Of a Promise Kept
"I SHALL return in the early autumn," said Akana Soyemon several hundred years ago,―when bidding good-bye to his brother by adoption, young Hasebe Samon. The time was spring; and the place was the village of Kato in the province of Harima. Akana was an Izumo samurai; and he wanted to visit his birthplace.
Hasebe said:―
"Your Izumo,―the Country of the Eight-Cloud Rising,―is very distant. Perhaps it will therefore be difficult for you to promise to return here upon any particular day. But, if we were to know the exact day, we should feel happier. We could then prepare a feast of welcome; and we could watch at the gateway for your coming."
"Why, as for that," responded Akana, "I have been so much accustomed to travel that I can usually tell beforehand how long it will take me to reach a place; and I can safely promise you to be here upon a particular day. Suppose we say the day of the festival Choyo?"
"That is the ninth day of the ninth month," said Hasebe;―"then the chrysanthemums will be in bloom, and we can go together to look at them. How pleasant!... So you promise to come back on the ninth day of the ninth month?"
"On the ninth day of the ninth month," repeated Akana, smiling farewell. Then he strode away from the village of Kato in the province of Harima;―and Hasebe Samon and the mother of Hasebe looked after him with tears in their eyes.
"Neither the Sun nor the Moon," says an old Japanese proverb, "ever halt upon their journey." Swiftly the months went by; and the autumn came,―the season of chrysanthemums. And early upon the morning of the ninth day of the ninth month Hasebe prepared to welcome his adopted brother. He made ready a feast of good things, bought wine, decorated the guest-room, and filled the vases of the alcove with chrysanthemums of two colors. Then his mother, watching him, said:―"The province of Izumo, my son, is more than one hundred ri from this place; and the journey thence over the mountains is difficult and weary; and you cannot be sure that Akana will be able to come to-day. Would it not be better, before you take all this trouble, to wait for his coming?" "Nay, mother!" Hasebe made answer―"Akana promised to be here to-day: he could not break a promise! And if he were to see us beginning to make preparation after his arrival, he would know that we had doubted his word; and we should be put to shame."
The day was beautiful, the sky without a cloud, and the air so pure that the world seemed to be a thousand miles wider than usual. In the morning many travellers passed through the village―some of them samurai; and Hasebe, watching each as he came, more than once imagined that he saw Akana approaching. But the temple-bells sounded the hour of midday; and Akana did not appear. Through the afternoon also Hasebe watched and waited in vain. The sun set; and still there was no sign of Akana. Nevertheless Hasebe remained at the gate, gazing down the road. Later his mother went to him, and said:―"The mind of a man, my son,― as our proverb declares―may change as quickly as the sky of autumn. But your chrysanthemum-flowers will still be fresh to-morrow. Better now to sleep; and in the morning you can watch again for Akana, if you wish." "Rest well, mother," returned Hasebe;―"but I still believe that he will come." Then the mother went to her own room; and Hasebe lingered at the gate.
The right was pure as the day had been: all the sky throbbed with stars; and the white River of Heaven shimmered with unusual splendor. The village slept;― the silence was broken only by the noise of a little brook, and by the far-away barking of peasants' dogs. Hasebe still waited,―waited until he saw the thin moon sink behind the neighboring hills. Then at last he began to doubt and to fear. Just as he was about to re-enter the house, he perceived in the distance a tall man approaching,―very lightly and quickly; and in the next moment he recognized Akana.
"Oh!" cried Hasbe, springing to meet him―"I have been waiting for you from the morning until now!... So you really did keep your promise after all.... But you must be tired, poor brother!―come in;―everything is ready for you." He guided Akana to the place of honor in the guest-room, and hastened to trim the lights, which were burning low. "Mother," continued Hasebe, "felt a little tired this evening, and she has already gone to bed; but I shall awaken her presently." Akana shook his head, and made a little gesture of disapproval. "As you will, brother," said Hasebe; and he set warm food and wine before the traveller. Akana did not touch the food or the wine, but remained motionless and silent for a short time. Then, speaking in a whisper,―as if fearful of awakening the mother, he said:―
"Now I must tell you how it happened that I came thus late. When I returned to Izumo I found that the people had almost forgotten the kindness of our former ruler, the good Lord Enya, and were seeking the favor of the usurper Tsunehisa, who had possessed himself of the Tonda Castle. But I had to visit my cousin, Akana Tanji, though he had accepted service under Tsunehisa, and was living, as a retainer, within the castle grounds. He persuaded me to present myself before Tsunehisa: I yielded chiefly in order to observe the character of the new ruler, whose face I had never seen. He is a skilled soldier, and of great courage; but he is cunning and cruel. I found it necessary to let him know that I could never enter into his service. After I left his presence he ordered my cousin to detain me―to keep me confined within the house. I protested that I had promised to return to Harima upon the ninth day of the ninth month; but I was refused permission to go. I then hoped to escape from the castle at night; but I was constantly watched; and until to-day I could find no way to fulfil my promise...."
"Until to-day!" exclaimed Hasebe in bewilderment;― "the castle is more than a hundred ri from here!"
"Yes," returned Akana; "and no living man can travel on foot a hundred ri in one day. But I felt that, if I did not keep my promise, you could not think well of me; and I remembered the ancient proverb, Tama yoku ichi nichi ni sen ri wo yuku ["The soul of a man can journey a thousand ri in a day"]. Fortunately I had been allowed to keep my sword;―thus only was I able to come to you.... Be good to our mother."
With these words he stood up, and in the same instant disappeared.
 Then Hasebe knew that Akana had killed himself in order to fulfil the promise.
 At earliest dawn Hasebe Samon set out for the Castle Tonda, in the province of Izumo. Reaching Matsue, he there learned that, on the night of the ninth day of the ninth month, Akana Soyemon had performed harakiri in the house of Akana Tanji, in the grounds of the castle. Then Hasebe went to the house of Akana Tanji, and reproached Akana Tanji for the treachery done, and slew him in the midst of his family, and escaped without hurt. And when the Lord Tsunehisa had heard the story, he gave commands that Hasebe should not be pursued. For, although an unscrupulous and cruel man himself, the Lord Tsunehisa could respect the love of truth in others, and could admire the friendship and the courage of Hasebe Samon.
