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Tarazu Kousyaku(Lectures) (May) #19 #24

Tarazu Kousyaku (May) #19
   Let me begin 'Tarazu Kousyaku(Lectures)'.
First, I will give a lecture on witness report #19. 

   (The photo shows a wooden bench with a sign "Danger. Do NOT sit on this bench.")
"This bench in a castletown has lost its essential quality. Did Hyaku-Tarazu-Sama go by secretly when the Daimyou-Gyouretsu(feudal lord's procession) paraded last week? Please give a lecture on this." 
 
   In the first place, 'Bench' comes from a Japanese word and it was called 'Ben-chi-raku-tari-dai'* accurately. They became popular in late Edo period** mainly on the inn streets along the highroads. In those days, There were mongers called 'Raku-tari-ya(comfort-satisfying mongers)' along those inn streets. Men on all fours would let travellers rest on their backs. This is a picture of 'Raku-tari-ya' handed down from Edo period. As you can see, beside a Raku-tari-ya, another man was usually standing who was a gee man shouting, "Eh, raku tarashi masho, Eh, raku tarashi masho(How about enough comfort for you?, how about enough comfort for you?)", banging the drum. These gee men would tell funny and amusing stories about the local charming sights and specialties to entertain the travelers while they were resting on the backs of Raku-tari-ya.    

   These gee men were the origin of 'Houkan( 幇間 /professional jester)' in another word, 'Taiko-mochi( 太鼓持ち )’*** who came into being later. The reason why the Raku-tari-ya were naked was because they were targeting the acquisition of female customers. This raku-tari-ya business became so brisk that even some female Raku-tari-ya came forth to target male customers. At last there were so many travelers lined up for the service whose only purpose of the trip was to sit on a Raku-tari-ya. This way, these inn streets became prosperous. But on the other hand, some people started to worry about the corruption of public morals.

   Just at the time, there was an inventor called Igashichi Iizuka (飯塚伊賀七) in Tsukuba. Igashichi invented the robots called 'Sake Kai Ningyou(Sake buying doll/doll that goes on an errand to buy sake)' and 'Cha Kumi Onna(Tea serving girl)' and so on, and he is considered to be the father of 'The City of Robot, Tsukuba'. Furthermore, he even invented a human-powered airplane, and he planned to conduct an experimental flight from the top of Mt. Tsukuba. But the domain lord forbade it because it was thought to "mislead the public". It is remembered in history as one of his episodes. 

   One day when Igashichi was walking by an inn street area, he saw many Raku-tari-ya on the street. He was surprised by the shameless sight and encountered the non-humanitarian aspect of the business that was to let people sit on other people. He wanted to replace those people in Raku-tari-ya business with some machines for a humanitarian cause, and invented a machine called 'Ben-chi-raku-tari-dai'. It means 'the stool that liberates people from labor and brings enough comfort by means of knowing the convenience of machinery'. This is his first model of 'Ben-chi-raku-tari-dai', completed after a trial and error process. Here, you see a drum attached to the machine. It indicates that he made efforts to install the 'Taiko-mochi(gee man)' feature to the machine, too. This 'Ben-chi-raku-tari-dai' made a progress through a lot of improvement and sophistication over the years, and we finally have the modern 'benchi(bench)' now.   

   Well, now, I'm sure my wise audience know that this is an act by Hyaku Tarazu Sama because this bench is the existence that would save us. The bench lacks its essential quality and it can't be sat on any more. It saves us who are caged in the consumption civilization that pressures us to stay anxious and have unsatisfied feeling, even though we are already too content with the modern convenient world. That's all. Wish you a happy future.  
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Note:
Ben-chi-raku-tari-dai *:
便(ben): convenience/ 知(chi): to know/ 楽(raku): comfort/ 足り(tari): sufficient/ 台(dai): stool
Edo period**:
The period between 1603 and 1868 in the history of Japan.
'Houkan( 幇間 /professional jester)' and 'Taiko-mochi( 太鼓持ち )’***:
The original male geisha of Japan.
☆Note that his stories about the origin of the word 'bench', 'Raku-tari-ya' business, and Igashichi Iizuka are totally and sometimes partially fictional.   

 
☆☆☆
Tarazu Kousyaku (May) #24
   Now, next is a lecture on the witness report #24.

   It says, "I found a rain frog early fall last year in my garden. He lacks one of his legs. I keep him carefully according to the 'Sankyaku Senjo( 三脚蟾蜍 ) '**** legend in China. Did Hayku Tarazu Sama bring this frog to me by any chance?"

   This phenomenon has double meanings created by Hyaku Tarazu Sama.  It's something Hyaku Tarazu Sama is good at. However, it has nothing to do with  'Sankyaku Senjo' which is a symbol of monetary and physical prosperity and instant richness.  It is rather in the opposite position. First, let's think about modern frogs. They throw aside the duty to catch their prey by themselves, and they keep on being fed by the feed they are given conveniently. And they face the reality that their natural habitat of water place is being narrowed every day by the town development. The habitat range becomes smaller and smaller, and sadly the frogs have no choice but to be fed by the feed now.

   Well, what will happen if a frog like this, going on fed by the feed, lose a leg cut off? His path will become some thing like an u-turn course.  Here, we can find Hyaku Tarazu Sama's message. The message says, "Throw away, and go back."

   Then, what kind of path will the (three-legged) frog take after coming back from the narrow water canal successfully to the big water place where he can swim freely? Because of the effect by losing a leg, he will swim in a circle. He will get an abundance of prey in the natural environment established by the flows and ties of life in the great water place. Here is another message by Hayku Tarazu Sama. That is "To go back(kaeru**** *) to the circulation". After that I won't explain. That's all. Good luck in the future. (Makes a bow to show respect.)
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Note:
'Sankyaku Senjo( 三脚蟾蜍 ) '****: A three-legged toad that brings prosperity.
To go back(kaeru**** *): 'Kaeru' is a verb to mean 'to go back'. 'Kaeru' is also a noun to mean a 'frog'.

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