Yei Theodora Ozaki.

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drinking and some dancing. Food and wine was spread before
them on the ground, and the demons were evidently having
a great entertainment and enjoying themselves immensely.

It made the old man laugh to see their strange antics.

" How amusing this is ! " laughed the old man to himself.
" I am now quite old, but I have never seen anything so strange
in all my life."

He was so interested and excited in watching all that the
demons were doing, that he forgot himself and stepped out of
the tree and stood looking on.

The demon chief was just taking a big cup of sake and
watching one of the demons dancing. In a little while he said
with a bored air :

" Your dance is rather monotonous. I am tired of watching


it. Isn't there anyone 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 demon.


276 Japanese Fairy Book.

" 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

His fears, however, were soon overcome by his love of
dancing. In a few minutes he could restrain himself no
longer, and came out before the whole party of demons and
began to dance at once. The old man, realising that his
life probably depended on whether he pleased these strange
creatures or not, exerted his skill and wit to the utmost.

The demons were at first very surprised to see a man so
fearlessly taking part in their entertainment, and then their
surprise soon gave place to admiration.

" How strange ! ' exclaimed the horned chief. " I never
saw such a skilful 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 unskilful

"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.

How an Old Man Lost his Wen.


" Then you must leave some pledge of your word with us,"
said the demon.

11 Whatever you like," said the old man.

" Now what is the best thing he can leave with us as a
pledge ? " as^ed the demon, looking round.

The Demon took the great Lump from the Old Man's Cheek.

Then said one of the demon's attendants kneeling behind
the chief:

" The token he leaves with us must be the most important
thing to him in his possession. I see the old man has a
wen on his right cheek. Now mortal men consider such a
wen very fortunate. Let my lord take the lump from the
old man's right cheek, and he will surely come to-morrow, if
only to get that back."

278 Japanese Fairy Book.

" You nre very clever," said the demon chief, giving his
horns an approving nod. Then he 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
merry troop of demons suddenly vanished.

The old man was lost in bewilderment by all that had
happened. He hardly knew for some time where he was.
"\Yhen he came to understand what had happened to him, he
was delighted to find that the lump on his face, which had for
so many years disfigured him, had really been taken away
without any pain to himself. He put up his hand to feel if any
scar remained, but found that his right cheek was as smooth
as his left.

The sun had long set, and the young moon had risen like a
silver crescent in the sky. The old man suddenly realised 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

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 husband 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 growth.

Now next door to this good old couple there lived a wicked

How an Old Man Lost his Wen.


and disagreeable old man. He, too, had for many years
been troubled with the growth of a wen on his left cheek,
and he, too, had tried all manner of things to get rid of
it, but in vain.

The Old Man told his Neighbour all that had happened.

He heard at once, through the servant, of his neighbour'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 loss of it. The good old man told his disagree-
able neighbour all that had happened to him. He described
the place where he would find the hollow tree in which to hide,

280 Japanese Fairy Book.

and advised him to be on the spot in the late afternoon towards
the time of sunset.

The old neighbour 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. W T hen 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 the tree and, kneeling down before the oni,
said :

" I have been waiting for a long time for you to speak ! "

" Ah, you are the old man of yesterday," said the demon
chief. " Thank you for coming, you must dance for us soon."

The old man now stood up and opened his fan and began
to dance. But he had never learned to dance, and knew
nothing about the necessary gestures and different positions.
He thought that anything would please the demons, so he just
hopped about, waving his arms and stamping his feet,
imitating as well as he could any dancing he had ever seen.

The oni were very dissatisfied at this exhibition, and said
amongst themselves :

" How badly he dances to-day ! "

Then to the old man the demon chief said :

" Your performance to-day is quite different from the dance

How an Old Man Lost his Wen.


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."

With these words he took out from a fold of his dress the

There was now a great Wen on the Right Side of his Face as on the Left.

iump which he had taken from the face of the old man who
had danced so well the day before, and threw it at the right
cheek of the old man who stood before him. The lump
immediately 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

282 Japanese Fairy Book.

cheek as he had hoped, found to his dismay that he had but
added another to his right cheek in his attempt to 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
disappeared, and there was nothing for him to do but to return
home. He was a pitiful sight, for his face, with the two large
lumps, one on each side, looked just like a Japanese gourd.




LONG, long ago there lived a great Chinese Empress who
succeeded her brother the Emperor Fuki. It was the age ot
giants, and the Empress Jokwa, for that was her name, was
twenty-five feet high, nearly as tall as her brother. She was
a wonderful woman, and an able ruler. There is an interesting
story of how she mended a part of the broken heavens and one
of the terrestrial pillars which upheld the sky, both of which
were damaged during a rebellion raised by one of King Fuki's

The rebel's name was Kokai. He was twenty-six feet high.
His body was entirely covered with hair, and his face was as
black as iron. He was a wizard and a very terrible character
indeed. When the Emperor Fuki died, Kokai was bitten with
the ambition to be Emperor of China, but his plan failed, and
Jokwa, the dead Emperor's sister, mounted the throne. Kokai
was so angry at being thwarted in his desire that he raised a
revolt. His first act was to employ the Water Devil, who
caused a great flood to rush over the country. This swamped
the poor people out of their homes, and when the Empress
Jokwa saw the plight of her subjects, and knew it was Kokai's
fault, she declared war against him.


Japanese Fairy Book.

Now Jokwa, the Empress, had two young warriors called
Hako and Eiko, and the former she made General of the front
forces. Hako was delighted that the Empress's choice should

The Empress Jokwa.

