some old 
woman's story which is not worth believing." 

"Then the best plan is to prove what I say, by 
going there yourself and finding out yourself 
whether it is true or not," said Hojo. 

Watanabe, the second knight, could not bear 
the thought that his companion should believe he 
was afraid, so he answered quickly : 

tf Of course, I will go at once and find out for 
myself ! " 

So Watanabe at once got ready to go he 
buckled on his long sword and put on a coat of 
armor, and tied on his large helmet. When he 
was ready to start he said to the others : 



" Give me something so that I can prove I have 
been there ! " 

Then one of the men got a roll of writing paper 
and his box of Indian ink and brushes, and the 



Watanabe finds the Arm of the Ogre. 

four comrades wrote their names on a piece of 

" I will take this," said Watanabe, " and put 
it on the Gate of Rashornon, so to-morrow morn- 
ing will you all go and look at it ? I may be able 


to catch an ogre or two by then ! " and he mounted 
his horse and rode off gallantly. 

It was a very dark night, and there was neither 
moon nor star to light Watanabe on his way. 
To make the darkness worse a storm came on, 
the rain fell heavily and the wind howled like 
wolves in the mountains. Any ordinary man 
would have trembled at the thought of going out 
of doors, but Watanabe was a brave warrior and 
dauntless, and his honor and word were at stake, 
so he sped on into the night, while his companions 
listened to the sound of his horse's hoofs dying 
away in the distance, then shut the sliding shut- 
ters close and gathered round the charcoal fire 
and wondered what would happen and whether 
their comrade would encounter one of those hor- 
rible oni. 

At last Watanabe reached the Gate of Rasho- 
mon, but peer as he might through the darkness 
he could see no sign of an ogre. 

"It is just as I thought," said Watanabe to 
himself ; " there nre certainly no ogres here ; it 
is only an old woman's story. I will stick this 
paper on the gate so that the others can see 1 have 
been here when they come to-morrow, and then I 
will take my way home and laugh at them all." 

He fastened the piece of paper, signed by all 
his four companions, on the gate, and then turned 
his horse's head towards home. 

As he did so he became aware that some one was 
behind him, and at the same time a voice called 


out to him to wait. Then his helmet was seized 
from the back. 

"Who are you?" said Watanabe fearlessly. 
He then put out his hand and groped around to 
find out who or what it was that held him by the 
helmet. As he did so he touched something that 
felt like an arm it was covered with hair and as 
big round as the trunk of a tree ! 

Watanabe knew at once that this was the arm 
of an ogre, so he drew his sword and cut at it 

There was a loud yell of pain, and then the ogre 
dashed in front of the warrior. 

Watanabe's eyes grew large with wonder, for 
he saw that the ogre was taller than the great 
gate, his eyes were flashing like mirrors in the 
sunlight, and his huge mouth was wide open, 
and as the monster breathed, flames of fire shot 
out of his mouth. 

The ogre thought to terrify his foe, but Wata- 
nabe never flinched. He attacked the ogre with 
all his strength, and thus they fought face to face 
for a long time. At last the ogre, finding that 
he could neither frighten nor beat Watanabe and 
that he might himself be beaten, took to flight. 
But Watanabe, determined not to let the monster 
escape, put spurs to his horse and gave chase. 

But though the knight rode very fast the ogre 
ran faster, and to his disappointment he found 
himself unable to overtake the monster, who was 
gradually lost to sight. 


Watanabe returned to the gate where the fierce 
fight had taken place, and got down from his 
horse. As he did so he stumbled upon something 
lying on the ground. 

Stooping to pick it up he found that it was one 
of the ogre's huge arms which he must have 
slashed off in the fight. His joy was great at 
having secured such a prize, for this was the 
best of all proofs of his adventure with the ogre. 
So he took it up carefully and carried it home as 
a trophy of his victory. 

When he got back, he showed the arm to his 
comrades, who one and all called him the hero of 
their baud and gave him a great feast. His 
wonderful deed was soon noised abroad in Kyoto, 
and people from far and near came to see the 
ogre's arm. 

Watanabe now began to grow uneasy as to 
how he should keep the arm in safety, for he 
knew that the ogre to whom it belonged was 
still alive. He felt sure that one day or other, as 
soon as the ogre got over his scare, he would 
come to try to get his arm back again. Wata- 
nabe therefore had a box made of the strongest 
wood and banded with iron. In this he placed 
the arm, and then he sealed down the heavy lid, 
refusing to open it for any one. He kept the box 
in his own room and took charge of it himself, 
never allowing it out of his sight. 

