Anecdotes of the Honseki Izo Iburi 61

61. A Cough for the Nightwatchman

Like today, the seinens (male attendants) at Church Headquarters made nightly rounds of the Residence each hour. The Honseki sympathized with the seinens who were on duty each night. The Honseki would call out to the seinen making the rounds, saying, “Thank you for your hard work,” when they passed his room, even when it was one or two in the morning.

Other times he would give out a cough to acknowledge their efforts. Sometimes he came out and gave the seinen snack or fruits. He often went out of his way to bring joy to others in this manner.

According to Keitaro Nakayama: “There were times we would tap a rock with our staff on purpose to make a sound when we passed by. We were thankful that the Honseki acknowledged us in our duty, so we were able to find joy even when having to do the demanding task of making the rounds at night.”

(Adapted from Shinpan Izo Iburi den p. 138 and Ten no jogi pp. 88–89)

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