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 someone galloping

hard behind him and shouting:

Stones of Five Colours and the Empress Jokwa. 285

" 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


Hako looked back and saw Eiko unsheathing a large Sword.

upon him. Hako's anger was kindled, and as he turned to
face his rival he cried :

" Insolent wretch ! I have been appointed by the Empress
to lead the front forces to battle. Do you dare to stop

"Yes," answered Eiko. " I ought to lead the army. It is
you who should follow me."

286 Japanese Fairy Book.

At this bold reply Hako's anger burst from a spark into a.

" Dare you answer me thus? Take that," and he lunged
at him with his lance.

But Eiko moved quickly aside, and at the same time,
raising his sword, he wounded the head of the General's horse.
Obliged to dismount, Hako was about to rush at his antagonist,
when Eiko, 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 Generalship 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 marched to put down the rebel Kokai.

Within a short time the two Generals reached the castle
where Kokai had fortified himself. When aware of their
approach, the wizard said :

" I will blow these two poor children away with one
breath." (He little thought how hard he would find the fight.)

With these words Kokai seized an iron rod and mounted a
black horse, and rushed forth like an angry tiger to meet his
two foes.

As the two young warriors 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

Stones of Five Colours and the Empress Jokwa. 287

be easily beaten he whirled his iron rod round like a great
water-wheel, and for a long time they fought thus, neither side
gaining nor losing. At last, to avoid the wizard's iron rod,,
Hako turned his horse too quickly; the animal's hoofs struck
against a large stone, and in a fright the horse reared as
straight on end as a screen, throwing his master to the

Thereupon Kokai drew his three-edged sword and was
about to kill the prostrate Hako, but before 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

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 armour.

The wizard saw that both his enemies remained unscathed.
He also knew that there was no time to pull a second arrow
before they would be upon him, so to save himself he resorted
to magic. He stretched forth his wand, and immediately a

288 Japanese Fairy Book.

great flood arose, and Jokwa's army and her brave young
Generals were swept away like a falling of autumn leaves on a

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 safe.

Kokai had by this time reached the island which had risen
as it 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 dismayed, and calmly
awaited the wizard's onslaught.

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 dis-
guise and they hoped later on to find out who the venerable
old man was.

Stones of Five Colours and the Empress Jokwa. 289

In the meantime they had retreated, and it being now the
close of day, for the sun was setting, both Kokai and the young
warriors gave up the idea of righting more that day.

That nisfht 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 every-
thing around him anywhere else, but it was impossible to burn
up ice and snow. To look at he was a giant, and stood thirty
feet high. His face was just like marble, and his hair and
beard long and as white as snow. His strength was stupendous,
and he was master of all fire just as Kokai was of water.

" Surely," thought the Empress, " Shikuyu can conquer
Kokai." So she sent Eiko to the South Pole to beg Shikuyu
to take the war against Kokai into his own hands and conquer
him once for all.

The Fire King, on hearing the Empress's request, 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.

F.B. u


Japanese Fairy Book.

Sliikuyu 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 he the
Generalissimo of her army. His reply was very reassuring:

Eiko visits the Fire King.

" Do not have any anxiety. I will certainly kill Kokai."
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

Stones of Five Colours and the Empress Jokwa. 291

quantities, and each soldier was then ordered to fill a bag full
of the ashes thus obtained.

Kokai, on the other hand, in his own conceit, thought that
Shikuyu was of inferior power to himself, and he murmured
angrily :

" Even though you are the Fire King, I can soon extinguish

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 carefully 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 himself unable to
hold out against Hako, he said artfully :

" You are too magnanimous, thus to fight for your friend and
run the risk of being killed. I will not hurt such a good man."

And he pretended to retreat, turning away the head of his
horse. His intention was to throw Hako off his guard and
then to wheel round and take *him by surprise.

292 Japanese Fairy Book.

But Shikuyu understood the wily wizard, and he spoke at
once :

" You are a coward ! You cannot deceive me ! "

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 disappointment
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, so
that one corner of the sky dropped till it touched the earth.

Shikuyu, the Fire King, took up the body of the wizard and
carried it to the Empress Jokwa, who rejoiced greatly that
her enemy was vanquished, and her generals victorious. She
showered all manner of gifts and honours upon Shikuyu.

Stones of Five Colours and the Empress Jokwa. 293

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 homeless people were in great distress. - So the Empress
left the capital as soon as she had rewarded the victor
Shikuyu, and journeyed with all speed to the scene of disaster.
She found that both Heaven and earth had sustained damage,
and the place was so dark that she had to light her lamp to
find out the extent of the havoc that had been wrought.

Having ascertained this, she set to work at repairs. To this
end she ordered her subjects to collect stones of five colours
blue, yellow, red, white and black. When she had obtained
these, she boiled them with a kind of porcelain in a large
cauldron, 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 so 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 colours. 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 dilemma.


Japanese Fairy Book.

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


, \ ^



The Ambassadors set out in the Magic Chariots.

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

Stones of Five Colours and the Empress Jokwa. 295

hundreds of thousands of miles distant into the East. If they
travelled on foot they might never reach the place, they would
die of old age on the road. But Jokwa had recourse to magic.
She gave her two ambassadors wonderful chariots which could
\vhirl 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 interview 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 suddenly burst
forth with fire, and the roads of Heaven have been greatly
damaged ! 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 :

11 Our Empress Jokwa has already repaired the roads with
the wonderful stones of five colours, so we beg to assure your
Majesties that the roads are just as they were before the
eruption took place."

But the Sun and the Moon still hesitated, saying that they

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