Long, long ago, in old Japan, there lived near Katano, in the Kawachi Province, a prince named Bitchu-no-Kami Minetaka or Lord Minetaka, as we should say in English. He was not only a very wealthy man, but it was reported that his house was full of rare and wonderful treasures. He was also a learned man and the master of many accomplishments. His life was passed in the luxurious leisure of the rich, and he knew nothing of care or want—perhaps he hardly realized what such words meant. But above all the treasures in his storehouse, beyond the wealth of his revenue which came pouring in year by year in bushels of rice, he prized his only child, his daughter. The prince and his wife brought this daughter up with great love and tenderness as if she were some rare flower or fragile butterfly. So beautiful indeed was the young girl that in looking at her their friends and relations wondered whether the Sun Goddess Amaterasu had not come to earth again in the form of the little Princess. Nothing came to mar the happiness of this united little family till the daughter was fifteen years of age. Then suddenly the mother, who had never known a day's illness in her whole life, was taken ill. At first it seemed to be but a slight cold, but her health, instead of getting better, only grew worse and worse. She felt that she would never recover and that her end was very near, so she called her daughter beside her pillow, and, taking a large lacquer bowl from the bedside, she placed it on her daughter's head, saying: "My poor little child, I want you always to wear this bowl. At your innocent age you can understand nothing of the world in which I must leave you motherless. I pity you with all my heart; ah! if you were at least seventeen or eighteen years old I could die with more peace of mind. I am indeed loath to go, leaving you behind so young. Try to be a good daughter and never forget your mother." The woman's tears fell fast as she spoke, and her voice was broken with sobs while she stroked her little girl's hand. But things are not as one wishes in this life. All the doctor's skill could not save the mother; she died and left her daughter behind motherless in the world. And the young Princess, besides sorrowing for the loss of her mother, was greatly troubled at the knowledge that, though born physically perfect, she was now quite disfigured for life in having to wear the ugly bowl which her mother for some unknown reason had placed on her head. If no one succeeded in taking the bowl off, she might have to wear it her whole life. That would indeed be a terrible affliction. But in spite of all she never forgot her mother even for a moment, but carried in her heart the memory of her love and care through every hour of the livelong day.....