52. Learn the Koto*
In 1877, Oyasama told Tomegiku Tsuji, who was then eight years old:
“Learn to play the koto.”
But her father, Chusaku, ignored the instruction, saying, “As we are farmers, she does not need to learn to play the koto.”
After several days, Chusaku developed a large boil on his right arm. He reflected on his condition and realized that he should have his daughter learn to play the koto. So he made up his mind and went to Koriyama to buy a koto.
While he was talking with the shopkeeper at the music shop, the boil on his right arm burst and the pain stopped completely. He realized that this indeed had been God’s intention. Carrying a big koto on his shoulder with the arm which had hurt until shortly before, he went home in high spirits.
* Koto: a thirteen-stringed long zither which is plucked with picks. This instrument is one of the women’s instruments used in the performance of the Service.
Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 45–46