!Now one night he heard some one knocking at 
the porch, asking for admittance. 



When the servant went to the door to see who 
it was, there was only an old woman, very re- 
spectable in appearance. On being asked who she 

Some one was knocking at the Porch, asking for Admittance. 

was and what was her business, the old woman 
replied with a smile that she had been nurse to the 
master of the house when he was a little baby. 
If the lord of the house were at home she begged 
to be allowed to see him. 


The servant left the old woman at the door and 
went to tell his master that his old nurse had 
come to see him. Watanabe thought it strange 
that she should come at that time of night, but 
at the thought of his old nurse, who had been 
like a foster-mother to him and whom he had not 
seen for a long time, a very tender feeling sprang 
up for her in his heart. He ordered the servant 
to show her in. 

The old woman was ushered into the room, and 
after the customary bows and greetings were over, 
she said : 

" Master, the report of your brave fight with 
the ogre at the Gate of Rashomon is so widely- 
known that even your poor old nurse has heard 
of it. Is it really true, what every one says, that 
you cut off one of the ogre's arms ? If you did, 
your deed is highly to be praised ! " 

"I was very disappointed," said Watanabe, 
"that I was not able take the monster captive, 
which was what I wished to do, instead of only 
cutting off an arm ! " 

" I am very proud to think," answered the old 
woman, "that my master was so brave as to dare 
to cut off an ogre's arm. There is nothing that 
can be compared to your courage. Before I die 
it is the great wish of my life to see this arm," 
she added pleadingly. 

" No," said Watanabe, " I am sorry, but I con< 
not grant your request." 

" But why ? " asked the old woman. 



"Because," replied Watanabe, " ogres are 
very revengeful creatures, and if I open the box 
there is no telling but that the ogre may suddenly 
appear and carry off his arm. I have had a box 

In this Way the Ogre escaped with his Arm. 

made on purpose with a very strong lid, and in 
this box I keep the ogre's arm secure ; and I never 
show it to any one, whatever happens." 

" Your precaution is very reasonable," said the 


old woman. "But I am your old nurse, so 
surely you will not refuse to show me the arm. 
I have only just heard of your brave act, and not 
being able to wait till the morning I came at once 
to ask you to show it to me." 

Watanabe was very troubled at the old woman's 
pleading, but he still persisted in refusing. Then 
the old woman said : 

" Do you suspect me of being a spy sent by the 
ogre ? " 

" No, of course I do not suspect you of being 
the ogre's spy, for you are my old nurse," an- 
swered Watanabe. 

" Then you cannot surely refuse to show me the 
arm any longer," entreated the old woman ; " for 
it is the great wish of my heart to see for once in 
my life the arm of an ogre ! " 

Watanabe could not holdout in his refusal any 
longer, so he gave in at last, saying : 

"Then I will show you the ogre's arm, since 
you so earnestly wish to see it. Come, follow 
me ! " and he led the way to his own room, the 
old woman following. 

When they were both in the room Watanabe 
shut the door carefull} 1 ", and then going towards 
a big box which stood in a corner of the room, he 
took off the heavy lid. He then called to the old 
woman to come near and look in, for he never 
took the arm out of the box. 

11 What is it like ? Let me have a good look at 
it," said the old nurse, with a joyful face. 


She came nearer and nearer, as if she were 
afraid, till she stood right against the box. Sud- 
denly she plunged her hand into the hox and 
seized the arm, crying with a fearful voice wnich 
made the room shake : 

" Oh, joy ! I have got my arm back again ! " 

And from an old woman she was suddenly 
transformed into the towering figure of the 
frightful ogre ! 

Watanabe sprang back and was unable to move 
for a moment, so great was his astonishment ; 
but recognizing the ogre who had attacked him 
at the Gate of Rasbomon, he determined with his 
usual courage to put an end to him this time. He 
seized his sword, drew it out of its sheath in a 
flash, and tried to cut the ogre down. 

So quick was Watanabe that the creature had 
a narrow escape. But the ogre sprang up to the 
ceiling, and bursting through the roof, disap- 
peared in the mist and clouds. 