Of a Promise Broken
"I AM not afraid to die," said the dying wife;―"there is only one thing that troubles me now. I wish that I could know who will take my place in this house."
"My dear one," answered the sorrowing husband, "nobody shall ever take your place in my home. I will never, never marry again."
At the time that he said this he was speaking out of his heart; for he loved the woman whom he was about tolose.
"On the faith of a samurai?" she questioned, with a feeble smile.
"On the faith of a samurai," he responded,-stroking the pale thin face.
"Then, my dear one," she said, "you will let me be buried in the garden,-will you not?-near those plum-trees that we planted at the further end? I wanted long ago to ask this; but I thought, that if you were to marry again, you would not like to have my grave so near you. Now you have promised that no other woman shall take my place;-so I need not hesitate to speak of my wish.... I want so much to be buried in the garden! I think that in the garden I should sometimes hear your voice, and that I should still be able to see the flowers in the spring."
"It shall be as you wish," he answered. "But do not now speak of burial: you are not so ill that we have lost all hope."
"I have," she returned;-"I shall die this morning.... But you will bury me in the garden?"
"Yes," he said,-"under the shade of the plum-trees that we planted;-and you shall have a beautiful tomb there."
"And will you give me a little bell?"
"Bell-? "
"Yes.. I want you to put a little bell in the coffin,- such a little bell as the Buddhist pilgrims carry. Shall I have it?"
"You shall have the little bell,-and anything else that you wish."
"I do not wish for anything else," she said.... "My dear one, you have been very good to me always. Now I can die happy."
Then she closed her eyes and died-as easily as a tired child falls asleep. She looked beautiful when she was dead; and there was a smile upon her face.
She was buried in the garden, under the shade of the trees that she loved; and a small bell was buried with her. Above the grave was erected a handsome monument, decorated with the family
crest, and bearing the kaimyo:-"Great Elder Slster, Luminous-
Shadow-of-the-Plum-flower-Chamber, dwelling in the Mansion of the Great Sea of Compassion."
  ・ ・ ・ ・ ・ ・ 
But, within a twelve-month after the death of his wife, the relatives and friends of the samurai began to insist that he should marry again. "You are still a young man," they said, "and an only son; and you have no children. It is the duty of a samurai to marry. If you die childless, who will there be to make the offerings and to remember the ancestors?"
By many such representations he was at last persuaded to marry again. The bride was only seventeen years old; and he found that he could love her dearly, notwithstanding the dumb reproach of the tomb in the garden.
NOTHING took place to disturb the happiness of the young wife until the seventh day after the wedding,-when her husband was ordered to undertake certain duties requiring his presence at the castle by night. On the first evening that he was obliged to leave her alone, she felt uneasy in a way that she could not explain,-vaguely afraid without knowing why. When she went to bed she could not sleep. There was a strange oppression in the air,-an indefinable heaviness like that which sometimes precedes the coming of a storm.
About the Hour of the Ox she heard, outside in the night, the clanging of a bell,-a Buddhist pilgrim's bell;-and she wondered what pilgrim could be passing through the samurai quarter at such a time. Presently, after a pause, the bell sounded much nearer. Evidently the pilgrim was approaching the house;-but why approaching from the rear, where no road was?... Suddenly the dogs began to whine and howl in an unusual and horrible way;-and a fear came upon her like the fear of dreams.... That ringing was certainly in the garden.... She tried to get up to waken a servant. But she found that she could not rise,-could not move,-could not call.... And nearer, and still more near, came the clang of the bell;-and oh! how the dogs howled!... Then, lightly as a shadow steals, there glided into the room a Woman,-though every door stood fast, and every screen unmoved,-a Woman robed in a grave-robe, and carrying a pilgrim's bell. Eyeless she came,-because she had long been dead,.-and her loosened hair streamed down about her face;-and she looked without eyes through the tangle of it, and spoke without a tongue:-
"Not in this house,-not in this house shall you stay! Here I am mistress still. You shall go; and you shall tell to none the reason of your going. If you tell HIM, I will tear you into pieces!"
So speaking, the haunter vanished. The bride became senseless with fear. Until the dawn she so remained.
Nevertheless, in the cheery light of day, she doubted the reality of what she had seen and heard. The memory of the warning still weighed upon her so heavily that she did not dare to speak of the vision, either to her husband or to any one else; but she was almost able to persuade herself that she had only dreamed an ugly dream, which had made her ill.
On the following night, however, she could not doubt. Again, at the Hour of the Ox, the dogs began to howl and whine;-again the bell resounded,-approaching slowly from the garden;-again the listener vainly strove to rise and call;-again the dead came into the room, and hissed,-
"You shall go; and you shall tell to no one why you must go! If you even whisper it to HIM, I wilt tear you in pieces!"...
This time the haunter came close to the couch,-and bent and muttered and mowed above it....
Next morning, when the samurai returned from the castle, his young wife prostrated herself before him in supplication:-
"I beseech you," she said, "to pardon my ingratitude and my great rudeness in thus addressing you: but I want to go home;-I want to go away at once."
"Are you not happy here?" he asked, in sincere surprise. "Has any one dared to be unkind to you during my absence?"
"It is not that-" she answered, sobbing. "Everybody here has been only too good to me.... But I cannot continue to be your wife;-I must go away...."
"My dear," he exclaimed, in great astonislment, "it is very painful to know that you have had any cause for unhappiness in this house. But I cannot even imagine why you should want to go away-unless somebody has been very unkind to you.... Surely you do not mean that you wish for a divorce?"
She responded, trembling and weeping,-
"If you do not give me a divorce, I shall die!"
He remained for a little while silent,-vainly trying to think of some cause for this amazing declaration. Then, without betraying any emotion, he made answer:-
"To send you back now to your people, without any fault on your part, would seem a shameful act. If you will tell me a good reason for your wish,-any reason that will enable me to explain matters honorably,-I can write you a divorce. But unless you give me a reason, a good reason, I will not divorce you,-for the honor of our house must be kept above reproach."
