Wasabi Stories vol.19: “Personal Experience is a Great Teacher”



wasabi stories“Wasabi Stories” is a quotation and summary of a column which touches ones heart or not found on the internet.

It is a Japanese famous person’s story extracted from the NIKKEI news paper.

The purpose in posting the column in JAPAN Style is to cheer you up and to make you feel “it’ was worth reading!”

Wasabi (Japanese horseradish or mustard) is spicy and stimulate your nose and make you teary.

The columns in “Wasabi Stories” hopefully spice your heart and sometimes make you teary!

The stories were originally sent as E-mail Newsletter in Japanese. Some are a little old but we’ll eventually catch up with new ones.



“Personal Experience is a Great Teacher”

Today’s story teller is a politician of the Democratic Party of Japan, Azuma Koshiishi.

72 year-old Koshiishi looked back when he was a naughty boy, who teased a homeless couple by throwing stones.

There was a bridge over a river near Koshiishi’s home, and the homeless couple started living under the bridge.

One evening, his mother found about the homeless couple, and she took some rice balls and miso soup to them with him.

She continued it every single day.

First, Koshiishi hated doing it but through the communication with the couple everyday, he started to think about what he had done to them.

Meanwhile, Koshiishi’s father found that his mother was taking food to them everyday, and he gave her a little warning.


“Do you think you can continue that?”


Kosshiishi thought his mother would stop going but his mother just pretended to listen to him and said to him, “Honey, let’s go sneakily”.

She continued to provide food to the couple after that.

Little Koshiishi grew up to be a teacher.

As a teacher, his belief was that “learning through experiences”.

For example, how much a teacher tells to children “don’t bully the weak”, the word doesn’t reach to their hearts.

By his mother and his giving food and communicating with the homeless couple, little Koshiishi first understood how it feels to “reach hands to the weak”, and that experience made the foundation of Koshiishi’s teaching.

The NIKKEI Apr/2/2009 by Azuma Koshiishi (The leader of Democratic Party in the House of Councillors)


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