The Story Finder

Voices in Fairy Tales

by Michelle Tocher

Story finder - Curly

Click the image above to fetch a new random story.

Troubled Wise Man of Japan

I ventured alone in my frail boat and fell asleep. The boat drifted east, to the shore of the sweetest spot in the world. In the bright morning light, I found myself in the shadow of Fusan, the Wonder Mountain, and I knew I had come to Horaizan, the Isle of the Blest.

I lingered there for some time, but then one day I spoke with Jofuku, the Wise Man of China. I said, “I cannot find my boat.”

“What matter, brother? You need no boat here.”

“Indeed I do, my brother. I want my boat to take me home. I am sick for home.”

“Are you not happy in Horaizan?”

“No, for I have a word written upon my heart. The word is Humanity. Because of it, I am troubled and have no peace.”

“Strange,” said the Wise Man of China. “Once I too had a word written on my heart. The word was Mutability, but I have forgotten what it means. You ought to forget, too.”

“Nay, I can never forget,” I said, and I sought out the Crane to take me out of paradise.

Troubled Wise Man of Japan. Horaizan, Japanese Fairy Tales. Vintage illustration.