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Basho tells a poignant story about a mother and her son and their love for one another.
Yoshitoshi, The moon and the abandoned old woman, Yoshitoshi, The moon and the abandoned old woman, Long, long ago there lived at the foot of the mountain a poor farmer and his aged, widowed mother. They owned a bit of land which supplied them with food, and they were humble, peaceful, and happy.
Shining was governed by a despotic leader who though a warrior, had a great and cowardly shrinking from anything suggestive of failing health and strength.
This caused him to send out a cruel proclamation. The entire province was given strict orders to immediately put to death all aged people. Those were barbarous days, and the custom of abandoning old people to die was not uncommon. The poor farmer loved his aged mother with tender reverence, and the order filled his heart with sorrow.
But no one ever thought twice about obeying the mandate of the governor, so with many deep and hopeless sighs, the youth prepared for what at that time was considered the kindest mode of death.
Then he lifted his helpless old mother to his back and started on his painful journey up the mountain. The road was long and steep; the narrow road was crossed and re-crossed by many paths made by the hunters and woodcutters.
In some place, they lost and confues, but he gave no heed. One path or another, it mattered not. The eyes of the old mother were not so dim but that they noted the reckless hastening from one path to another, and her loving heart grew anxious. At last the summit was reached.
Weary and heart sick, the youth gently released his burden and silently prepared a place of comfort as his last duty to the loved one. Gathering fallen pine needles, he made a soft cushion and tenderly lifted his old mother onto it. Hew rapped her padded coat more closely about the stooping shoulders and with tearful eyes and an aching heart he said farewell.
LOOK carefully and follow the path which holds the piles of twigs. His heart broke within and bowing to the ground, he cried aloud: I will not leave you. Together we will follow the path of twigs, and together we will die!
Beneath the kitchen floor was a walled closet for food, which was covered and hidden from view. There the son hid his mother, supplying her with everything she needed, continually watching and fearing she would be discovered. Time passed, and he was beginning to feel safe when again the governor sent forth heralds bearing an unreasonable order, seemingly as a boast of his power.
His demand was that his subjects should present him with a rope of ashes. The entire province trembled with dread. The order must be obeyed yet who in all Shining could make a rope of ashes?
One night, in great distress, the son whispered the news to his hidden mother. The governor was pleased at the wit of the youth and praised greatly, but he demanded to know where he had obtained his wisdom. The governor listened and then meditated in silence.
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THE STORY OF THE AGED MOTHER A Japanese Folktale by MATSUO BASHOLong, long ago there lived at the foot of the mountain a poor farmer and his aged, widowedmother.
Jul 27, · THE STORY OF THE AGED MOTHER A Japanese Folktale by MATSUO BASHO Long, long ago there lived at the foot of the mountain a poor farmer and his aged, widowed mother. They owned a bit of land which supplied them with food, and their humble were peaceful arteensevilla.comg was governed by a despotic leader who though a warrior, had a great and.
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