In this way the ogre escaped with his arm. 
The knight gnashed his teeth with disappoint- 
ment, but that was all he could do. He waited 
in patience for another opportunity to dispatch 
the ogre. But the latter was afraid of Wata- 
nabe's great strength and daring, and never 
troubled Kyoto again. So once more the people 
of the city were able to go out without fear even 
at night time, and the brave deeds of Watanabe 
have never been forgotten ! 


MANY, many years ago there lived a good old 
man who had a wen like a tennis-ball growing 
out of his right cheek. This lump was a great 
disfigurement to the old man, and so annoyed 
him that for many years he spent all his time 
and money in trying to get rid of it. He tried 
everything he could think of. He consulted 
many doctors far and near, and took all kinds 
of medicines both internally and externally. But 
it was all of no use. The lump only grew bigger 
and bigger till it was nearly as big as his face, 
and in despair he gave up all hopes of ever losing 
it, and resigned himself to the thought of having 
to carry the lump on his face all his life. 

One day the firewood gave out in his kitchen, 
so, as his wife wanted some at once, the old man 
took his ax and set out for the woods up among 
the hills not very far from his home. It was a 
fine day in the early autumn, and the old man en- 
joyed the fresh air and was in no hurry to get 
home. So the whole afternoon passed quickly 
while he was chopping wood, and he had collected 
a goodly pile to take back to his wife. When the 
day began to draw to a close, he turned his face 

The old man had not gone far on his way 



down the mountain pass when the sky clouded 
and rain began to fall heavily. He looked about 
for some shelter, but there was not even a char- 
coal-burner's hut near. At last he espied a large 
hole in the hollow trunk of a tree. The hole was 
near the ground, so he crept in easily, and sat 
down in hopes that he had only been overtaken 
by a mountain shower, and that the weather 
would soon clear. 

But much to the old man's disappointment, in- 
stead of clearing the rain fell more and more 
heavily, and finally a heavy thunderstorm broke 
over the mountain. The thunder roared so ter- 
rifically, and the heavens seemed to be so ablaze 
with lightning, that the old man could hardly 
believe himself to be alive. He thought that he 
must die of fright. At last, however, the sky 
cleared, and the whole country was aglow in the 
rays of the setting sun. The old man's spirits 
revived when he looked out at the beautiful 
twilight, and he was about to step out from his 
strange hiding-place in the hollow tree when the 
sound of what seemed like the approaching steps 
of several people caught his ear. He at once 
thought that his friends had come to look for him, 
and he was delighted at the idea of having some 
jolly companions with whom to walk home. But 
on looking out from the tree, what was his 
amazement to see, not his friends, but hundreds 
of demons coming towards the spot. The more 
he looked, the greater was his astonishment. 


Some of these demons wero as large as giants, 
others had great big eyes out of all proportion 
to the rest of their bodies, others again had 
absurdly long noses, and some had such big 
mouths that they seemed to open from ear to ear. 
All had horns growing on their foreheads. The 
old man was so surprised at what he saw that he 
lost his balance and fell out of the hollow tree. 
Fortunately for him the demons did not see him, 
as the tree was in the background. So he picked 
himself up and crept back into the tree. 

While he was sitting there and wondering im- 
patiently when he would be able to get home, he 
heard the sounds of gay music, and then some of 
the demons began to sing. 

" Whnt are these creatures doing ?" said the 
old man to himself. "I will look out, it sounds 
very amusing." 

On peeping out, the old man saw that the de- 
mon chief himself was actually sitting with his 
back against the tree in which he had taken ref- 
uge, and all the other demons were sitting round, 
some drinking and some dancing. Food and 
wine was spread before them on the ground, and 
the demons were evidently having a great enter- 
tainment and enjoying themselves immensely. 

It made the old man laugh to see their strange 

" How amusing this is ! " laughed the old man 
to himself "I am now quite old, but I have 
never seen anything so strange in all my life." 


He was so interested and excited in watching 
all that the demons were doing, that he forgot 
himself and stepped out of the tree and stood 
looking on. 

The demon chief was just taking a big cup of 
sake and watching one of the demons dancing. 
In a little while he said with a bored air : 

11 Your dance is rather monotonous. I am tired 
of watching it. Isn't there any one amongst you 
all who can dance better than this fellow ? " 

Now the old man had been fond of dancing all 
his life, and was quite an expert in the art, and 
he knew that he could do much better than the 

"Shall I go and dance before these demons 
and let them see what a human being can do ? It 
may be dangerous, for if I don't please them they 
may kill me ! " said the old fellow to himself. 

