Size of Potatoes
Introduction to Hikoichi
・Japanese ・English ・Japanese＆English
English translator REN HANADA(花田れん)
Once upon a time, there was a very clever child named Hikoichi.
In the town of Yatsushiro, near the village of Hikoichi, lived a rich retired Master named Tokudaira-san.
Tokudaira-san always said, "I've never been deceived by a someone since I was born. If there is anyone who can deceive me, I will grant his wishes."
The people who live in town tried to trick Tokudaira-san with their wits in order to get a reward, but they always lose to Takudaira-san.
Now, when Hikoichi went to sell vegetables to the town and heard this story, he came up with the idea to visit Tokudaira-san and told him, "I will deceive you".
As Hikoichi waited at the front of the garden, a smiling Tokudaira-san appeared.
"Hey kid, I hear you're a wise child, but what kind of lies are you going to try to deceive me with?"
''Yes, retired master, please listen to me. Among the sweet potatoes I made this year, I found one about the size of a SHITODARU (72-liter barrel)," he said.
Hikoichi showed his hands wide open.
Then Tokudaira-san laughed out loud and said.
''Wahahahahaha. Is there such a big sweet potato in the world? I won't be fooled by you."
Then Hikoichi scratched his head and said,
"This is a mess. It's actually about 5 SHO (unit of old Japanese liquid measurement; 1800 cc) barrels."
"No, not even that big of a thing."
"Well, this is about it. It's about a SHO of a sake bottle."
"No, it's still too big."
"Well, it's about as big as about a GO (180.39 millilitres) of a sake bottle."
Hikoichi formed a circle with the fingers of his hands, and Tokudaira-san nodded, too.
''Yeah, if it's that big, it's a common size. How about that, kid! You will not be able to deceive me."
Hikoichi then began to laugh, wriggling his belly.
"Why are you laughing, kid?"
Hikoichi replied with a grin,
"Because retired master. You've been spectacularly deceived."
'Eh, why do you think so? A GO of a sake bottle is normal. Even if it's a lie about making sweet potatoes, it doesn't mean I've been deceived."
"But, retired master... It's the beginning of summer, and the sweet potatoes have just planted their vines in the field. This year's sweet potatoes aren't even as big as your little finger yet."
Hearing this, Tokudaira-san realized without thinking,
"Shit! You keep talking about the size of the potatoes so much, I forgot when the potatoes are in season."
Thus, Hikoichi returned to his village after receiving a reward from Tokudaira-san, just as he had promised.
One point advice : Confusion is man’s invention.
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