A+ A A-

A Carp Gives a Lesson in Perseverance

A Carp Gives a Lesson in Perseverance

lesson_in_perserverance

BETWEEN the years 1750 and 1760 there lived in Kyoto a great painter named Okyo-Maruyama Okyo. His paintings were such as to fetch high prices even in those days. Okyo had not only many admirers in consequence, but had also many pupils who strove to copy his style; among them was one named Rosetsu, who eventually became the best of all.

When first Rosetsu went to Okyo's to study he was, without exception, the dullest and most stupid pupil that Okyo had ever had to deal with. His learning was so slow that pupils who had entered as students under Okyo a year and more after Rosetsu overtook him. He was one of those plodding but unfortunate youths who work hard, harder perhaps than most, and seem to go backwards as if the very gods were against them.

I have the deepest sympathy with Rosetsu. I myself became a bigger fool day by day as I worked; the harder I worked or tried to remember the more manifestly a fool I became.

Rosetsu, however, was in the end successful, having been greatly encouraged by his observations of the perseverance of a carp.

Many of the pupils who had entered Okyo's school after Rosetsu had left, having become quite good painters. Poor Rosetsu was the only one who had made no progress whatever for three years. So disconsolate was he, and so little encouragement did his master offer, that at last, crestfallen and sad, he gave up the hopes he had had of becoming a great painter, and quietly left the school one evening, intending either to go home or to kill himself on the way. All that night he walked, and half-way into the next, when, tired out from want of sleep and of food, he flung himself down on the snow under the pine trees.

Some hours before dawn Rosetsu awoke, hearing a strange noise not thirty paces from him. He could not make it out, but sat up, listening, and glancing towards the place whence the sound--of splashing water--came.

As the day broke he saw that the noise was caused by a large carp, which was persistently jumping out of the water, evidently trying to reach a piece of sembei (a kind of biscuit made of rice and salt) lying on the ice of a pond near which Rosetsu found himself. For full three hours the fish must have been jumping thus unsuccessfully, cutting and bruising himself against the edges of the ice until the blood flowed and many scales had been lost.

Rosetsu watched its persistency with admiration. The fish tried every imaginable device. Sometimes it would make a determined attack on the ice where the biscuit lay from underneath, by charging directly upwards; at other times it would jump high in the air, and hope that by falling on the ice bit by bit would be broken away, until it should be able to reach the sembei; and indeed the carp did thus break the ice, until at last he reached the prize, bleeding and hurt, but still rewarded for brave perseverance.

Rosetsu, much impressed, watched the fish swim off with the food, and reflected.

'Yes,' he said to himself: 'this has been a moral lesson to me. I will be like this carp. I will not go home until I have gained my object. As long as there is breath in my body I will work to carry out my intention. I will labour harder than ever, and, no matter if I do not progress, I will continue in my efforts until I attain my end or die.'

After this resolve Rosetsu visited the neighbouring temple, and prayed for success; also he thanked the local deity that he had been enabled to see, through the carp's perseverance, the line that a man should take in life.

Rosetsu then returned to Kyoto, and to his master, Okyo, told the story of the carp and of his determination.

Okyo was much pleased, and did his best for his backward pupil. This time Rosetsu progressed. He became a well-known painter, the best man Okyo ever taught, as good, in fact, as his master; and he ended by being one of Japan's greatest painters.

Rosetsu took for crest the leaping carp.

Footnotes

^44:1  - A Carp Gives a Lesson in Perseverance - One day my old painter Busetsu was talking with me about Japan's greatest painters, and of one of them he told a strange story. It was interesting in one thing especially, and that was that the name of Rosetsu I could not find mentioned in Louis Gonse's book, though, of course, Maruyama Okyo was. Five names were given as those of the best pupils of Okyo; but Rosetsu was not mentioned. I wrote to my friend the Local Governor, who is an authority on Japanese paintings. His answer was, 'You are quite right: Rosetsu was one of Okyo's best pupils, perhaps the best.'

Ancient Tales and Folk-lore of Japan, by Richard Gordon Smith, [1918], at sacred-texts.com

CrystalWind.ca is free to access and use.
"Would you consider a small gift of $11.11 ?" :)
ॐ Namasté - Blessings!
"Life is an echo, what you send out comes back."

© 2008-2019 crystalwind.ca. All rights reserved.

Pin It

Free Reading Here!!

crystal-wind-oracle-mobile-app
 
Cut Through The Illusions!
Available On The
Apple  / Android / Amazon
NEW Expanded Version - 53 cards!

Articles: Japanese Folklore

Featured This Month

Page:

Mullein

Mullein

Helps you feel courageous and adventurous. Gender: Feminine Planet: Saturn Ele... Read more

Birth Totem - Raven or Crow

Birth Totem - Raven or Crow

Birth dates: September 22 - October 22 Birth Totem is: Raven/Crow Clan ... Read more

Ametrine

Ametrine

The Stone for Clearing and Change Ametrine is one of the rarest and most va... Read more

The Ivy - September 30th - October 27th

The Ivy - September 30th - October 27th

Celtic Symbol : The Butterfly Zodiac Degrees : 7º00` Libra - 4º59` Scorpio ... Read more

Libra Mythology

Libra Mythology

It's truly impossible to talk about Libra mythology without also referencing... Read more

Libra

Libra

Sept 23 - Oct 22 Spirit: To operate judiciously Ego: Strategist, peace see... Read more

Obsidian

Obsidian

The Protection Stone As a stone that emerges with dramatic force from the d... Read more

Sun in Libra

Sun in Libra

An Overview of Sun Sign Characteristics for Libra The ruler of Libra is Ven... Read more

Black Tourmaline

Black Tourmaline

The Negativity Remedy Stone Black Tourmaline (Schorl) is one of the best st... Read more

Samhain by The Hedgewitch

Samhain by The Hedgewitch

Blessed Samhain Samhain marks one of the two great doorways of the year, fo... Read more

Samhain - Halloween

Samhain - Halloween

Samhain is one of the greater Sabbats of the Witches’ calendar and in the No... Read more

Samhain

Samhain

Samhain Ritual Celebrated October 31st. Samhain is also known as Halloween,... Read more

Ducks Fly Moon

Ducks Fly Moon

Raven - Bloodstone Jasper - Mullein - Brown September 23 to October 23 The D... Read more

Libra’s Featured Stone - Kyanite

Libra’s Featured Stone - Kyanite

Kyanite Birthstone: Libra Planet: Venus Element: Air Chakra: Throat Read more

Lepidolite

Lepidolite

The Mental Balancer Stone Lepidolite contains lithium and is helpful for st... Read more

Positive SSL
© 2008-2019 CrystalWind.ca. Site Creation by CreativeInceptions.com.

 

X

Right Click

No right click