His fears, however, were soon overcome by his 
love of dancing. In a few minutes he could re- 
strain himself no longer, and came out before the 
whole party of demons and began to dance at 
once. The old man, realizing that his life prob- 
ably depended on whether he pleased these strange 
creatures or not, exerted his skill and wit to the 

The demons were at first very surprised to see 
a man so fearlessly taking part in their entertain- 
ment, and then their surprise soon gave place to 

" How strange ! " exclaimed the horned chief. 


"I never saw such a skillful dancer before ! He 
dances admirably !" 

When the old man had finished his dance, the 
big demon said : 

" Thank you very much for your amusing 
dance. Now give us the pleasure of drinking a 
cup of wine with us," and with these words he 
handed him his largest wine-cup. 

The old man thanked him very humbly : 

"I did not expect such kindness from your 
lordship. I fear I have only disturbed your 
pleasant party by my unskillful dancing." 

"No, no," answered the big demon. "You 
must come often and dance for us. Your skill 
has given us much pleasure." 

The old man thanked him again and promised 
to do so. 

"Then will you come again to-morrow, old 
man ? " asked the demon. 

"Certainly, I will," answered the old man. 

" Then you must leave some pledge of your 
word with us," said the demon. 

" Whatever you like," said the old man. 

" Now what is the best thing he can leave with 
us as a pledge ? " asked the demon, looking round. 

Then said one of the demon's attendants kneel- 
ing behind the chief : 

" The token he leaves with us must be the most 
important thing to him in his possession. I see 
the old man has a wen on his right cheek. Now 
mortal men consider such a wen very fortunate. 



Let my lord take the lump from the old man's 
right cheek, and he will surely come to-morrow, 
if only to get that back." 

" You are very clever," said the demon chief, 
giving his horns an approving nod. Then he 

The Demon took the great Lump from the Old Man's 


stretched out a hairy arm and claw-like hand, 
and took the great lump from the old man's right 
cheek. Strange to say, it came off as easily as a 
ripe plum from the tree at the demon's touch, 
and then the merrv troop of demons suddenly 


The old man was lost in bewilderment by all 
that had happened. He hardly knew for some 
time where he was. When he came to under- 
stand what had happened to him, he was de- 
lighted to find that the lump on his face, which 
had for so many years disfigured him, had really 
been taken away without any pain to himself. 
He put up his hand to feel if any scar remained, 
but found that his right cheek was as smooth as 
his left. 

The sun had long set, and the young moon had 
risen like a silver crescent in the sky. The old 
man suddenly realized how late it was and began 
to hurry home. He patted his right cheek all the 
time, as if to make sure of his good fortune in 
having lost the wen. He was so happy that he 
found it impossible to walk quietly he ran and 
danced the whole way home. 

He found his wife very anxious, wondering what 
had happened to make him so late. He soon told 
her all that had passed since he left home that 
afternoon. She was quite as happy as her hus- 
band when he showed her that the ugly lump had 
disappeared from his face, for in her youth she 
had prided herself on his good looks, and it had 
been a daily grief to her to see the horrid 

Now next door tt this good old couple there 
lived a wicked and disagreeable old man. He, 
too, had for many years been troubled with the 
growth of a wen on his left cheek, and he, too, 



had tried all manner of things to get rid of it, 
but in vain. 

He heard at once, through the servant, of his 
neighbor's good luck in losing the lump on his face, 
so he called that very evening and asked his 
friend to tell him everything that concerned the 

The Old Mail told his Neighbor all that had happened. 

loss of it. The good old man told his disagreeable 
neighbor all that had happened to him. He de- 
scribed the place where he would find the hollow 
tree in which to hide, and advised him to be on 
the spot in the late afternoon towards the time of 




The old neighbor started out the very next 
afternoon, and after hunting about for some 
time, came to the hollow tree just as his friend 
had described. Here he hid himself and waited 
for the twilight. 

