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The old woman cut off the poor little bird's tongue and
then drove it away. Japanese Fairy Tales
YEI THEODORA OZAKI
Profusely Illustratsc! ty Japanese Artists
Grosset & Ounlap
WNTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
fl De&icate tbis JBoofc
TO YOU AND TO THE SWEET CHILD-FRIENDSHIP THAT YOU GAVS
ME IN THE DAYS SPENT WITH YOU BY THE SOUTHERN SEA, WHEN
YOU USED TO LISTEN WITH UNFEIGNED PLEASURE TO THESR
FAIRY STORIES FROM FAR JAPAN. MAY THEY NOW REMIND YOU
OF MY CHANGELESS LOVE AND REMEMBRANCE.
Y. T. O.
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.
MY LORD BAG OF RICE 1
THE TONGUE-CUT SPARROW 12
THE STORY OF URASHIMA TARO, THE FISHER LAD 25
THE FARMER AND THE BADGER 43
THE " SHINANSHA," OR THE SOUTH POINTING CARRIAGE 53
THE ADVENTURES OF KINTARO, THE GOLDEN BOY 58
THE STORY OF PRINCESS HASE 71
THE STORY OF THE MAN WHO DID NOT WISH TO DIE 85
-THE BAMBOO-CUTTER AND THE MOON-CHILD 96
THE MIRROR OF MATSUYAMA 119
THE GOBLIN OF ADACHIGAHARA 140
THE SAGACIOUS MONKEY AND THE BOAR 148
THE HAPPY HUNTER AND THE SKILLFUL FISHER 153
THE STORY OF THE OLD MAN WHO MADE WITHERED TREES
TO FLOWER 178
^HE JELLY FISH AND THE MONKEY 192
THE QUARREL OF THE MONKEY AND THE CRAB 207
THE WHITE HARE AND THE CROCODILES 219
THE STORY OF PRINCE YAMATO TAKE 230
MOMOTARO, OR THE STORY OF THE SON OF A PEACH 251
THE OGRE OF RASHOMON 271
HOW AN OLD MAN LOST HIS WEN 282
THE STONES OF FIVE COLORS AND THE EMPRESS JOKWA 293
JAPANESE FAIRY TALES.
MY LORD BAG OF RICE.
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
2 MY LORD BAG OF RICE.
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 ? "
MY LORD BAG OF RICE.
"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
4: MY LORD BAG OF RICE.
" 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*
MY LORD BAG OF RICE. 5
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
(J MY LORD BAG OF RICE.
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
MY LORD BAG OF RICE. 7
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
8 MY LORD BAG OF RICE.
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.
MY LORD BAG OF RICE. 9
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
10 MY LORD BAG OF RICE.
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.
MY LORD BAG OF RICE.
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.
THE TONGUE-CUT SPAEROW.
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
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
THE TONGUE-CUT SPAEROW. 13
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
14: THE TONGUE-CUT SPARROW.
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-
THE TONGUE-CUT SPARROW. 15
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
16 THE TONGUE-CUT SPARROW.
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 TONGUE-CUT SPARROW. IT
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
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.
18 THE TONGUE-CUT SPARROW.
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-
THE TONGUE-CUT SPARROW. 19
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
20 THE TONGUE-CUT SPARROW.
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
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-
THE TONGUE-CUT SPARROW. 21
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.
22 THE TONGUE-CUT SPARROW.
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 TONGUE-CUT SPARROW. 23
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-
^4 THE TONGUE-CUT SPARROW.
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
THE STORY OF URASHIMA TARO, THE
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-
26 THE STORY OF URASHIMA TARO,
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
" 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 FISHER LAD. 27
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
28 THE STORY OF URASHIMA TARO,
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
THE FISHER LAD. 29
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
" 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
"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-
30 THE STORY OF URASHIMA TARO,
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
THE FISHER LAD. 31
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,
" 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).
32 THE STORY OF URASHIMA TARO,
" 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
THE FISHER LAD. 33
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
34 THE STORY OF URASHIMA TARO.
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
THE FISHER LAD. 35
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
36 THE STORY OF URASHIMA TARO,
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-
" 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-
" Indeed, I must go. Do not think that I wish
to leave you. It is not that. I must go and see
THE FISHER LAD. 37
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
38 THE STORY OF UR4SHIMA TARO,
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*
" 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.
