Stories of Japanese picture book’s are very interesting but at the same time teach us about a life, just like western’s children’s books. I hope you read this Japanese story to your children if you have and enjoy together!
Sokotsu Sobei – そこつ そうべい
JUST few words before starting.
Mochi ya – (もちや)ーa shop/store sells rice cake
Mise saki – (店先) – a storefront
Daifukumochi (大ふくもち）- a type of rice cakei consisting of a small round mochi stuffed with sweet filling, most commonly anko, sweetened red bean paste made from azuki beans.
mon (文) – an old Japanese smallest currency unit, a coin used before Edo period
Kozo san (小僧さん） – normally KOZO means disciples, an apprentice, youngster but in this case, a shop boy
Ha ga tatanai (はが立たない) - [ha] means teeth, [tata nai] means “can not stand”. This is a metaphorical expression – when something is too hard to bite which means that it is not be able to eat.
Ka chan – （かあちゃん）normally ka san (ka chan) means “mum” but in this case it is a wife. In Japanese family a husband tends to call a wife [ka san, ka chan] because his wife is also child’s mum as well at the same time.
– let’s start!
As Sobei run so hard that he became so hungry and finally exhausted. When he was weary walking on a town street, suddenly his eyes got sparkled. Looking delicious Difukumochi were displayed at a storefront of mochiya.
「One for three mon, I see.」
When he was about take his purse out, he has just noticed that he forgot his purse although he came out for shopping. He only had two mon coins with him.
[One mon short… ]
When he peeked inside the shop, a shop boy was having a nap.
Sobei who were gazing at the boy said with little voice.
[Sorry, but give me a discount to two mon」
After putting two mon coins quickly he grabbed a biggest daifuku and begun to run away.
The shop boy who awoke was surprised and stood up chasing Sobei
「An customeeeeer, pleeeease wait! ]. But Sobei never stop because it would be in trouble if he was caught and daifuku was taken away from him.
「Give me a discount to two mon!」
He was shouting running away without looking back.
It was already dark around. Sobei held daifuku mochi firmly and never let it go.
Sobei make sure that the shop boy was not running after him.
「Well, I think it is safe to stop here then. He does not have to chase me so hard just because it was one mon short.」
As he was saying like that, he put daifuku mochi in his mouth and tried to eat it. Then there was a clicking sound and he can not bite it.
「Oh boy, what is this?」
The daifuku mochi which was displayed at the shop was a sample made of ceramic. It was Just like a rice bowl, it can’t be bitten.
Sobei was disappointed and talked to himself.
「I am really a hasty person aren’t I. I can not tell how much I have given troubles to my wife. I will return home and apologies to her」
It was late night when Sobei finally got back to the village. When Sobei opened the entrance door he then sat on the ground and apologized.
[My dear, just because I am a hasty person, I have been having you lots of troubles for a long time. I do apologies for that. I will be careful from now on so please forgive me. ]
Despite of his apologies his wife said nothing. He just wondered and looked up at her, then a wife from next door said.
[Mr Sobei, your house is next door.]
Sobei made a mistaken of popping into to a neighbor’s house. He is really hasty isn’t he!!!.
The end. (owari)
I have never ever came across someone so careless as Sobei in my life. The title of this story says [sokotu sobei]. [Sokotu] means careless, thoughtless. As you have read the story of Sobei, you agree to this title. He is so careless and thoughtless isn’t he. There is a Japanese expression. “Awateru kojiki wa morai ga sukunai”. When someone is so careless, and hasty they end up being fail or losing. Always check before taking an action. Hope you have enjoyed this story.
Mata ne. またね。