“Spirit of the one hundred sacks of rice”
Written by -r/K-
After I finished my presentation at United Nations Univ. in Tokyo, one Prof came approaching me and said that I made a good presentation. He said that he didn’t have any comments and it was wonderful idea. But he suggested me to read the ‘Spirit of the one hundred sacks of Rice’ or Kome hyappyou in Nihonggo. Teachers in Japan often teach this spirit to their students, he said. After that I was starting to find and read this story.
It was a very simple story but contains a rich knowledge inside. As man who learn about human poverty and security, I learn a lot from this story.
During Edo era, a war happened between Tokugawa Shogun and Emperor, known as Meiji restoration war. Nagaoka was one of the rich area before war happened. However after war started, Nagaoka faced a bad harvest and inevitable poverty. Knowing such kind of bad conditions, Mitsune district sent an Aid to Nagaoka district. 100 sacks of rice sent to help hungry people in Nagaoka.
Many of the samurai and farmers, who survived in the battle, were demanded to share 100 sacks of rice. However, after a long debate, Torasaburo Kobayashi, one of the Nagaoka’s minister and highly educated samurai, persuaded his lord and the people. He suggested to sell 100 sacks of rice instead of using them to be used. ‘If you will share the 100 sacks of rice, each person will only receive 0.5 kg and this will only take a few days to consume”, He argued. He continued, “But through the fund of 100 sacks of rice that we will sell, we can build a school and educate the children. Now the 100 sacks just a hundred, but in the future this will become 10 thousand or even a million of sacks”
The people in Nagaoka have to be suffer for a moment to wait for the coming harvest time, because they know that education is important in building ones future.
So iu koto desu. Ijou desu. (finish)