笠地蔵 The Folktale Kasajizou

Dear reader, today i will share a little story with you, which i have read for the first time today, while working through the back of げんき 1. It is called 笠地蔵 [かさじぞう] The Folktale of Kasajizo. First comes the Japanese original, which is followed by my more or less literal translation. 

昔々、山の中にお爺さんとお婆さんが住んでいました。お爺さんとおばあさんは家で笠を作っていました。明日はお正月です。新しい年が始まります。でも、お爺さんとお婆さんはお金がなかったから、お正月のお餅もありませんでした。二人は笠を売るって、お餅を買うつもりでした。お爺さんは笠を持って、町に売りに行きました。でも、だれも笠を買いませんでした。お爺さんは悲しくなりました。お爺さんは長い山道を歩いて帰りました。雪がたくさん降っていました。「あっ!お地蔵さんだ!」雪の中にお地蔵さんが六つ立っていました。お爺さんは「お地蔵さん、寒くありませんか。」と聞きました。お地蔵さんは何も言いませんでした。「どうぞ笠を使って下さい。」お爺さんはお地蔵さんの頭の上に笠を被せました。「一つ、二つ、三つ、四つ、五つ」笠は五つでした。一人のお地蔵さんは笠がありませんでした。お爺さん自分の笠を撮りました。「この笠は古いですが、どうぞ。」と言って、お地蔵さんに被せました。家に帰って、お爺さんはお婆さんにお地蔵さんの話をしました。お婆さんは「お爺さん、いい事をしましたね。」と言いました。その夜遅く、お爺さんは誰かの声を聞きました。「お爺さん、お爺さん。」お爺さんは戸を開けて、吃驚しました。六人のお地蔵さんが立っていました。お地蔵さんはお正月のお餅をたくさん持っていました。お正月の朝になりました。お爺さんとお婆さんはお餅をたくさん食べました。二人はとても幸せでした。

Once upon a time, an old man and woman lived in a mountain. In their home they were making bamboo hats. Tomorrow will be New Year’s day. A new year is about to begin. But the old man and his wife had no money, so they could not afford to get sweet rice cakes, for the New Year’s day. If they could sell their hats, they could get some rice cakes. The old man took the hats, and went to down, to sell them. But nobody bought any. This made the old man sad. So the old man returned back over the long mountain road. It snowed heavily. “Ah! Jizou san!” In the middle of the snow stood six jizou. The old man asked “Jizou, isn’t it cold?” The Jizou said nothing. “Please use these hats.” The old man put on the bamboo hats on the heads of the Jizou. “1, 2, 3, 4, 5,” bamboo hats. He had no hat left for the sixth Jizou. So he took off his own hat. “This hat is old, please take it, said he, and put it on the Jizou. Back home, he told the story of the Jizou to his wife. The old woman said to him, “You did a good thing.” Later that night, he heard the voice of someone. “Old man, old woman.” The old man opened the door, and was surprised. The six Jizou were standing there. They brought lot’s of New Year’s rice cakes with them. The New Year’s morning came, and the old man and his wife ate lot’s of rice cakes. Both were very happy.

This is the end of this beautiful Folktale. I hope you enjoy reading the original, if you are able to, or at least my translation of it, which might not be as good. Good or bad, this marks the beginning of my promised new section, called Japanese tales. In this category, i will translate stories from Japanese to English. As i will do this more often, i surely get better, and the reading will be more fun for you as well. If you have any wishes, like vocabulary lists, please say so and i will add them.

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