The Story of Mimi-Nashi-Hoichi
“My poor Hoichi!” cried the startled priest,—“what is this?… You have been hurt?”…
At the sound of his friend’s voice, the blind man felt safe. He burst out sobbing, and tearfully told his adventure of the night.
“Poor, poor Hoichi!” the priest exclaimed,—“all my fault!—my very grievous fault!… Everywhere upon your body the holy texts had been written—except upon your ears! I trusted my acolyte to do that part of the work; and it was very, very wrong of me not to have made sure that he had done it!… Well, the matter cannot now be helped;—we can only try to heal your hurts as soon as possible… Cheer up, friend!—the danger is now well over. You will never again be troubled by those visitors.”
With the aid of a good doctor, Hoichi soon recovered from his injuries. The story of his strange adventure spread far and wide, and soon made him famous. Many noble persons went to Akamagaseki to hear him recite; and large presents of money were given to him,—so that he became a wealthy man… But from the time of his adventure, he was known only by the appellation of Mimi-Nashi-Hoichi: “Hoichi-the-Earless.”
From Kwaidan: stories and studies of strange things, by Lafcadio Hearn.Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1904.