Anecdotes of the Honseki Izo Iburi 6

6. “Even the Buddha Loses at Gambling”

Izo always sang the following song while doing carpentry work:

“Even Shakyamuni (the Buddha) loses at gambling; he is completely naked on the eighth day of the fourth month (his birthday).”

When one of his fellow carpenters said, “Hey Izo, why don’t you sing a different song for a change?”

Izo answered: “To you, it’s the same song, but to most of the people who pass by each day, it’s something fresh and new. They hear and recognize it as being a good song.”

(From Takano Tomoji. Gozonmei no koro, p. 179)

*Note: This post has been revised since its original publication.