A folktale of Fukushima

A Good Use of Five Years
Japanese French Vietnamese chinese

Every year, once New Year is over, all the people of the village – both young and old – would visit the statue of Kokuzo, the Bodhisattva of the Sky, in Yanaizu.

One year, two young villagers set off to pay their respects to the statue. The priest prayed for them and read their fortunes before they returned home. "I regret to tell you that you have only five years left to live," he said.

"What? We only have five more years left to live?"
"That's right. Look at this. It says in your horoscopes that you will die five years from today."

The two young men walked home despondently.

The first young man said, "If I only have five years left to live, then I am certainly not going to work." So he spent his time eating tasty food every day, having a good time and never even lifting a finger to work..

However, the second you man said, "If I only have five years left to live, there are so many things I want to do. I must build a house for my children while I have the time." So this young man spent his time working hard.

When the five years were up, however, neither of the young men had died.

The hardworking young man had doubled the inheritance his parents had left him. On the other hand, the lazy young man had completely used up his inheritance in the five years.

And the moral of this story? Even if we are told that we will die tomorrow, we should not wait for death. We must work hard right up until the very end. We must work our hardest even if we are to die tomorrow.