THE FISHER LAD. 39
" 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 ?"
THE STORY OF URASHIMA TARO.
"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-
THE FISHER LAD. 41
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 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
42 THE STORY OF URASHIMA TARO.
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
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.
THE FARMER AND THE BADGER.
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
44 THE FARMER AND THE BADGER.
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,
THE FARMER AND THE BADGER. 45
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.
46 THE FARMER AND THE 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.
THE FARMER AND THE BADGER. 4.7
It seemed too terrible to be real that bis faithful
old wife had been killed and cooked bv the badger
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
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-
8 THE FARMER AND THE BADGER.
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*
THE FARMER AND THE BADGER. 4.9
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
50 THE FARMER AND TEE BADGER.
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
THE FARMER AND THE BADGER. 51
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
The old farmer thanked him with tears in his
eyes. He said that till now he could never sleep
52 THE FARMER AND THE BADGER.
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 SHINANSHA, OR THE SOUTH POINT-
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
54 THE SHINANSHA, OR
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-
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 SOUTH POINTING CARRIAGE. 55
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-
56 THE SHINANSHA, OR
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
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
THE SOUTH POINTING CARRIAGE. 57
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
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
THE ADVENTURES OF KINTARO, 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
THE GOLDEN BOY. 59
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
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-
GQ THE ADVENTURES OF KINTARO,
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 "
THE GOLDEN BOY. 61
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
62 THE ADVENTURES OF KINTARO,
"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
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
THE GOLDEN BOY. 63
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
g THE ADVENTURES OF KINTARO,
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
" 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
THE GOLDEN BOY. 65
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
" 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-
"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
QQ THE ADVENTURES OF KINTARO,
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
THE GOLDEN BOY. 67
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
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
63 THE ADVENTURES OF KINTARO,
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*
THE GOLDEN BOY. 69
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
"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
Lord Raiko's army was famous for its band
70 THE ADVENTURES OF KINTARO.
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
THE STORY OF PRINCESS HASE.
A STORY OF OLD JAPAN.
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-
72 THE STORY OF PRINCESS HASE.
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
"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
THE STORY OF PRINCESS HASE. 73
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
74: THE STORY OF PRINCESS HASE.
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 STORY OF PRINCESS HASE. 75
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
76 THE STORY OF PRINCESS HASE.
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
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
THE STORY OF PRINCESS HASE. 77
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-
78 THE STORY OF PRINCESS HASE.
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
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
THE STORY OF PRINCESS HASE.
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
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
80 THE STORY OF PRINCESS HASE.
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-
THE STORY OF PRINCESS HASE. 81
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
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-
32 THE STORY OF PRINCESS HASE.
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
" 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,
THE STORY OF PRINCESS HASE. 83
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
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
84 THE STORY OF PRINCESS HASE.
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
THE STORY OF THE MAN WHO DID NOT
WISH TO DIE.
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
86 THE STORY OF THE MAN
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
WHO DID NOT WISH TO DIE. 87
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
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
88 THE STORY OF THE MAN
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
WHO DID NOT WISH TO DIE.
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
THE STORY OF THE MAN
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
WHO DID NOT WISH TO DIE. 91
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
THE STORY OF THE MAN
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
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
WHO DID NOT WISH TO DIE. 93
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
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
9J. THE STORY OF THE MAN
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
WHO DID NOT WISH TO DIE. 95
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
" 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
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.
THE BAMBOO-CUTTER AND THE MOON-
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*
AND THE MOON-CHILD. 97
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
" 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,
98 THE BAMBOO-CUTTER
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
AND THE MOON-CHILD. 99
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
100 THE BAMBOO-CUTTER
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.
AND THE MOON-CHILD. 101
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
"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
THE BAMBOO- CUTTER
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
AND THE MOON-CHILD. 103
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
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
104. THE BAMBOO-CUTTER
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.
AND THE MOON-CHILD. 105
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-
106 THE BAMBOO-CUTTER
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
AND THE MOON-CHILD. 101
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
" ' 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
108 THE BAMBOO-CUTTER
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
AND THE MOON-CHILD. 109
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
AND THE MOON-CHILD.
heartily sick of adventure, and said that he never
intended to go near the Princess's house again in
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
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
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
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
AND THE MOON-CHILD. 113
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
AND THE MOON-CHILD. 115
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
" 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
AND THE MOON-CHILD.
