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p. 236




FUJIWARA NO FUSAZAKI was the child of a fisher-girl. He was taken from her in infancy and reared at the Capital. When he grew to be a man he went to Shido to look for her. On the shore he met with a fisher-girl who, after speaking for some while with him, gave him a letter, and at once vanished with the words: "I am the ghost of the fisher-girl that was your mother." The letter said:

Ten years and three have passed since my soul fled to the Yellow Clod. Many days and months has the abacus told since the white sand covered my bones. The Road of Death is dark, dark; and none has prayed for me.

I am your mother. Lighten, A lighten, dear son, the great darkness that has lain round me for thirteen years!

Then Fusazaki prayed for his mother's soul and she appeared before him born again as a Blessed Dragon Lady of Paradise, carrying in her hand the scroll of the Hokkekyō (see Plate II), and danced the Hayamai, the "swift dance," of thirteen movements. On the Kongō stage the Dragon Lady is dressed as a man; for women have no place in Paradise.

Next: Take no Yuki (Snow on the Bamboos)