The works of Sakubei Yamamoto
Omens, Superstitions, Taboos

The Miraculous Water of the Tengu in 1903 #5: Epilogue
October 1965

Meiji Sanju Rokunen Tengu no Reisui #5: Owari
[The Miraculous Water of the Tengu in 1903 #5: Epilogue]
38.0 x 53.9 cm Painting in Watercolors and Ink

In 1903, the truth came out (bake no kawa ga hageta in dialect).
A difficult Chinese proverb represents the same moral as follows: Though the meshes of Heaven's net look very loose, they never fail to catch evil (Ten-mo kaikai so ni shite morasazu). Also a Japanese kodan story teaches in a plain expression: Though no one can stop villains from doing evil when they are strong, they will surely be punished soon after (Aku sakan naru toki wa ten ni kachi, ten sadamatte aku ni katsu).
The potability of the miraculous water of the tengu in Akizuki as drinking water in summer was investigated by the authorities. They announced that the water was dangerous to drink without boiling it, though the water was led in and out of a sake barrel through bamboo pipes (kakei) to be filtered through sand. It was proved that the water was not miraculous. The police revealed that the rumor about this water was fabricated by a very cunning swindler and that the physically challenged people who were reportedly cured with the water were frauds. It was said that the people from the Chikuho region as well as all over Fukuoka Prefecture had been deprived of a tremendous amount of money that they had offered to the shrine of the tengu. However, it seems that even the man who should have had miraculous powers greater than the tengu failed to mislead the authorities.

Conversation between Miners
Miner A: "Hey, you also were dead tired, weren't you?"
Miner B: "Of course. My legs ached so badly that I took a few days off."
Miner A: "I took 5 days off. By the way, I thought that water smelled a little like sake. In fact, I heard that the water was filtered with a used sake barrel."

Translation Assisted by Mr. Nathan Johndro

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