101. Do Not Stop on the Way
“This time, it is a test. When you come back to Jiba after childbirth, do not stop at Mamekoshi (where Koiso’s parents, the Yamanakas, lived), or at any other place. Come straight to this place. This is the true parental home.”
At eight in the morning of May 10th, while the rest of the family were out in the fields, Koiso suddenly felt labor pains. It was so sudden that she only had time to take off her apron and place it on the tatami-mat to lie upon as she gave birth to a chubby girl. It was a wondrously easy and clean delivery followed only by the afterbirth. When the family returned home for lunch, the baby, newly-clothed, was already in bed.
The husband and wife, as instructed by Oyasama, returned straight to Jiba two days after the childbirth. It had rained heavily the day before and the roads were still muddy. Her husband, Ihachiro, carried the baby in his arms and Koiso wore rain clogs. They passed by Mamekoshi but did not stop even at her parents’ home. Although they walked more than twelve kilometers, Koiso had no discharge nor any other physical suffering. It was a marvelous pilgrimage without mishap.
Waiting for them, Oyasama said:
“It is time for Koiso to arrive.”
She was so pleased to see them that She personally held the baby in Her arms, saying:
“I will name her.”
“As this baby grows up, the path shall prosper, and keep on prospering forever. Thus with the meaning of prosperity for eternity I will name her Ikue.*”
And so the baby was named Ikue.
*’Iku‘ from ‘ikusue‘ meaning ‘eternity,’ and ‘e‘ from ‘ei‘ meaning ‘prosperity.’
Anecdotes of Oyasama, pp. 85–86