When the retainers heard this, they marvelled at the courage of Chobei, who had thus wittingly come to meet his fate. So Chobei’s corpse was placed in the burying-tub, and handed over to his apprentices, who swore to avenge his death. Far and wide, the poor and friendless mourned for this good man. His son Chomatsu inherited his property; and his wife remained a faithful widow until her dying day, praying that she might sit with him in paradise upon the cup of the same lotus-flower.
Many a time did the apprentices of Chobei meet together to avenge him; but Jiurozayemon eluded all their efforts, until, having been imprisoned by the Government in the temple called Kanyeiji, at Uyeno, as is related in the story of “Kazuma’s Revenge,” he was placed beyond the reach of their hatred.
So lived and so died Chobei of Bandzuin, the Father of the Otokodate of Yedo.
NOTE ON ASAKUSA
Translated from a native book called the “Yedo Hanjoki,” or Guide to the prosperous City of Yedo, and other sources.
Asakusa is the most bustling place in all Yedo. It is famous for the Temple Sensoji, on the hill of Kinriu, or the Golden Dragon, which from morning till night is thronged with visitors, rich and poor, old and young, flocking in sleeve to sleeve. The origin of the temple was as follows:—In the days of the Emperor Suiko, who reigned in the thirteenth century A.D., a certain noble, named Hashi no Nakatomo, fell into disgrace and left the Court; and having become a Ronin, or masterless man, he took up his abode on the Golden Dragon Hill, with two retainers, being brothers, named Hinokuma Hamanari and Hinokuma Takenari. These three men being reduced to great straits, and without means of earning their living, became fishermen. Now it happened that on the 6th day of the 3rd month of the 36th year of the reign of the Emperor Suiko (A.D. 1241), they went down in the morning to the Asakusa River to ply their trade; and having cast their nets took no fish, but at every throw they pulled up a figure of the Buddhist god Kwannon, which they threw into the river again. They sculled their boat away to another spot, but the same luck followed them, and nothing came to their nets save the figure of Kwannon. Struck by the miracle, they carried home the image, and, after fervent prayer, built a temple on the Golden Dragon Hill, in which they enshrined it. The temple thus founded was enriched by the benefactions of wealthy and pious persons, whose care raised its buildings to the dignity of the first temple in Yedo. Tradition says that the figure of Kwannon which was fished up in the net was one inch and eight-tenths in height.