Just as he had been told, the band of demons 
came at that hour and held a feast with dance and 
song. When this had gone on for some time the 
chief of the demons looked around and said : 

"It is now time for the old man to come as he 
promised us. Why doesn't he come ? " 

When the second old man heard these words 
he ran out of his hiding-place in ths tree and, 
kneeling down before the oni, said : 

"I have been waiting for a long time for you 
to speak ! " 

"Ah, you are the old man of yesterday," said 
the demon chief. " Thank you for coming, you 
must dance for us soon." 

The old man now stood up and opened his fan 
and began to dance. But he had never learned 
to dance, and knew nothing about the necessary 
gestures and different positions. He thought that 
anything would please the demons, so he just 
hopped about, waving his arms and stamping his 
feet, imitating as well as he could any dancing 
he had ever seen. 

The oni were very dissatisfied at this exhibition, 
and said amongst themselves : 

" How badly he dances to-day ! " 

Then to the old man the demon chief said : 



"Your performance to-day is quite different 
from the dance of yesterday. We don't wish to 
see any more of such dancing. We will give 
you back the pledge you left with us. You must 
go away at once." 

There was now a great Wen on the Right Side of his Face 

as on the Left. 

With these words he took out from a fold of 
his dress the lump which he had tak^n from the 
face of the old man who had danced so well 
the day before, and threw it at the right cheek of 


the old man who stood before him. The lump im- 
mediately attached itself to his cheek as firmly 
as if it had grown there always, and all attempts 
to pull it off were useless. The wicked old man, 
instead of losing the lump on his left cheek as 
he had hoped, found to his dismay that he had but 
added another to his right cheek in his attempt tc 
get rid of the first. 

He put up first one hand and then the other to 
each side of his face to make sure if he were not 
dreaming a horrible nightmare. No, sure enough 
there was now a great wen on the right side of 
his face as on the left. The demons had all dis- 
appeared, and there was nothing for him to do 
but to return home. He was a pitiful sight, for 
his face, with the two large lumps, one on each 
side, looked just like a Japanese gourd. 



LONG, long ago there lived a great Chinese Em- 
press who succeeded her brother the Emperor 
Fuki. It was the age of giants, and the Empress 
Jokwa, for that was her name, was twenty-five 
feet high, nearly as tall as her brother. She was 
a wonderful woman, and an able ruler. There is 
an interesting story of how she mended a part of 
the broken heavens and one of the terrestrial 
pillars which upheld the sky, both of which were 
damaged during a rebellion raised by one of King 
Fuki's subjects. 

The rebel's name was Kokai. He was twenty- 
six feet high. His body was entirely covered 
with hair, and his face was as black as iron. He 
was a wizard and a very terrible character indeed. 
When the Emperor Fuki died, Kokai was bitten 
with the ambition to be Emperor of China, but 
his plan failed, and Jokwa, the dead Emperor's 
sister, mounted the throne. Kokai was so angry 
at being thwarted in his desire that he raised a 
revolt. His first act was to employ the Water 
Devil, who caused a great flood to rush over the 



country. This swamped the poor people out of 
their homes, and when the Empress Jokwa saw 
the plight of her subjects, and knew it was 
Kokai's fault, she declared war against him. 

Now Jokwa, the Empress, had two young war- 
riors called Hako and Eiko, and the former she 
made General of the front forces. Hako was de- 
lighted that the Empress's choice should fall on 
him, and he prepared himself for battle. He took 
up the longest lance he could find and mounted a 
red horse, and was just about to set out when he 
heard some one galloping hard behind him and 
shouting : 

" Hako ! Stop ! The general of the front 
forces must be I ! " 

He looked back and saw Eiko his comrade, 
riding on a white horse, in the act of unsheathing 
a large sword to draw upon him. Hako's anger 
was kindled, and as he turned to face his rival he 
cried : 

" Insolent wretch ! I have been appointed by 
the Empress to lead the front forces to battle. 
Do you dare to stop me I " 

"Yes," answered Eiko. " I ought to lead the 
army. It is you who should follow me." 

At this bold reply Hako's anger burst from a 
spark into a flame. 

" Dare you answer me thus ? Take that," and 
he lunged at him with his lance. 

But Eiko moved quickly aside, and at the same 
time, raising his sword, he wounded the head of 


the General's horse. Obliged to dismount, Hako 
was about to rush at his antagonist, when ELko, 
as quick as lightning, tore from his breast the 
badge of commandership and galloped away. 
The action was so quick that Hako stood dazed, 
not knowing what to do. 