And then she felt obliged to speak; and she told him everything,-adding, in an agony of terror,- "Now that I have let you know, she will kill me!-she will kill me!..."
Although a brave man, and little inclined to believe in phantoms, the samurai was more than startled for the moment. But a simple and natural explanation of the matter soon presented itself to his mind.
"My dear," he said, "you are now very nervous; and I fear that some one has been telling you foolish stories. I cannot give you a divorce merely because you have had a bad dream in this house. But I am very sorry indeed that you should have been suffering in such a way during my absence. To-night, also, I must be at the castle; but you shall not be alone. I will order two of the retainers to keep watch in your room; and you will be able to sleep in peace. They are good men; and they will take all possible care of you."
Then he spoke to her so considerately and so affectionately that she became almost ashamed of her terrors, and resolved to remain in the house.
THE two retainers left in charge of the young wife were big, brave, simple-hearted men,-experienced guardians of women and children. They told the bride pleasant stories to keep her cheerful. She talked with them a long time, laughed at their good-humored fun, and almost forgot her fears. When at last she lay down to sleep, the men-at-arms took their places in a corner of the room, behind a screen, and began a game of go,-speaking only in whispers, that she might not be disturbed. She slept like an infant.
But again at the Hour of the Ox she awoke with a moan of terror,-for she heard the bell!... It was already near, and was coming nearer. She started up; she screamed;-but in the room there was no stir,-only a silence as of death,-a silence growing,-a silence thickening. She rushed to the men-at-arms: they sat before their checker-table,-motionless,-each staring at the other with fixed eyes. She shrieked to them: she shook them: they remained as if frozen....
Afterwards they said that they had heard the bell,-heard also the cry of the bride,-even felt her try to shake them into wakefulness;-and that, nevertheless, they had not been able to move or speak. From the same moment they had ceased to hear or to see: a black sleep had seized upon them.
   ・  ・  ・  ・  ・  ・
Entering his bridal-chamber at dawn, the samurai beheld, by the light of a dying lamp, the headless body of his young wife, lying in a pool of blood. Still squatting before their unfinished game, the two retainers slept. At their master's cry they sprang up, and stupidly stared at the horror on the floor....
The head was nowhere to be seen;-and the hideous wound showed that it had not been cut off, but torn off. A trail of blood led from the chamber to an angle of the outer gallery, where the storm-doors appeared to have been riven apart. The three men followed that trail into the garden,-over reaches of grass;.-over spaces of sand,-along the bank of an iris-bordered pond,- under heavy shadowings of cedar and bamboo. And suddenly, at a turn, they found themselves face to face with a nightmare-thing that chippered like a bat: the figure of the long-buried woman, erect before her tomb,-in one hand clutching a bell, in the other the dripping head.... For a moment the three stood numbed. Then one of the men-at-arms, uttering a Buddhist invocation, drew, and struck at the shape. Instantly it crumbled down upon the soil,-an empty scattering of grave-rags, bones, and hair;-and the bell rolled clanking out of the ruin. But the fleshless right hand, though parted from the wrist, still writhed;-and its angers still gripped at the bleeding head,-and tore, and mangled,-as the claws of the yellow crab cling fast to a fallen fruit....
                *  *
["That is a wicked story," I said to the friend who had related it. "The vengeance of the dead-if taken at all-should have been taken upon the man."
"Men think so," he made answer. "But that is not the way that a woman feels...."
He was right.]
Before the Supreme Court
THE great Buddhist priest, Mongaku Shonin, says in his book Kyo-gyo Shin-sho:-"Many of those gods whom the people worship are unjust gods [jajin]: therefore such gods are not worshipped by persons who revere the Three Precious Things. And even persons who obtain favors from those gods, in answer to prayer, usually find at a later day that such favors cause misfortune." This truth is well exemplified by a story recorded in the book Nihon-Rei-Iki.
During the time of the Emperor Shomu there lived in the district called Yamadagori, in the province of Sanuki, a man named Fushiki no Shin. He had but one child, a daughter called Kinume. Kinume was a fine-1ooking girl, and very strong; but, shortly after she had reached her eighteenth year, a dangerous sickness began to prevail in that part of the country, and she was attacked by it. Her parents and friends then made offerings on her behalf to a certain Pest-God, and performed great austerities in honor of the Pest-God,-beseeching him to save her.
After having lain in a stupor for several days, the sick girl one evening came to herself, and told her parents a dream that she had dreamed. She had dreamed that the Pest-God appeared to her, and said:-"Your people have been praying to me so earnestly for you, and have been worshipping me so devoutly, that I really wish to save you. But I cannot do so except by giving you the life of some other person. Do you happen to know of any other girl who has the same name as yours?" "I remember," answered Kinume, "that in Utarigori there is a girl whose name is the same as mine." "Point her out to me," the God said, touching the sleeper;-and at the touch she rose into the air with him; and, in less than a second, the two were in front of the house of the other Kinume, in Utarigori. It was night; but the family had not yet gone to bed, and the daughter was washing something in the kitchen. "That is the girl," said Kinume of Yamadagori. The Pest-God took out of a scarlet bag at his girdle a long sharp instrument shaped like a chisel; and, entering the house, he drove the sharp instrument into the forehead of Kinume of Utarigori. Then Kinume of Utarigori sank to the floor in great agony; and Kinume of Yamadagori awoke, and related the dream.
Immediately after having related it, however, she again fell into a stupor. For three days she remained without knowledge of the world,. and her parents began to despair of her recovery. Then once more she opened her eyes, and spoke. But almost in the same moment she rose from her bed, looked wildly about the room, and rushed out of the house, exclaiming:-"This is not my home!-you are not my parents!"...
Something strange had happened.
