Once in Japan, long, long ago, there lived a brave warrior named Tawara Toda, which means, ” My Lord Bag of Rice.”
His real name was Fujiwara Hidesato. There is a very interesting story of why he changed it. One day, he was out walking, looking for something to do. He took his two swords with him (as a samurai, he was required to take two swords), his bow, which was taller than he, and last, but not least, his arrows. He was out, he had nothing to do. A samurai cannot sit in idleness.
Then, just as he was crossing the bridge, he saw a huge green scaled dragon sleeping on his path. As it breathed, a puff of smoke and fire came out of its nostrils. Hidesato stared at the beast. Should he cross the bridge? Other folks saw it and turned back and walked away. Hidesato bravely walked past, and over. Crunch. He stepped on the scales. Once he was over, he walked away without turning back. Then, he heard someone call his name. He turned around and saw a man with read hair and a red beard with shiny green scales as a robe.
” Has the dragon turned into a man? Has the man turned into the dragon?” Hidesato thought. His mind was filling up with questions.
” Who are you?” Hidesato asked the man.
” I am the Dragon King. I need your help.” the king told Hidesato.
” How do you know I’m the right person to help you?” Hidesato asked.
” Because, since morning, once people saw me lying here, they were scared and ran away. Not only did you approach me, but you stepped over me as well. You are truly brave, and is suited to defeat me enime, the centipede. You see, the centipede comes to my undersea home, which is right under this bridge, he snatches one of my family away, and soon, I will have no children and become one of its victims as well. Will you help me defeat it?” the dragon king asked.
” Yes.” As soon as Hidesato said that one word, the dragon king motioned for him to come down to the waters, but strangely enough, Hidesato’s clothing wasn’t even wet! He went down and saw a beautiful palace. He dined with the king, from noon to night. All the joy made him forget about the centipede. But, until night came, everything was awesome. The king was about to present Hidesato with a cup of wine fore helping, until he heard a terrible BOOM!!! It was the centipede. Hidesato looked outside and saw two large fireballs coming their way.
” IT’S THE CENTIPEDE!! I’M GONNA DIE!!! HELP US NOW! PLEASE!” the king yelled.
” Calm down.. I need my bow and arrows,” Hidesato said.
The king did as he was told. Hidesato realized with dread that he only had three arrows. If he failed all three, what would he say? He stretched his bow string and fwoosh!! went the first arrow, into the centipede’s forehead. But, instead of killing it, the arrow fell to the ground, leaving no harm on the centipede. Hidesato tried a second time, but failed, so by now the king was freaking out, being paranoid, hyperventialating, screaming, overeacting, and yelling. There was one last arrow. His last chance. If this one went down like the other two, it would be hopeless. Thunder, lightning, and rain filled the sky. It turned into a downpour. Then Hidesato suddenly had an idea. He remebered that centipedes were afraid of human saliva could kill a centipede, so , before shooting his last arrow, he put the head into his mouth and covered it with spit. He let the arrow fly. It landed right on the centipede’s forehead, and instead of falling off like the last two, it killed the giant beast. It fell down and down. The next morning, my, did the palace look beautiful! Even more beautiful than night. The king thanked Hidesato and wanted to give him gifts. The fish that was there turned into men, and each of them holding a gift.
– a bronze bell
– a bag of rice
– a roll of cloth
– a cooking pot
Hidesato would not accept these gifts, for he was very polite. The dragon king insisted, so he had no choice. The men followed him back to his house, and set the presents down. Then, dissapeared into thin air.
His family was worried, not returning for a whole night. But, they concluded that he stayed at someone else’s place, because of all the rain. They were delighted to have him back. Now, the bell was an ordinary one, so he gave it to a nearby temple, but , the rest were extraordinary. The bag of rice fed his family forever, for it never ran out. The roll of cloth never ran out of cloth and always made fine clothes for Hidesato when he went out. The cooking pot, cooked everything you put in it, without having to do anything. You just put it in, and it cooks. Now, that is why, he changed his name into Tawara Toda , bag of rice, to remeber his journey to the underwater palace.