I remember my first beer

Ah, Coming of Age Day! When young men first don with purpose the suits they will, if their parents' prayers are answered, wear for at least 80% of their waking adult life, while their female counterparts dress up in a fashion they are unlikely to repeat ever again! Today No-sword presents some advice for these newly-minted adults from FUKUZAWA Yukichi:


Life is like a play. A talented actor might become a beggar, a total ham might become a nobleman. Either way, don't take it too seriously—just throw yourself whole-heartedly into everything you do.

The Japanese for "ham" is daikon yakusha, literally "daikon actor," for reasons unknown at present. Several convoluted etymological hypotheses have been proposed, but they all rely on puns that aren't that interesting if you don't speak Japanese.

Anyway, it goes back to at least Edo times and appears in a few senryu, although the real daikon stars of Edo senryū were the daiko[n] musha, "daikon warriors" (大根武者), who first appeared in the surreal 68th chapter of the Tsureuzure-gusa. In Porter's translation (1914):

In Tsukushi there was a certain Governor, who for many a year used to eat a couple of toasted radishes each morning as an excellent specific for all kinds of ailments.

Once the enemy, choosing a time when there were no troops in the official Residence, came on to the attack and surrounded it. But a couple of warriors came out of the building, who heedless of their own lives fought bravely and drove them all back again. Thinking this very remarkable (the Governor) said, 'By rights there should have been nobody here; what men are you who have fought like this?' And they replied, 'We are the radishes which you have so trustfully eaten morning after morning for years past' [年来頼みて、朝な朝な召しつる土大根らに候う]; and then they vanished.

Thus, if only you have perfect faith in anything, you will gain your reward [深く信をいたしぬれば、かゝる徳もありけるにこそ].

Which just goes to show that vegetables can be good for your health in all kinds of unexpected ways.

Popularity factor: 4


Call any vegetable and the chances are good that the vegetable will respond to you.


Interesting post, in that the message itself is one paragraph, and the rest is an even more interesting footnote.

Leonardo Boiko:

He could throw daikon at them like Mario.


Very nice. I wonder how cabbage warriors would fare.

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