Kinume of Utarigori had died after having been stricken by the Pest-God. Her parents sorrowed greatly; and the priests of their parish-temple performed a Buddhist service for her; and her body was burned in a field outside the village. Then her spirit descended to the Meido, the world of the dead, and was summoned to the tribunal of Emma-Dai-O,-the King and Judge of Souls. But no sooner had the Judge cast eyes upon her than he exclaimed:-"This girl is the Utarigori-Kinume: she ought not to have been brought here so soon! Send her back at once to the Shaba-world, and fetch me the other Kinume,-the Yamadagori gir1!" Then the spirit of Kinume of Utarigori made moan before King Emma, and complained, saying:-"Great Lord, it is more than three days since I died; and by this time my body must have been burned; and, if you now send me back to the Shaba-world, what shall I do? My body has been changed into ashes and smoke;-I shall have no body!" "Do not be anxious," the terrible King answered;-"I am going to give you the body of Kinume of Yamadagori,-for her spirit must be brought here to me at once. You need not fret about the burning of your body: you will find the body of the other Kinume very much better." And scarcely had he finished speaking when the spirit of Knume of Utarigori revived in the body of Knume of Yamadagori.
Now when the parents of Kinume of Yamadagori saw their sick girl spring up and run away, exclaiming, "This is not my home!"-they imagined her to be out of her mind, and they ran after her, calling out:-"Kinume, where are you going?-wait for a moment, child! you are much too ill to run like that!" But she escaped from them, and ran on without stopping, until she came to Utarigori, and to the house of the family of the dead Kinume. There she entered, and found the old people; and she saluted them, crying:-"Oh, how pleasant to be again at home!... Is it well with you, dear parents?" They did not recognize her, and thought her mad; but the mother spoke to her kindly, asking:-"Where have you come from, child?" "From the Meido I have come," Knume made answer. "l am your own child, Kinume, returned to you from the dead. But I have now another body, mother." And she related all that had happened; and the old people wondered exceedingly, yet did not know what to believe. Presently the parents of Kinume of Yamadagori also came to the house, looking for their daughter; and then the two fathers and the two mothers consulted together, and made the girl repeat her story, and questioned her over and over again. But she replied to every question in such a way that the truth of her statements could not be doubted. At last the mother of the Yamadagori Kinume, after having related the strange dream which her sick daughter had dreamed, said to the parents of the Utarigori Knume:-"We are satisfied that the spirit of this girl is the spirit of your child. But you know that her body is the body of our child; and we think that both families ought to have a share in her. So we would ask you to agree that she be considered hence-forward the daughter of both families." To this proposal the Utarigori parents joyfully consented; and it is recorded that in after-time Knume inherited the property of both households.
"This story," says the Japanese author of the Bukkyo Hyakkwa Zensho, "may be found on the left side of the twelfth sheet of the first volume of the Nihon-Rei-Iki."
The Story of Umetsu Chubei
UMETSU CHUBEI was a young samurai of great stength and courage. He was in the service of the Lord Tomura Judayu, whose castle stood upon a lofty hill in the neighborhood of Yokote, in the province of Dewa. The houses of the lord's retainers formed a small town at the base of the hill.
Umetsu was one of those selected for night-duty at the castle-gates. There were two night-watches;-the first beginning at sunset and ending at midnight; the second beginning at midnight and ending at sunrise.
Once, when Umetsu happened to be on the second watch, he met with a strange adventure. While ascending the hill at midnight, to take his place on guard, he perceived a woman standing at the last upper turn of the winding road leading to the castle. She appeared to have a child in her arms, and to be waiting for somebody. Only the most extraordinary circumstances could account for the presence of a woman in that lonesome place at so late an hour; and Umetsu remembered that goblins were wont to assume feminine shapes after dark, in order to deceive and destroy men. He therefore doubted whether the seeming woman before him was really a human being; and when he saw her hasten towards him, as if to speak, he intended to pass her by without a word. But he was too much surprised to do so when the woman called him by name, and said, in a very sweet voice:-"Good Sir Umetsu, to-night I am in great trouble, and I have a most painful duty to perform: will you not kindly help me by holding this baby for one little moment?" And she held out the child to him.
Umetsu did not recognize the woman, who appeared to be very young: he suspected the charm of the strange voice, suspected a supernatural snare, suspected everything;-but he was naturally kind; and he felt that it would be unmanly to repress a kindly impulse through fear of goblins. Without replying, he took the child. "Please hold it till I come back," said the woman: "I shall return in a very little while." "I will hold it," he answered; and immediately the woman turned from him, and, leaving the road, sprang soundlessly down the hill so lightly and so quickly that he could scarcely believe his eyes. She was out of sight in a few seconds.
Umetsu then first looked at the child. It was very small, and appeared to have been just born. It was very still in his hands; and it did not cry at all.
Suddenly it seemed to be growing larger. He looked at it again.... No: it was the same small creature; and it had not even moved. Why had he imagined that it was growing larger?
In another moment he knew why;-and he felt a chill strike through him. The Child was not growing larger; but it was growing heavier.... At first it had seemed to weigh only seven or eight pounds: then its weight had gradually doubled-tripled-quadrupled. Now it could not weigh less than fifty pounds;-and still it was getting heavier and heavier.... A hundred pounds!-a hundred and fifty!-two hundred!... Umetsu knew that he had been deluded,-that he had not been speaking with any mortal woman,-that the child was not human. But he had made a promise; and a samurai was bound by his promise. So he kept the infant in his arms; and it continued to grow heavier and heavier... two hundred and fifty!-three hundred!-four hundred pounds!... What was going to happen he could not imagine; but he resolved not to be afraid, and not to let the child go while his strength lasted.... Five hundred!-five hundred and fifty!-six hundred pounds! All his muscles began to quiver with the strain;-and still the weight increased.... "Namu Amida Butsu!" he groaned-,Namu Amida Butsu!-Namu Amida Butsu!" Even as he uttered the holy invocation for the third time, the weight passed away from him with a shock; and he stood stupefied, with empty hands,-for the child had unaccountably disappeared. But almost in the same instant he saw the mysterious woman returning as quickly as she had gone. Still panting she came to him; and he then first saw that she was very fair;-but her brow dripped with sweat; and her sleeves were bound back with tasuki-cords, as if she had been working hard.