The Empress had been a spectator of the scene, 
and she could not but admire the quickness of the 
ambitious Eiko, and in order to pacify the rivals 
she determined to appoint them both to the Gen- 
eralship of the front army. 

So Hako was made commander of the left wing 
of the front army, and Eiko of the right. One 
hundred thousand soldiers followed them and 
inarched to put down the rebel Kokai. 

Within a short time the two Generals reached 
the castle where Kokai had fortified himself. 
When aware of their approach, the wizard 
said : 

" I will blow these two poor children away with 
one breath." (He little thought how hard he 
would find the fight.) 

With these words Kokai seized an iron rod and 
mounted a black horse, and rushed forth like an 
angry tiger to meet his two foes. 

As the two young wariiors saw him tearing 
down upon them, they said to each other : " We 
must not let him escape alive," and they attacked 
him from the right and from the left with sword 
and with lance. But the all-powerful Kokai was 
not to be easily beaten he whirled his iron rod 


round like a great water-wheel, and for a long 
time they fought thus, neither side gaining nor 
losing. At last, to avoid the wizard's iron rod, 
Hako turned his horse too quickly ; the animal's 
hoofs struck against a large stone, and in a fright 
the horse reared as straight on end as a screen, 
throwing his master to the ground. 

Thereupon Kokai drew his three-edged sword 
and was about to kill the prostrate Hako, hut be- 
fore the wizard could work his wicked will the 
brave Eiko had wheeled his horse in front of 
Kokai and dared him to try his strength with him, 
and not to kill a fallen man. But Kokai was tired, 
and he did not feel inclined to face this fresh and 
dauntless young soldier, so suddenly wheeling his 
horse round, he fled from the fray. 

Hako, who had been only slightly stunned, had 
by this time got upon his feet, and he and his 
comrade rushed after the retreating enemy, the 
one on foot and the other on horseback. 

Kokai, seeing that he was pursued, turned upon 
his nearest assailant, who was, of course, the 
mounted Eiko, and drawing forth an arrow from 
the quiver at his back, fitted it to his bow and 
drew upon Eiko. 

As quick as lightning the wary Eiko avoided 
the shaft, which only touched his helmet strings, 
and glancing off, fell harmless against Hako's 
coat of armor. 

The wizard saw that both his enemies remained 
unscathed. He also knew that there was no time 


to pull a second arrow before they would be upon 
him, so to save himself he resorted to magic. He 
stretched forth his wand, and immediately a great 
flood arose, and Jokwa's army and her brave 
young Generals were swept away like a falling 
of autumn leaves on a stream. 

Hako and Eiko found themselves struggling 
neck deep in water, and looking round they saw 
the ferocious Kokai making towards them through 
the water with his iron rod on high. They 
thought every moment that they would be cut 
down, but they bravely struck out to swim as far 
as they could from Kokai's reach. All of a sudden 
they found themselves in front of what seemed 
to be an island rising straight out of the water. 
They looked up, and there stood an old man with 
hair as white as snow, smiling at them. They 
cried to him to help them. The old man nodded 
his head and came down to the edge of the water. 
As soon as his feet touched the flood it divided, 
and a good road appeared, to the amazement of 
the drowning men, who now found themselves 

Kokai had by this time reached the island which 
had risen as if by a miracle out of the water, and 
seeing his enemies thus saved he was furious. 
He rushed through the water upon the old man, 
and it seemed as if he would surely be killed. 
But the old man appeared not in the least dis- 
mayed, and calmly awaited the wizard's on- 


As Kokai drew near, the old man laughed aloud 
merrily, and turning into a large and beautiful 
white crane, flapped his wings and flew upwards 
into the heavens. 

When Hako and Eiko saw this, they knew that 
their deliverer was no mere human being 
was perhaps a god in disguise and they hoped 
later on to find out who the venerable old man 

In the meantime they had retreated, and it be- 
ing now the close of day, for the sun was setting, 
both Kokai and the young warriors gave up the 
idea of fighting more that day. 

That night Hako and Eiko decided that it was 
useless to fight against the wizard Kokai, for he 
had supernatural powers, while they were only 
human. So they presented themselves before the 
Empress Jokwa. After a long consultation, the 
Empress decided to ask the Fire King, Shikuyu, 
to help her against the rebel wizard and to lead 
her army against him. 