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.
THE MIRROR OF MATSUYAMA,
A STORY OF OLD JAPAN.
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
120 THE MIRROR OF MATSUYAMA.
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
THE MIRROR OF MATSUYAMA. 121
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-
" 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-
122 THE MIRROR OF MATSUYAMA.
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
" 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
THE MIRROR OF MATSUYAMA. 123
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.
124: THE MIRROR OF MATSUYAMA.
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
The wife listened to all her husband told her,
and was pleased at learning so much that was
THE MIRROR OF MATSUYAMA. 125
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
THE MIRROR OF MATSUYAMA.
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
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
THE MIRROR OF MATSUYAMA. 127
" 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
128 THE MIRROR OF MATSUYAMA.
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 ! "
THE MIRROR OF MATSUYAMA. 129
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.
130 THE MIRROR OF MATSUYAMA.
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
THE MIRROR OF MATSUYAMA. 131
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,
"Tell me what you mean! How is your life
in danger here ? "
132 THE MIRROR OF MATSUYAMA
" 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
THE MIRROR OF MATSUYAMA, 133
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,
134 THE MIRROR OF MATSUYAMA.
and her act of hiding something, said in a severe
''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
THE MIRROR OF MATSUYAMA, 135
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-
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 .'
136 THE MIRROR OF MATSUYAMA.
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-
"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
THE MIRROR OF MATSUYAMA. 13J
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.
138 THE MIRROR OF MATSUYAMA,
" 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-
THE MIRROR OF MATSUYAMA. 139
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.
THE GOBLIN OF APACHIGAHARA.
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,
THE GOBLIN OF ADACHIGAHARA.
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
142 THE GOBLIN OF ADACHIGAHARA.
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
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
THE GOBLIN OF ADACHIGAHARA. 143
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
"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
" 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."
THE GOBLIN OF ADACHIGAHARA.
"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
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-
THE GOBLIN OF ADACHIGAHARA.
obeyed her made him come back to his place by
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
" 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
146 THE GOBLIN OF ADACHIGAHARA.
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
THE GOBI TN OF ADACHIGAHARA., 14.7
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.
THE SAGACIOUS MONKEY AND THE
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
" 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
THE SAGACIOUS MONKEY AND THE BOAR. 149
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."
150 THE SAGACIOUS MONKEY AND THE BOAR.
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
' ' 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
"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
THE SAGACIOUS MONKEY AND THE BOAR.
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-
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
152 THE SAGACIOUS MONKEY AND THE BOAR.
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.
THE HAPPY HUNTER AND THE SKILLFUL
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
154: THE HAPPY HUNTER
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
AND THE SKILLFUL FISHER. 155
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.
156 THE HAPPY HUNTER
" 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
The Happy Hunter then made another five
hundred hooks, and again took them to his
brother, beseeching him to pardon him.
AND THE SKILLFUL FISHER. 157
" 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
158 THE HAPPY HUNTER
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.
AND THE SKILLFUL FISHER. 159
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
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
160 THE HAPPY HUNTEK
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
AND THE SKILLFUL FISHER. 161
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
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
162 THE HAPPY HUNTER
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
AND THE SKILLFUL FISHER. 163
"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
164: THE HAPPY HUNTER
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 THE SKILLFUL FISHER. 165
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
166 THE HAPPY HUNTER
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."
AND THE SKILLFUL FISHER. 167
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
168 THE HAPPY HUNTER
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
AND THE SKILLFUL FISHER. 169
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
THE HAPPY HUNTER
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
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-
AND THE SKILLFUL FISHER. 171
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."
172 THE HAPPY HUNTER
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."
AND THE SKILLFUL FISHER. 173
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
THE HAPPY HUNTER
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-
AND THE SKILLFUL FISHER.
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.
176 THE HAPPY HUNTER
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
AND THE SKILLFUL FISHER. 177
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.
THE STOEY OF THE OLD MAN WHO MADE
WITHERED TREES TO FLOWER.
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
WITHERED TREES TO FLOWER.
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
with all their might. Whenever Shiro happened
to look into their kitchen they at ouce kicked
180 THE OLD MAN WHO MADE
him or threw something at him, sometimes even
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
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
WITHERED TREES TO FLOWER. 181
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
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.