"Kind Sir Umetsu," she said, "you do not know how great a service you have done me. I am the Ujigami of this place; and to-night one of my ujiko found herself in the pains of childbirth, and prayed to me for aid. But the labor proved to be very difficult; and I soon saw that, by my own power alone, I might not be able to save her:-therefore I sought for the help of your strength and courage. And the child that I laid in yours hands was the child that had not yet been born; and iri the time that you first felt the child becoming heavie and heavier, the danger was very great,-for the Gate of Birth were closed. And when you felt the child become so heavy that you despaired of being able to bear the weight much longer,-in that same moment the mother seemed to be dead, and the family wept for her. Then you three times repeated the prayer, Namu Amida Butsu!-and the third time that you uttered it the power of the Lord Buddha came to our aid, and the Gates of Birth were opened.... And for that which you have done you shall be fitly rewarded. To a brave samurai no gift can be more serviceable than strength: therefore, not only to you, but likewise to your children and to your children's children, great strength shall be given."
And, with this promise, the divinity disappeared.
Umetsu Chubei, wondering greatly, resumed his way to the castle. At sunrise, on being relieved from duty, he proceeded as usual to wash his face and hands before making his morning prayer. But when he began to wring the towel which had served him, he was surprised to feel the tough material snap asunder in his hands. He attempted to twist together the separated portions; and again the stuff parted-like so much wet paper. He tried to wring the four thicknesses; and the result was the same. Presently, after handling various objects of bronze and of iron which yielded to his touch like clay, he understood that he had come into full possession of the great strength promised, and that he would have to be careful thenceforward when touching things, lest they should crumble in his angers.
On retuming home, he made inquiry as to whether any child had been born in the settlement during the night. Then he learned that a birth had actually taken place at the very hour of his adventure, and that the circumstances had been exactly as related to him by the Ujigami.
The children of Umetsu Chubei inherited their father's strength. Several of his descendants-all remarkably powerful men-were still living in the province of Dewa at the time when this story was written.
The Story of Kogi the Priest
NEARLY one thousand years ago there lived in the famous temple called Miidera, at Otsu in the province of Omi, a learned priest named Kogi. He was a great artist. He painted, with almost equal skill, pictures of the Buddhas, pictures of beautiful scenery, and pictures of animals or birds; but he liked best to paint fishes. Whenever the weather was fair, and religious duty permitted, he would go to Lake Biwa, and hire fishermen to catch fish for him, without injuring them in any way, so that he could paint them afterwards as they swam about in a large vessel of water. After having made pictures of them, and fed them like pets, he would set them free again,―taking them back to the lake himself. His pictures of fish at last became so famous that people travelled from great distances to see them. But the most wonderful of all his drawings of fish was not drawn from life, but was made from the memory of a dream. For one day, as he sat by the lake―side to watch the fishes swimming, Kogi had fallen into a doze, and had dreamed that he was playing with the fishes under the water. After he awoke, the memory of the dream remained so clear that he was able to paint it; and this painting, which he hung up in the alcove of his own room in the temple,he called "Dream-Carp."
Kogi could never be persuaded to sell any of pictures of fish. He was willing to part with his drawings of landscapes, of birds, or of flowers; but he said that he would not sell a picture of living fish to any one who was cruel enough to kill or to eat fish. And as the persons who wanted to buy his paintings were all fish―eaters, their offers of money could not tempt him.
 One summer Kogi fell sick; and after a week's illness he lost all power of speech and movement, so that he seemed to be dead. But after his funeral service had been performed, his disciples discovered some warmth in the body, and decided to postpone the burial for awhile, and to keep watch by the seeming corpse. In the afternoon of the same day he suddenly revived, and questioned the watchers, asking:―    
 "How long have I remained without knowledge of the world?"
 "More than three days," an acolyte made answer.
"We thought that you were dead; and this morning your friends and parishioners assembled in the temple for your funeral service. We performed the service; but afterwards, finding that your body was not altogether cold, we put off the burial; and now we are very glad that we did so."
 Kogi nodded approvingly: then he said:
 "I want some one of you to go immediately to the house of Taira no Suke, where the young men are having a feast at the present moment―(they are eating fish and drinking wine),―and say to them:―'Our master has revived; and he begs that you will be so good as to leave your feast, and to call upon him without delay, because he has a wonderful story to tell you.'... At the same time"―continued Kogi―"observe what Suke and his brothers are doing;―see whether they are not feasting as I say."
 Then an acolyte went at once to the house of Taira no Suke, and was surprised to find that Suke and his brother Juro, with their attendant, Kamori, were having a feast, just as Kogi had said. But, on receiving the message, all three immediately left their fish and wine, and hastened to the temple. Kogi, lying upon the couch to which he had been removed, received them with a smile of welcome; and, after some pleasant words had been exchanged, he said to Suke:―
 "Now, my friend, please reply to some questions that I am going to ask you. First of all, kindly tell me whether you did not buy a fish to-day from the fisherman Bunshi."
 "Why, yes," replied Suke―"but how did you know?"
 "Please wait a moment," said the priest.... "That fisherman Bunshi to-day entered your gate, with a fish three feet long in his basket: it was early in the afternoon, just after you and Juro had begun a game of go[#「go」は斜体字];―and Kamori was watching the game, and eating a peach―was he not?"
 "That is true," exclaimed Suke and Kamori togethther, with increasing surprise.
 "And when Kamori saw that big fish," proceeded Kogi, "he agreed to buy it at once; and, besides paying the price of the fish, he also gave Bunshi some peaches, in a dish, and three cups of wine. Then the cook was called; and he came and looked at the fish, and admired it; and then, by your order, he sliced it and prepared it for your feast.... Did not all this happen just as I have said?"
 "Yes," responded Suke; "but we are very much astonished that you should know what happened in our house to-day. Please tell us how you learned these matters."
