History Girls

{October 31, 2009}   101 Zen Koans – Number 10

10. The Last Poem of Hoshin

The Zen master Hoshin lived in China many years. Then he returned to the north-eastern part of Japan, where he taught his disciples. When he was getting very old, he told them a story he had heard in China. This is the story:

One year on the twenty-fifth of December, Tokufu, who was very old, said to his disciples: “I am not going to be alive next year so you fellows should treat me well this year.”

The pupils thought he was joking, but since he was a great-hearted teacher each of them in turn treated him to a feast on succeeding days of the departing year.

On the eve of the New Year, Tokufu concluded: “You have been good to me. I shall leave you tomorrow afternoon when the snow has stopped.”

The disciples laughed, thinking he was aging and talking nonsense since the night was clear and without snow. But at midnight snow began to fall, and the next day they did not find their teacher about. They went to the meditation hall. There he had passed on.

Hoshin, who related this story, told his disciples: “It is not necessary for a Zen master to predict his passing, but if he really wishes to do so, he can.”

“Can you?” someone asked.

“Yes,” answered Hoshin. “I will show you what I can do seven days from now.” None of the disciples believed him, and most of them had even forgotten the conversation when Hoshin next called them together.

“Seven days ago,” he remarked, “I said I was going to leave you. It is customary to write a farewell poem, but I am neither poet nor calligrapher. Let one of you inscribe my last words.”

His followers thought he was joking, but one of them started to write.

“Are you ready?” Hoshin asked.

“Yes, sir,” replied the writer.

Then Hoshin dictated:

I came from brilliancy.
And return to brilliancy.
What is this?

The poem was one line short of the customary four, so the disciple said: “Master, we are one line short.”

Hoshin, with the roar of a conquering lion, shouted “Kaa!” and was gone.



During the Second World War, nearly a million women fought alongside their male counterparts and in October 1941, women�s aviation regiments began to be formed.

From: http://ping.fm/hqvhZ

{October 31, 2009}  

Soviet female fighter pilots of the Second World War | Bukisa.com http://ping.fm/QgwLb

According to traditional believe, the Battle of Agincourt was one of the finest military victories in history. Henry V and, as Shakespeare called them, his ‘Band of Brothers’, beat a French army that was up to five times larger than the English force.

From: http://ping.fm/ma1BE

{October 31, 2009}  

New research claims Battle of Agincourt may have been an even contest | Bukisa.com http://ping.fm/2aUh4

Japanese and European medieval societies developed along similar feudal lines and in both, a warrior elite emerged as the dominant force. In both parts of the world, honour played an important part in their cultures and knights and samurai were expected to follow their perspective warrior codes, the �Chivalric Code� in Europe and �Bushido� (way of the warrior) in Japan.

From: http://ping.fm/SjkZM

{October 29, 2009}  

A Comparison of the Concepts of Honour Held by the Samurai of Japan and European Knights | Socyberty ( http://ping.fm/7XRod )

Temperance societies began in the 19th century as many Americans were concerned about the negative effects alcohol consumption was having on the nation.

From: http://ping.fm/TkUgq

{October 28, 2009}  

Temperance and Prohibition | Bukisa.com ( http://ping.fm/5F1Kz )

{October 27, 2009}   Billy’s Bar and Grill

Billy’s Bar and Grill was built in 1877 in Anoka, Minnesota. It was originally a hotel that had a restaurant and bar in it. After a fire swept through the Anoka area in 1884, and the building was severely damaged it was rebuilt and ready to open in 1885.

Shortly after reopening its doors and the first anniversary of the fire, the hotel had its first murder occur. A drunken disagreement between friends led to one man shooting the other.

In the 1920s the original owners turned it over to relatives and in 1952, the hotel was converted into apartments and stayed that way until 1975. The ownership changed hands a few times over the years and now just a bar and grill.

The place is haunted by a red haired woman that is believed to be a prostitute from the 1920s that disappeared while working in the hotel. She appears in a third floor window and is known to walk through the bar and grill.

There have been incidences when the pictures on the walls move and the lights turn on and off. There was one time when the beer cases shifted in the stock room to the point of blocking the door.

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et cetera