of the Genius of Poverty
Long. long ago, it was widely believed that the
family living in the house possessed by a genius of
poverty had to suffer from the extreme povery. One
day at the year's end, a family began general house
cleaning to sweep every nook and corner, as usual.
By chance the genius that was taking a nap on the
shelf slipped down. Finding it, the household head
told him to get out of the house immediately. The
genius desperately appealed the head to allow his
staying there, promising that he could for sure make
the family prosperous. The head suspected what the
genius had said, so he asked how the geniust carried
it out. The genius asked the head to build a small
shrine to apotheosize the genius, then, he would
have many people visit there, and as a redilt a good
amount of offertory could be dedicated into an
offertory box for sure.So, as requested, the head
buiilt the shrine for the genius to live in at the
corner pf his garden fronting the street; with a
flag of the Great Gracious Genius of Poverty and a
sacred archway at the entrance. After it, the head
was getting irritated because nobody visited there
even after a couple of months But, in February,
there came a few visitors by slow, and around the
flower season, the number of visitors was getting
increased by day by day, and at last, the shrine was
crowded by so many visitors that the the offertory
box was flooded by coins every day. The family
became the richest aroung the area.The head asked
the genus how they could achieve this amazing
prosperity. The gemus said with a composed face that
he had distributed his circular here and there,
showing the head a copy of it. reading; I request
the residents to pay a visit to me in the shrine,
otherwise, I shall move to your residence.
The Great Gracious Genius of Poverty.
There was a big-time thief covering a vast
territory of Tohkaido, but he was arrested at last
and sentenced to death. Prior to the execution, an
officer asked him if he had any words. He said that
he wanted to leave a death poem. The officer was
impressed by his attitude and promised to record his
last words. He read <Because I have been thinking
that this body of mine did not exist since long
past, why should I be reluctant to lose my life In
such case as this?>. The officer pointed out the
fact that this poem was written by Dohkan Ohta who
had founded the great Yedo Castle. The big-time thief
said, "Yes, it is. This is the last of my stealing."
Long, long ago, a police was taking to a jail a
skin-headed bone who had committed a crime at a
distant place. On their way to Yedo where the jail
is, they had to stay at an inn overnight on the last
day. In the inn, the bonze made the police feel at
ease expressing his appreciation to police's
diligent attendance and kindness extended to him.
And, the bonze cunningly persuaded the police to
drink sake. The police got dead drunk and fell in
deep sleep. The bonze shaved the police's head,
removed the rope from his neck, moved it to the neck
of the police and run away. At midnight, when the
police woke up, he could not find the criminal. He
got completely confused. Unintentionally, he touched
his skin-head and found a rope around his neck. He
said. "Oh! he is surely right here. But where on earth have I gone?"
There was a man who lost his wife living by
himself. One day, when he was eating a lunch, he
found that a woman with a pale face wearing white
kimono appeared in front of the dining table
gracefully. To his surprise, she was his dead wife.
He asked her why she visited him suddenly. She
answered that she could not suppress her desire and
appeared like this as she had been eager to see
after missing him long long time ago. He asked her
why she appeared in the daytime as ghosts appear at
midnight usually. Bathed in tears, she said to him.
"Oh! honey. I'm too scared of
There was an expert that was very good at running
but absolutely poor at anything else. One day, when he was
chasing a robber, he met his friend who was walking
towards him. The friend asked him what was he doing.
He said that he was chasing after a robber. The
friend asked where the robbber was. He said. "Wow!,
he is running far behind me.
At midnight, long, long ago, a burglar sneaked into
a house. He searched the rooms for something
valuable, but he could not find anything at all; no
clothes in any chest of drawers, no rice in a rice
bin, no miso in a miso receptacle. He was thoroughly
dumbfounded by the povety. The burglar gently swayed
and raised the couple out of sleep. Taking some
money out of his pocket, he said to them. "I broke
into your house to steal, but I was so surprised by
your extreme poverty. I feel pity for you. I will
give this money in charity." He gave it to them. The
pair raised the gift above their heads. The burglar
left there in a happy frame of mind. While. on his
way back, the burglar found that somebody was
chasing him callng in a loud voice, "Mr. Nurglar,"
"Mr. Nurglar," "Mr. Nurglar." The burglar stppped
and stood in readiness to see what the matter was.
Showing a tobacco pouch in his hand, the man said,
"You forget to bring this, Sir. "
Long, long ago in Yedo era, the Kandagawa flooded.
The wholesalers' firewoods heaped up mountain-)high
the upriver area were wholly carried away all at
once. Finding this, the loafers living downstream
pcked them up with fire hooks one after another. As
a result, the loafers became rich wholesalers, and
on the other hand, the wholesalers became loafers,
the Bane of Life
Two men were talking one another. "I think that the
money is the bane of life. How do you think of it?"
"Absolutely. There are fellows who lost their lives
because if money, so I always spend all the money
when it comes to me." "Well, that's better. the best
is to do away with oney......, but I've not met the
bane for a long time." Both of them heavily sighed.
In April, Ueno Hill is crowded by many visitors who
enjoy viewing cherry blossoms. The daughter pf a
magnate at low-lying area went to the hill to see
cherry blossoms in full bloom, followed by her
maidservants. She was very much proud of her looks,
and while they were walking, she spoke unfavorably
of the other women they met on the way to the hill;
she was too short, she was too tall, her lips were
small but nose was too big, her skin was dark, her
forehead was too broad, etc., etc., etc. On the way
back, they stopped at Shinobazu Pond, where she
found her figure mirrored in the lake. She said.