 "Well, now for my story," said the priest. "You are aware that almost everybody believed me to be dead;―you yourselves attended my funeral service. But I did not think, three days ago, that I was at all dangerously ill: I remember only that I felt weak and very hot, and that I wanted to go out into the air to cool myself. And I thought that I got up from my bed, with a great effort, and went out,―supporting myself with a stick.... Perhaps this may have been imagination; but you will presently be able to judge the truth for yourselves: I am going to relate everything exactly as it appeared to happen.... As soon as I got outside of the house, into the bright air, I began to feel quite light,―light as a bird flying away from the net or the basket in which it has been confined. I wandered on and on till I reached the lake; and the water looked so beautiful and blue that I felt a great desire to have a swim. I took off my clothes, and jumped in, and began to swim about; and I was astonished to find that I could swim very fast and very skilfully,―although before my sickness I had always been a very poor swimmer.... You think that I am only telling you a foolish dream―but listen!... While I was wondering at this new skill of mine, I perceived many beautiful fishes swimming below me and around me; and I felt suddenly envious of their happiness,― reflecting that, no matter how good a swimmer a man may become, he never can enjoy himself under the water as a fish can. Just then, a very big fish lifted its head above the surface in front of me, and spoke to me with the voice of a man, saying:―'That wish of you can very easily be satisfied: please wait there a moment!' The fish then went down, out of sight; and I waited. After a few minutes there came up, from the bottom of the lake,―riding on the back of the same big fish that had spoken to me,―a man wearing the headdress and the ceremonial robes of a prince; and the man said to me:―'I come to you with a message from the Dragon-King, who knows of your desire to enjoy for a little time the condition of a fish. As you have saved the lives of many fish, and have always shown compassion to living creatures, the God now bestows upon you the attire of the Golden Carp, so that you will be able to enjoy the pleasures of the Water-World. But you must be very careful not to eat any fish, or any food prepared from fish,―no matter how nice may be the smell of it;―and you must also take great care not to get caught by the fishermen, or to hurt your body in any way.'With these words, the messenger and his fish went below and vanished in the deep water. I looked at myself, and saw that my whole body had become covered with scales that shone like gold;―I saw that I had fins;―I found that I had actually been changed into a Golden Carp. Then I knew that I could swim wherever I pleased.
 "Thereafter it seemed to me that I swam away, and visited many beautiful places. [Here, in the original narrative, are introduced some verses describing the Eight Famous Attractions of the Lake of Omi,?"Omi-Hakkei."][#「Here」から「Omi-Hakkei」までは斜体字] sometimes I was satisfied only to look at the sunlight dancing over the blue water, or to admire the beautiful reflection of hills and trees upon still surfaces sheltered from the wind.... I remember especially the coast of an island―either Okitsushima or Chikubushima―reflected in the water like a red wall.... Sometimes I would approach the shore so closely that I could see the faces and hear the voices of people passing by; sometimes I would sleep on the water until startled by the sound of approaching oars. At night there were beautiful moonlight―views; but I was frightened more than once by the approaching torchfires of the fishing―boats of Katase. When the weather was bad, I would go below,―far down,―even a thousand feet,―and play at the bottom of the lake. But after two or three days of this wandering pleasure, I began to feel very hungry; and I returned to this neighborhood in the hope of finding something to eat. Just at that time the fisherman Bunshi happened to be fishing;and I approached the hook which he had let down into the water. There was some fish―food upon it that was good to smell. I remembered in the same moment the warning of the Dragon-Kng, and swam away, saying to myself:―'ln any event I must not eat food containing fish;―I am a disciple of the Buddha. Yet after a little while my hunger became so intense that I could not resist the temptation; and I swam back again to the hook, thinking,―'Even if Bunshi should catch me, he would not hurt me;―he is my old friend.' I was not able to loosen the bait from the hook; and the pleasant smell of the food was too much for my patience; and I swallowed the whole thing at a gulp. Immediately after I did so, Bunshi pulled in his line, and caught me. I cried out to him, 'What are you doing?―you hurt me!'―but he did not seem to hear me, and he quickly put a string through my jaws. Then he threw me into his basket, and took me to your house. When the basket was opened there, I saw you and Juro playing go in the south room, and Kamori watching you―eating a peach the while. All of you presently came out upon the veranda to look at me; and you were delighted to see such a big fish. I called out to you as loud as I could:―'I am not a fish!―I am Kogi―Kogi the priest! please let me go back to my temple!, But you clapped your hands for gladness, and paid no attention to my words. Then your cook carried me into the kitchen, and threw me down violently upon a cutting―board, where a terribly sharp knife was lying. With his left hand he pressed me down, and with his right hand he took up that knife,―and I screamed to him:―'How can you kill me so cruelly! I am a disciple of the Buddha!―help! help!' But in the same instant I felt his knife dividing me―a frightful pain!―and then I suddenly awoke, and found myself here in the temple."
 When the priest had thus finished his story, the brothers wondered at it; and Suke said to him:―"I now remember noticing that the jaws of the fish were moving all the time that we were looking at it; but we did not hear any voice.... Now I must send a servant to the house with orders to throw the remainder of that fish into the lake."
 Kogi soon recovered from his illness, and lived to paint many more pictures. It is related that, long after his death, some of his fish―pictures once happened to fall into the lake, and that the figures of the fish immediately detached themselves from the silk or the paper upon which they had been painted, and swam away!
※ Otsu(大津)、Omi(近江)、Kogi(興義)、Juro(十郎)のそれぞれの、「O」「o」の上とJuroの「u」の上とには長音を示すバーがある。Suke(助)とKataseの「e」の上にはアクセント記号がある。
    The Story of Kwashin Koji  果心居士の話
DURING the period of Tensho there lived, in one of the northem districts of Kyoto, an old man whom the people called Kwashin Koji. He wore a long white beard, and was always dressed like a Shinto priest; but he made his living by exhibiting Buddhist pictures and by preaching Buddhist doctrine. Every fine day he used to go to the grounds of the temple Gion, and there suspend to some tree a large kakemono on which were depicted the punishments of the various hells. This kakemono was so wonderhlly painted that all things represented in it seemed to be real; and the old man would discourse to the people drowding to see it, and explain to them the Law of Cause and Effect, -pointing out with a Buddhist staff [nyoi], which he always carried, each detail of the different torments, and exhorting everybody to follow the teachings of the Buddha. Multitudes assembled to look at the picture and to hear the old man preach about it; and sometimes the mat which he spread before him, to receive contributions, was covered out of sight by the heaping of coins thrown upon it.
