Governor of Tokyo Prefecture

A new Governor of Kyoto made a call on the Abbot of the ancient temple complex of Daitokuji, on the northern outskirts of Kyoto. According to custom, he was received by an attendant monk, who then held out to him a little circular tray on which to place his visiting card. This was to be taken to the Abbot so that he would know who was the visitor, and perhaps give any directions that might be necessary. The Governor laid on his card:

Masami Takeda
Governor of Tokyo Prefecture

The attendant took the card but returned with it still on the tray, which he held out to the Governor.

The visitor stared at it for a moment and then said, ‘Oh, I made a mistake.’ He took out his fountain pen and put a line through the words Governor of Tokyo Prefecture. The card now just read Masami Takeda and the attendant took it back. From the next room he heard the Abbot’s voice, ‘Ah, Takeda. Yes, I wanted to see that fellow. Bring him in!’

Disrobing from the Old Zen Master

© Trevor Leggett

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