Now Shikuyu, the Fire King, lived at the South 
Pole. It was the only safe place for him to be in, 
for he burnt up everything around him anywhere 
else, but it was impossible to burn up ice and 
snow. To look at he was a giant, and stood thirty 
feet high. His face was just like marble, and his 
hair and beard long and as white as snow. His 
strength was stupendous, and he was master of 
all fire just as Kokai was of water. 

" Surely," thought the Empress, " Shikuyu can 


conquer Kokai." So she sent Eiko to the South 
Pole to beg Shikuyu to take the war against 
Kokai into his own hands and conquer him once 
for all. 

The Fire King, on hearing the Empress's re- 
quest, smiled and said : 

"That is an easy matter, to be sure ! It was 
none other than I who came to your rescue when 
you and your companion were drowning in the 
flood raised by Kokai ! " 

Eiko was surprised at learning this. He thanked 
the Fire King for coming to the rescue in their 
dire need, and then besought him to return with 
him and lead the war and defeat the wicked Kokai. 

Shikuyu did as he was asked, and returned with 
Eiko to the Empress. She welcomed the Fire 
King cordially, and at once told him why she had 
sent for him to ask him to be the Generalissimo 
of her army. His reply was very reassuring : 

" Do not have any anxiety. I will certainly kill 

Shikuyu then placed himself at the head of 
thirty thousand soldiers, and with Hako and 
Eiko showing him the way, marched to the 
'enemy's castle. The Fire King knew the secret 
of Kokai's power, and he now told all the soldiers 
to gather a certain kind of shrub. This they 
burned in large quantities, and each soldier was 
then ordered to fill a bag full of the ashes thus 

Kokai, on the other hand, in his own conceit. 


thought that Shiknyu was 01 inferior power to 
himself, and he murmured angrily : 

" Even though you are the Fire King, I can 
soon extinguish you." 

Then he repeated an incantation, and the water- 
floods rose and welled as high as mountains. 
Shikuyu, not in the least frightened, ordered his 
soldiers to scatter the ashes which he had caused 
them to make. Every man did as he was bid, 
and such was the power of the plant that they 
had burned, that as soon as the ashes mingled 
with the water a stiff mud was formed, and they 
were all safe from drowning. 

Now Kokai the wizard was dismayed when he 
saw that the Fire King was superior in wisdom 
to himself, and his anger was so great that he 
rushed headlong towards the enemy. 

Eiko rode to meet him, and the two fought 
together for some time. They were well matched 
in a hand-to-hand combat. Hako, who was care- 
fully watching the fray, saw that Eiko began to 
tire, and fearing that his companion would be 
killed, he took his place. 

But Kokai had tired as well, and feeling him 
self unable to hold out against Hako, he said 
artfully : 

" You are too magnanimous, thus to fight for 
your friend and run the risk of being killed. I 
will not hurt such a good man." 

And he pretended to retreat, turning away the 
head of his horse. His intention was to throw 



Hako off his guard and then to wheel round and 
take him by surprise. 

But Shikuyu understood the wily wizard, and 
he spoke at once : 

" You are a coward ! You cannot deceive 
me I" 

Saying this, the Fire King made a sign to the 
unwary Hako to attack him. Kokai now turned 
upon Shikuyu furiously, but he was tired and 
unable to fight well, and he soon received a wound 
in his shoulder. He now broke from the fray and 
tried to escape in earnest. 

While the fight between their leaders had been 
going on the two armies had stood waiting for 
the issue. Shikuyu now turned and bade Jokwa's 
soldiers charge the enemy's forces. This they did, 
and routed them with great slaughter, and the 
wizard barely escaped with his life. 

It was in vain that Kokai called upon the 
Water Devil to help him, for Shikuyu knew the 
counter-charm. The wizard found that the battle 
was against him. Mad with pain, for his wound 
began to trouble him, and frenzied with disap- 
pointment and fear, he dashed his head against 
the rocks of Mount Shu, and died on the spot. 

There was an end of the wicked Kokai, but not 
of trouble in the Empress Jokwa's Kingdom, as you 
shall see. The force with which the wizard fell 
against the rocks was so great that the mountain 
burst, and fire rushed out from the earth, and one 
of the pillars upholding the Heavens was broken, 


BO that one corner of the sky dropped till it touched 
the earth. 