Oda Nobunaga was at that time ruler of Kyoto and of the surrounding provinces. One of his retainers, named Arakawa, during a visit to the temple of Gion, happened to see the picture being displayed there; and he afterwards talked about it at the palace. Nobunaga was interested by Arakawa's description, and sent orders to Kwashin Koji to come at once to the palace, and to bring the picture with him.
When Nobunaga saw the kakemono he was not able to conceal his surprise at the vividness of the work: the demons and the tortured spirits actually appeared to move before his eyes; and he heard voices crying out of the picture; and the blood there represented seemed to be really flowing,-so that he could not help putting out his finger to feel if the painting was wet. But the finger was not stained, -for the paper proved to be perfectly dry. More and more astonished, Nobunag asked who had made the wonderful picture. Kwashin Koji answered that it had been painted by the famous Oguri Sotan,-after he had performed the rite of self-purification every day for a hundred days, and practised great austerities, and made eanest prayer for inspiration to the divine Kwannon of Kiyomidzu Temple.
Observing Nobunaga's evident desire to possess the kakemono, Arakawa then asked Kwashin Koji whether he would "offer it up," as a gift to the great lord. But the old man boldly answered: -"This painting is the only object of value that I possess; and I am able to make a little money by showing it to the people. Were I now to present this picture to the lord, I should deprive myself of the only means which I have to make my living. However, if the lord be greatly desirous to possess it, let him pay me for it the sum of one hundred ryo of gold. With that amount of money I should be able to engage in some profitable business. Otherwise, I must refuse to give up the picture."
Nobunaga did not seem to be pleased at this reply; and he remained silent. Arakawa presently whispered something in the ear of the lord, who nodded assent; and Kwashin Koji was then dismissed, with a small present of money.
But when the old man left the palace, Arakawa secretly followed him, -hoping for a chance to get the picture by foul means. The chance came; for Kwashin Koji happened to take a road leading directly to the heights beyond the town. When he reached a certain lonesome spot at the foot of the hills, where the road made a sudden tum, he was seized by Arakawa, who said to him: -"Why were you so greedy as to ask a hundred ryo of gold for that picture? Instead of a hundred ryo of gold, I am now going to give you one piece of iron three feet long." Then Arakawa drew his sword, and killed the old man, and took the picture.
The next day Arakawa presented the kakemono -still wrapped up as Kwashin Koji had wrapped before leaving the palace-to Oda Nobunaga, who ordered it to be hung up forthwith. But, when it was unrolled, both Nobunaga and his retainer were astounded to find that there was no picture at all-nothing but a blank surface. Arakawa could not explain how the original painting had disappeared; and as he had been guilty-whether willingly or unwillingly-of deceiving his master, it was decided that he should be punished. Accordingly he was sentenced to remain in confinement for a considerable time. 
Scarcely had Arakawa completed his term of imprisonment, when news was brought to him that Kwashin Koji was exhibibng the famous picture in the grounds of Kitano Temple. Arakawa could hardly be1ieve his ears; but the information inspired him with a vague hope that he might be able, in some way or other, to secure the kakemono, and thereby redeem his recent fault. So he quickly assembled some of his fol1owers, and hurried to the temple; but when he reached it he was told that Kwashin Koji had gone aw'ay.
Several days later, word was brought to Arakawa that Kwashin Koji was exhibiting the picture at Kiyomidzu Temple, and preaching about it to an immense crowd. Arakawa made all haste to Kiyomidzu; but he arrived there only in time to see the crowd disperse, -for Kwashin Koji had again disappeared.
At last one day Arakawa unexpectedly caught sight of Kwashin Koji in a wine-shop, and there captured him. The old man only laughed good-humoredly on finding himself seized, and said: -I will go with you; but please wait until I drink a little wine." To this request Arakawa made no objection; and Kwashin Koji thereupon drank, to the amazement of the bystanders, twelve bowls of wine. After drinking the twelfth he declared himself sahsfied; and Arakawa ordered him to be bound with a rope, and taken to Nobunaga's residense.
In the court of the palace Kwashin Koji was examined at once by the Chief Officer, and sternly reprimanded. Finally the Chief Officer said to him:-"It is evident that you have been deluding people by magical practices; and for this offence alone you deserve to be heavily punished. However, if you will now respectfully offer up that picture to the Lord Nobunaga, we shall this time overlook your fault. Otherwise we shall certainly inflict upon you a very severe punishment." At this menace Kwashin Koji laughed in a bewildered way, and exclaimed: -"It is not I who have been guilty of deluding people.'' Then, turning to Arakawa, he cried out: -"You are the deceiver! You wanted to flatter the lord by giving him that picture; and you tried to kill me in order to steal it. Surely, if there be any such thing as crime, that was a crime! As luck would have it, you did not succeed in killing me; but if you had succeeded, as you wished, what would you have been able to plead in excuse for such an act? You stole the picture, at all events. The picture tha I now have is only a copy. And after you stole the picture, you changed your mind about giving it to Lood Nobunaga; and you devised a plan to keep it for yourself. So you gave a blank kakemono to Lord Nobunaga; and, in order to conceal your secret act and purpose, you pretended that I had deceived you by substituting a blank kakemono for the real one. Where the real picttlre now is, I do not know. You probably do."
At these words Arakawa became so angry that he rushed towards the prisoner, and would have struck him but for the interference of the guards. And this sudden outburst of anger caused the Chief Officer to suspect that Arakawa was not altogether innocent. He ordered Kwashin Koji to be taken to prison for the time being; and he then proceeded to question Arakawa closely. Now Arakawa was naturally slow of speech; and on this occasion, being greatly excited, he could scarcely speak at all; and he stammered, and contradicted himself, and betrayed every sign of guilt. Then the Chief Officer ordered that Arakawa should be beaten with a stick until he told the truth. But it was not possible for him even to seem to tell the truth. So he was beaten with a bamboo until his senses departed from him, and he lay as if dead.
Kwashin Koji was told in the prison about what had happened to Arakawa; and he laughed. But after a little while he said to the jailer: -"Listen! That fellow Arakawa really behaved like a rascal; and I purposely brought this punishment upon him, in order to correct his evil inclinations. But now please say to the Chief Officer that Arakawa must have been ignorant of the truth, and that I shall explain the whole matter satisfactorily."
