165. Buy Dearly (takō kōte)
Zenzo Miyata was so moved by a talk at the Shimmei-gumi [Confraternity] that he became a follower in the summer of 1885. Led by Seijiro Imagawa, he returned to Jiba soon thereafter and was received by Oyasama. Zenzo was then thirty-one years old, and running a hosiery shop at Shiomachi Street in Semba, Osaka.
Oyasama taught him with painstaking care. However, in the beginning, since Zenzo was a newcomer who had not experienced a marvelous cure himself, he listened to the teachings very casually while smoking his pipe. Then, without realizing it, he had put down his pipe and had slid forward into a deep bow. Among the words being spoken at that moment, he retained only the following:
“Merchants should buy dearly and sell cheaply.”
Zenzo could not understand its meaning at all. He thought, “If I should do business in such a manner, it would cost me my livelihood. She may be well informed on farming, but She knows little about business.” So saying to himself, he went home.
Later, when Zenzo entered his house after leaving Imagawa, his neighbor, he was struck with a sudden attack of vomiting and diarrhea. A doctor was sent for immediately but he was unable to remedy the situation. Umejiro Izutsu, head of the Shimmei-gumi [Confraternity], was asked to come by Imagawa. Sitting by at Zenzo’s bedside, Izutsu asked him, “Didn’t you complain of something on your first return to Jiba?” Zenzo then replied that he could not agree with what Oyasama had told him. Then Izutsu explained, “What God means is that the ideal of business is to buy dearly in order to please wholesale dealers, sell cheaply in order to please customers, and to be satisfied with a small profit.” Upon hearing this, Zenzo could fully understand the meaning of Oyasama’s words. He deeply apologized for harboring dissatisfaction in his mind and soon was marvelously cured.
Anecdotes of Oyasama, p. 132