Shikuyu, the Fire King, took up the body of the 
wizard and carried it to the Empress Jokwa, who 
rejoiced greatly that her enemy was vanquished, 
and her generals victorious. She showered all 
manner of gifts and honors upon Shikuyu. 

But all this time fire was bursting from the 
mountain broken by the fall of Kokai. Whole 
villages were destroyed, rice-fields burnt up, river 
beds filled with the burning lava, and the home- 
less people were in great distress. So the Em- 
press left the capital as soon as she had rewarded 
the victor Shikuyu, and journeyed with all 
speed to the scene of disaster. She found that 
both Heaven and earth had sustained damage, 
and the place was so dark that she had to light her 
lamp to find out the extent of the havoc that had 
been wrought. 

Having ascertained this, she set to work at re- 
pairs. To this end she ordered her subjects to col- 
lect stones of five colors blue, yellow, red, white 
and black. When she had obtained these, she 
boiled them with a kind of porcelain in a large 
caldron, and the mixture became a beautiful 
paste, and with this she knew that she could 
mend the sky. Now all was ready. 

Summoning the clouds that were sailing ever 
BO high above her head, she mounted them, and 
rode heavenwards, carrying in her hands the vase 
containing the paste made from the stones of five 


colors. She soon reached the corner of the sky 
that was broken, and applied the paste and 
mended it. Having done this, she turned her 
attention to the broken pillar, and with the legs 
of a very large tortoise she mended it. When 
this was finished she mounted the clouds and 
descended to the earth, hoping to find that all 
was now right, but to her dismay she found that 
it was still quite dark. Neither the sun shone by 
day nor the moon by night. 

Greatly perplexed, she at last called a meeting 
of all the wise men of the Kingdom, and asked 
their advice as to what she should do in this 

Two of the wisest said : 

" The roads of Heaven have been damaged by 
the late accident, and the Sun and Moon have 
been obliged to stay at home. Neither the Sun 
could make his daily journey nor the Moon her 
nightly one because of the bad roads. The Sun 
and Moon do not yet know that your Majesty has 
mended all that was damaged, so we will go and 
inform them that since you have repaired them 
the roads are safe." 

The Empress approved of what the wise men 
suggested, and ordered them to set out on their 
mission. But this was not easy, for the Palace 
of the Sun and Moon was many, many hundreds 
of thousands of miles distant into the East. If 
they traveled on foot they might never reach the 
place, they would die of old age on the road. But 


Jokwa had recourse to magic. She gave her 
two ambassadors wonderful chariots which could 
whirl through the air by magic power a thousand 
miles per minute. They set out in good spirits, 
riding above the clouds, and after many days they 
reached the country where the Sun and the Moon 
were living happily together. 

The two ambassadors were granted an inter- 
view with their Majesties of Light and asked 
them why they had for so many days secluded 
themselves from the Universe? Did they not 
know that by doing so they plunged the world 
and all its people into uttermost darkness both 
day and night ? 

Replied the Sun and the Moon : 

" Surely you know that Mount Shu has sud- 
denly burst forth with fire, and the roads of 
Heaven have been greatly damaged I I, the Sun, 
found it impossible to make my daily journey 
along such rough roads and certainly the Moon 
could not issue forth at night ! so we both retired 
into private life for a time." 

Then the two wise men bowed themselves to the 
ground and said : 

" Our Empress Jokwa has already repaired the 
roads with the wonderful stones of five colors, so 
we beg to assure your Majesties that the roads 
are just as they were before the eruption took 

But the Sun and the Moon still hesitated, say- 
ing that they had heard that one of the pillars of 


Heaven had been broken as well, and they feared 
that, even if the roads had been remade, it would 
still be dangerous for them to sally forth on their 
usual journeys. 

"You need have no anxiety about the broken 
pillar," said the two ambassadors. " Our Em- 
press restored it with the legs of a great tortoise, 
and it is as firm as ever it was." 

Then the Sun and Moon appeared satisfied, and 
they both set out to try the roads. They found 
that what the Empress's deputies had told them, 
was correct. 

After the examination of the heavenly roads, 
the Sun and Moon again gave light to the earth. 
All the people rejoiced greatly, and peace and 
prosperity were secured in China for a long time 
under the reign of the wise Empress Jokwa. 



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