182 THE OLD MAN WHO MADE
You must find them for me ! Where are they?
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.
WITHERED TREES TO FLOWER. 183
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
184: THE OLD MAN WHO MADE
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
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
WITHERED TREES TO FLOWER.
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 !
186 THE OLD MAN WHO
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
WITHERED TREES TO FLOWER. 1ST
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
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
THE OLD MAN WHO MADE
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
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
WITHERED TREES TO FLOWER. 189
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
"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.
190 THE OLD MAN WHO MADE
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
WITHERED TREES TO FLOWER.
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.
THE JELLY FISH AND THE MONKEY.
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
THE JELLY FISH AND THE MONKEY, 193
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
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
194: THE JELLY FISH AND THE
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
The Dragon King Blamed the Doctor for not Curing
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
THE JELLY FISH AND THE MONKEY 195
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
"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.
196 THE JELLY FISH AND THE MONKEY.
"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 chief steward thought for some time, and
then, as if struck by a sudden thought, said joy-
" 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.
THE JELLY FISH AND THE MONKEY. 197
" 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
" 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-
198 THE JELLY FISH AND THE MONKEY.
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
THE JELLY FISH AND THE MONKEY. 199
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
" 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
200 THE JELLY FISH AND 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
THE JELLY FISH AND THE MONKEY. 201
" 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
" Oh ! you will learn the reason later," said the
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.
202 THE JELLY FISH AND THE MONKEY.
" 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
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."
THE JELLY FISH AND THE MONKEY. 203
" 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
" 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
204 THE JELLY FISH AND THE MONKEY.
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;; ,, ; ,
. * * * *.
The servants of the Palace beat the Jelly Fish to a flat pulp.
Page 20.5. r Japanese Fairy Tales
THE JELLY FISH AND THE MONKEY. 205
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
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
206 THE JELLY FISH AND THE MONKEY.
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.
THE QUARREL OF THE MONKEY AND
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
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
208 THE QUARREL OF THE MONKEY
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
AND THE CRAB. 209
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
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
210 THE QUARREL OF THE MONKEY
was delighted, for he at once devised a cunning
plan which would give him all the persimmons
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
AND THE CRAB. 211
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-
212 THE QUARREL OF THE MONKEY
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
After talking for a long time as to the ways
and means of carrying out their plans they sepa-
AND THE CRAB. 213
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,
THE QUARREL OF THE MONKEY
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
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
AND THE CEAB. 215
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
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,
THE QUARREL OF THE MONKEY
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-
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
AND THE CRAB. 217
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 :
218 THE QUARREL OF THE MONKEY
" Do you now remember that you murdered my
father ? "
<; Then you are my enemy?" gasped the
" 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.
THE WHITE HARE AND THE CROCO-
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
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 ?"
220 THE WHITE HARE AND THE CROCODILES.
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
"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 :
THE WHITE HARE AND THE CROCODILES. 221
"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
" 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,
222 THE WHITE HARE AND THE CROCODILES.
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 ! "
THE WHITE HARE AND THE CROCODILES. 223
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
22-i THE WHITE HARE AND THE CROCODILES.
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
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,
THE WHITE HARE AND THE CROCODILES. 225
and stopped and asked why he was crying so
This Man had a kind Heart and looked at the Hare
But the poor hare, remembering that he had
been deceived by one very like the man who now
226 TEE WHITE HARE AND THE CROCODILES.
spoke to him, did not answer, but continued to
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
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
THE WHITE HARE AND THE CROCODILES. 227
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
228 THE WHITE HARE AND THE CROCODILES.
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 WHITE HARE AND THE CROCODILES. 229
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
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
"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 STORY OF PRINCE YAMATO TAKE.
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.
THE STORY OF PRINCE YAMATO TAKE. 231
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
232 THE STORY OF PRINCE YAMATO TAKE.
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,
THE STORY OF PRINCE YAMATO TAKE. 233
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
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
234 THE STORY OF PRINCE YAMATO TAKE.
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,
THE STORY OF PRINCE YAMATO TAKE. 235
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
236 THE STORY OF PRINCE YAMATO TAKE.
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
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
THE STORY OF PRINCE YAMATO TAKE. 237
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
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-
238 THE STORY OF PRINCE YAMATO TAKE.
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
THE STORY OF PRINCE YAMATO TAKE. 239
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.