"She is not so pretty at all, either."
A mendicant priest staood in front of the house
playing a shakuhachi. A man in the house told the
priest to pass. By saying "Pass", he meant that the
priest should leave there as he had no money to
"If so, excuse me", The priest said and got into the
house. Surprised by this, the man said "I told you
to pass." Saying "If so, excuse me ," the priest got
into his house further. He got mad at the priest and said
harshly "Wow, you pass." Saying, "If so, excuse me
," the priest further proceeded his way into his
rooms further. Entirely embarrassed, the man
shouted, "Pass. Go away." Then, the priest left back
door, saying "If so, excuse me ."
2 large inns stood opposite to each other, competing
the abilities to attract customers. Oneday, t the
master of one of them who had been managing to
increase his customers bought a strpng magmet and
put it in front of his inn. His wife wondered and
asked him what it was for. He told her to keep it
secret explaining anything to her.Soon, a traveller was coming up to the inns. The
master approached the traveller from the back and
sprinkled iron powder on his shoulder. The traveler
was pulled by the magnet and entered the inn. The
inn was getting more and more prosperous. On the
other hand, the master pf the inn at opposite side
who lost lots of his jis customers undrstood the
fact He bought the same magnet and set it in front
of the entrance of his inn, too.
Then, a strange thig happened. A traveler between
the inns could not move at all at the center of the
road, being pulled by the magnets from both sides .
The master of the small inn which was next to
another one approached the travelr and brushed away
the iron powder from the traveler' shoulder. He
could easily obtain and lead a new customer to his
Long, long ago, there was a married couple. One day,
their neighbor gave them a cake called manjyu. Both
of them were very much fond of it and wanted to
monopolize it. The husband offered his wife to make
an outstaring game, saying that the either one that
won the game can eat it whole. She accepted his
While they were staring one another, putting the
cake bietween them, a robber sneaked into the room.
Even though they realized this intruder, they still
continued the game. The robber easily searched for
the closet and stealed many expensive things and
Unable to endure any longer, the wife screamed
accusing her husband why he did't blame the robber.
Sneering, he picked up the cake and said,
"I won. This manjyu is mine."
How Do You
Long, long ago, there lived a man who had lost his
eyesight in his childhood. He has been desperately
wanting to see his wife and children as well as all
the things. One day, he decided his mind to devote
to Benten in a shrine nearby his residence. He
stayed and prayed there for 7 days and nights. After
7 days all of a sudden, his eye trouble was cured.
He was in rapture with deeo thanks to his godess
and began to walk towards his residence. Bit he
could not tell in which direction his housewas. so
he closed his eyes again and managed to reach his
house. Getting into the entrance, he opemed his
eyes, when he found a very beautiful lady. He asked
her if she was his wife. She said with radiant smile.
"How do you do? I am very happy that we see for the
I Go On
Long, long ago, there was a very rich but too stingy
man. He has been ill for a long time, and he felt
that he might die pretty soon. So he called all of
his family to his bed room as he wanted to say his
firm will to his family.
He said to them.
"For the repair and reconstruction of the temple, I
have contributed lots and lots of money, but so far
I have not any return at all. So, even if I died,
you never ever spend any excessive money.
Everybody attending there said that they were to
follow his will and carry it out for sure. One of
them asked how they should do with his funeral,
"Yet, shall we prepare a bier?"
"No, don't do it because I have to pay the money to
the laborers who carry the bier"
"Okay, then, shall we have a cow carry the coffin?"
"No. That costs for ca aw too."
"Then, how about two persons shoulder it?"
"No, I don't like it because I have to pay for those
All the family attended there was entirely at a
loss. Then, the youngest little grand daughter said
"Grandpa, you walk for your self?"
"That's it. Yes, I go on foot"
The boy who paid a visit to Asakusa Kannon came back
abd said to his father.
"Dad, I deeply prayed today, and on my way back, I
found a lost wonderful mirror by the roadside of
"Oh, yeah! and then?"
"I asked people around there if they had any idea of
the person who had lost it. But nobody knew."
"That must be a Kannon's gift for you. You picked it
up, didn't you?" "No, dad."
"Why didn't you bring back the good fortune?" "Well, I bent down to pick it up, but I stopped."
"'Cause, someone in the mirror was staring at me."
A man talked to children in a know-it-all manner.
"The animals that have broken hooves run rapidly,
For example, do you know, rhinos living in faraway
"Yeah, isn't it like the one with a horn nose?" said
"Yes, you are correct, It dashes like an arrow
because of the broken hooves" said the man.
"Oh! if so, what happens to horses that have not
broken hooves? They run very fast" said an other
"Well, it is only because the hooves are not broken
that persons can ride on. If the hooves were broken,
it is a terribke fuss to ride on horses, as they
move far faster than the eye could follow" said the
Then, another boy said.
"Oh! What happened to caws? Whey are slow even
though their hooves are broken. Why?"
"Good. The reason caws can only walk very slowly is
because their hooves are broken, otherwise they can
not even move." said the man.
A Wolf's Fiasco
A hungry wolf came down the mountains.
tat tat tat
tat tat tat tat tat
He heard the sound of footsteps of an express
It's in the bag! -- he thought and awaited at the
center of the ro ad widely opening his big mouth.
tat tat tat
The messenger jumped into his mouth
glancing aside and run through his body,
with a pop, getting out of the
the messenger left there quickly
.Looking back, the wolf murmured. "Regretful, I should have worn a breechclout."