Then Kwashin Koji was again taken before the Chief Officer, to whom he made the following declaration: -
"In any picture of real excellence there must be a ghost; and such a picture, having a will of its own, may refuse to be separated from the person who gave it life, even from its rightful owner. There are many stories to prove that really great pictures have souls. It is well known that some sparrows, painted upon a sliding-screen [fusuma] by Hogen Yenshin, once flew away, leaving blank the spaces which they had occupied upon the surface. Also it is well known that a horse, painted upon a certain kakemono, used to go out at night to eat grass. Now, in this present case, I believe the truth to be that, inasmuch as the Lord Nobunaga never became the rightful owner of my kakemono, the picture voluntarily vanished from the paper when it was unrolled in his presence. But if you will give me the price that I first asked, -one hundred ryo of gold, -I think that the painting will then reappear, of its own accord, upon the now blank paper. At all events, let us try! There is nothing to risk,-since, if the picture does not reappear, I shall at once return the money."
On hearing of these strange assertions, Nobunaga ordered the hundred ryo to be paid, and came in person to observe the result. The kakemono was then unrolled before him; and, to the amazement of all present, the painting reappeared, with all its detail. But the colors seemed to have faded a little; and the figures of the souls and the demons did not look really a1ive, as before. Perceiving this difference, the lord asked Kwashin Koji to explain the reason of it; and Kwashin Koji replied: -"The value of the painting, as you first saw it, was the value of a painting beyond all price. But the value of the painting, as you now see it, represents exactly what you paid for it,-one hundred ryo of gold.... How could it be otherwise?" On hearing this answer, all present felt that it would be worse than useless to oppose the old man any further. He was immediately set at liberty; and Arakawa was also liberated, as he had more than expiated his fault by the punishment which he had undergone.
Now Arakawa had a younger brother named Buichi, -also a retainer in the service of Nobunaga. Buichi was furiously angry because Arakawa had been beaten and imprisoned; and he resolved to kill Kwashin Koji. Kwashin Koji no sooner found himself again at liberty than he went straight to a wine-shop, and called for wine. Buichi rushed after him into the shop, struck him down, and cut off his head. Then, taking the hundred ryo that had been paid to the old man, Buichi wrapped up the head and the gold together in a cloth, and hurried home to show them to Arakawa. But when he unfastened the cloth he found, instead of the head, only an empty wine-gourd, and only a lump of filth instead of the gold.... And the bewilderment of the brothers was presently increased by the information that the headless body had disappeared from the wine-shop,-none could say how or when.   
Nothing more was heard of Kwashin Koji until about a month later, when a drunken man was found one evening asleep in the gateway of Lord Nobunaga's palace, and snoring so loud that every snore sounded like the rumbling of distant thunder. A retainer discovered that the drunkard was Kwashin Koji. For this insolent offence, the old fellow was at once seized and thrown into the prizon. But he did not awake; and in the prison he continued to sleep without interruption for ten days and ten nights, -all the while snoring so that the sound could be heard to a great distance.
About this time, the Lord Nobunaga came to his death through the treachery of one of his captains, Akechi Mitsuhide, who thereupon usurped rule. But Mitsuhide's power endured only for a period of twelve days.         
Now when Mitsuhide became master of Kyoto, he was told of the case of Kwashin Koji; and he ordered that the prisoner should be brought before him. Accordingly Kwashin Koji was summoned into the presence of the new lord; but Mitsuhide spoke to him kindly, treated him as a guest, and commanded that a good dinner should be served to him. When the old man had eaten, Mitsuhide said to him: -"I have heard that you are very fond of wine; -how much wine can you drink at a single sitting?" Kwashin Koji answered: -"I do not really know how much; I stop drinking only when I feel intoxication coming on." Then the lord set a great wine-cup before Kwashin Koji, and told a servant to fill the cup as often as the old man wished. And Kwashin Koji emptied the great cup ten times in succession, and asked for more; but the servant made answer that the wine-vessel was exhausted. All present were astounded by this drinking-feat; and the lord asked Kwashin Koji, "Are you not yet satisfied, Sir?" "Well, yes," replied Kwashin Koji, "I am somewhat satisfied;-and now, in return for your august kindness, I shall display a little of my art. Be therefore so good as to observe that screen." He pointed to a large eight-folding screen upon which were painted the Eight Beautiful Views of the Lake of Omi(Omi-Hakkei); and everybody looked at the screen.In one of the views the artist had represented, far away on the lake, a man rowing a boat,-the boat occupying, upon the surface of the screen, a space of less than an inch in length. Kwashin Koji then waved his hand in the direction of the boat; and all saw the boat suddenly turn , and begin to move toward the foreground of the picture. It grew rapidly larger and larger as it approached; and presently the features of the boatman became clearly distinguishable. Still the boat drew nearer,-always becoming larger,- until it appeared to be only a short distance away. And, all of a sudden, the water of the lake seemed to overflow,-out of the picture into the room; -and the room was flooded; and the spectators girded up their robes in haste, as the water rose above their knees. In the same moment the boat appeared to glide out of the screen, -a real fishing-boat; -and the creaking of the single oar could be heard. Still the flood in the room continued to rise until the spectators were standing up to their girdles in water. Then the boat came close up to Kwashin Koji; and Kwashin Koji climbed into it; and the boatman turned about, and began to row away very swiftly. And, as the boat receded, the water in the room began to lower rapidly, -seeming to ebb back into the screen. No sooner had the boat passed the apparent foreground of the picture than the room was dry again! But still the painted vessel appeared to glide over the painted water, -retreating further into the distance, and ever growing smaller, -till at last it dwindled to a dot in the offing. And then it disappeared altogether; and Kwashin Koji disappeared with it. He was never again seen in Japan.
「工場が立ちますだよ」彼は私の袖を引いた。「そらこっちきなさるだ。そらこっち、あすこに旗が踊ってますだね。でっかい羽二重《ハビタン》の工場ですぞ――ひっひひひそうでがしょう! ひっひひひ」
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