24:0 THE STORY OF PRINCE YAMATO TAKE.
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
THE STORY OF PRINCE YAMATO TAKE. 241
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
242 THE STORY OF PRINCE YAMATO TAKE.
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
THE STORY OF PRINCE YAMATO TAKE. 243
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-
244: THE STORY OF PRINCE YAMATO TAKE.
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
THE STORY OF PRINCE YAMATO TAKE. 245
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
24:6 THE STORY OF PRINCE YAMATO TAKE.
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
THE STORY OF PRINCE YAMATO TAKE. 247
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
248 THE STORY OF PRINCE YAMATO TAKE.
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
THE STORY OF PRINCE YAMATO TAKE. 249
enemies there is no one who dares to
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
250 THE STORY OF PRINCE YOMATO TAKE.
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
MOMOTARO, OR THE STORY OF THE SON
OF A PEACH.
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
MOMOTARO, OR THE STORY
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
OF THE SON OF A PEACH. 253
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
" 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.
254 MOMOTARO, OR THE STORY
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 :
OF THE SON OF A PEACH. 255
" 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
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
256 MOMOTARO, OR THE STORY
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 ! "
OF THE SON OF A PEACH. 257
" 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
258 MOMOTARO, OR THE STORY
"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 "
' ' 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
OF THE SON OF A PEACH. 259
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.
2GO MOMOTARO, OR THE STORY
" 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-
OF THE SON OF A PEACH. 261
taro ; and pushing aside the dog, he spoke to the
" 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
262 MOMOTARO, OR THE STORY
and flew at the dog's tail, and the fight went hard
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
OF THE SON OF A PEACH. 263
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 :
264 MOMOTARO, OR THE STORY
" 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
" 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
OF THE SON OF A PEACH. 265
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
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
266 MOMOTARO, OR THE STORY
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.
OF THE SON OF A PEACH. 267
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
" 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
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.
MOMOTARO, OR THE STORY
The pheasant, who was all this time fighting
hard, saw Momotaroand his little band rush in at
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;
OF THE SON OF A PEACH. 269
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 ! "
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.
THE OGRE OF RASHOMON.
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
273 THE OGRE OF RASHOMON.
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,
"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 :
THE OGRE OF RASHOMON.
" 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
274 THE OGRE OF RASHOMON.
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-
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
THE OGRE OF RASHOMON, 275
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.
276 THE OGRE OF RASHOMON.
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
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.
THE OGRE OF RASHOMON.
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.
278 THE OGRE OF RASHOMON.
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.
THE OGRE OF RASHOMON.
"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
280 THE OGRE OF RASHOMON.
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-
" 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.
THE OGRE OF RASHOMON. 281
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 !
HOW AN OLD MAN LOST HIS WEN.
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
HOW AN OLD MAN LOST HIS WEN 83
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.
284: HOW AN OLD MAN LOST HIS WEN.
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
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."
HOW AN OLD MAN LOST HIS WEN. 285
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
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.
286 HOW AN OLD MAN LOST HIS WEN.
"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.
HOW AN OLD MAN LOST HIS WEN.
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
288 HOW AN OLD MAN LOST HIS WEN.
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
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,
HOW AN OLD MAN LOST HIS WEN,
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
290 HOW AN OLD MAN LOST HIS WEN.
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 :
HOW AN OLD MAN LOST HIS WEN,
"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
292 HOW AN OLD MAN LOST HIS WEN.
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.
THE STONES OF FIVE COLORS AND THE
AN OLD CHINESE STORY.
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
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
894 THE STONES OF FIVE COLOES
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
" 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
" 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
AND THE EMPRESS JOKWA. 395
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
" 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
296 THE STONES OF FIVE COLORS
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
AND THE EMPRESS JOKWA. 297
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-
298 THE STONES OF FIVE COLORS
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
AND THE EMPRESS JOKWA. 299
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
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.
300 THE STONES OF FIVE COLORS
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
" 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
AND THE EMPRESS JOKWA. 3Q1
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
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,
302 THE STONES OF FIVE COLORS
BO that one corner of the sky dropped till it touched
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
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
AND THE EMPRESS JOKWA. 303
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
304 THE STONES OF FIVE COLORS
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
AND THE EMPRESS JOKWA. 305
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
"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,
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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