According to a classic Chinese folktale…………
Zhang Liang was born into an aristocratic family in the Han state during the Warring States Period (206 B.C.–A.D. 220). For five generations, his ancestors served its rulers. In 230 B.C., when the state was dissolved by Qin Shi Huang, founder of the Qin Dynasty, Zhang spent his entire family fortune for an assassination attempt on Qin Shi Huang’s life. However, the attempt failed and Zhang was forced to flee to another state. As a wanted man by the government, Zhang Liang travelled to Xiapi and stayed there for some time, using fake identities to evade the authorities.
From 'Legend in Japanese Art' by Henri L. Joly..........
The story begins with Choryo (Zhang Liang), who after falling from his position as the governor of Han, led a life of wandering. During this time, once he took a stroll at Yishui Bridge and met a strange old man, who later appeared to be a recluse, Koseki (Huang Shigong ("Yellow Rock Old Man")). The old man pretended to stumble, expecting Choryo to help him, which he did and Koseki told him to come back to the same place and meet him again in five days. Five days later, when Choryo arrived, Koseki was already waiting for him and chided him for being late for a meeting with an older man. This happened a second time, finding the old man still waiting. The third time Choryo stayed over night at the meeting spot, making sure the old man would not be the first to get there. When the old man arrived in the morning, satisfied, he revealed himself to be Koseki. He began to teach Choryo the art of war and strategy. Choryo then used these teachings splendidly as a military adviser of Liu Bang, the founder of the Han Dynasty.
The scene of the tsubas below represents an episode from the times of Choryo's study of the art of war. On the third morning meeting Koseki decided to test Choryo and threw his shoe from the bridge into the river telling him to fetch it. There was a great dragon living in that river that seized the shoe. Choryo did not get scared, and using a sword, seized it back. Koseki rewarded him with a priceless scroll titled "The Art of War" by Taigong. After that it appeared that the dragon was no one else but Bodhisattva Kuan Yin (the Goddess of Mercy), who took on the dragon form to test Choryo.
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