The legends are stories that have been transmitted throughout history not only to entertain, but also to teach values and powerful lessons. These are stories capable of awakening emotions and reflecting on our day to day. The fisherman and the turtle is one of them.
Despite being a short story, his message is clear and powerful. It invites us to question the rhythm of life we lead, to what we dedicate our time and, above all, the importance of our decisions and actions. We hope you like it!
The fisherman and the turtle, a Japanese legend to think
Many years ago, a humble fisherman lived in a small coastal village, whose name was Urashima. One day, when returning from a long day of fishing, he observed that a group of children mistreated a turtle on the shore of the beach. Neither short nor lazy, he reproached their behavior and to ensure that they released her, he paid them some coins.
Once the animal was free, Urashima helped him return to the sea. The next day, while he was fishing on the high seas, he heard a voice saying his name. When he looked for the origin of said voice, I identified that it was of the turtle that had released the previous day.
She told him that she was the servant of the queen of all seas, who resided in the Dragon’s Palace, where she had been invited in gratitude for her action. So the fisherman climbed the back of the turtle and traveled by the bottom of the sea to reach the place where the queen dwelt.
Once there, he was amazed by the sumptuousness of the palace and the beauty of the queen. This entertained him and filled him with attention. But when the fisherman had been there for three days, he told the monarch that he wanted to return home, since he had dreamed that his parents, already elderly, needed him.
The Japanese legend continues…
The queen did not object to his return, but before leaving, she gave him a lacquered box inlaid with pearls. And he also gave him an important warning: the box should not be opened under any circumstances, if he did he could be happy.
After surfacing, Urashima started on her way home. As he progressed, he was surprised more and more, because he did not recognize his people. In fact, when he arrived at the place where his home should be, he found another building and when he asked his parents about the people he found there, nobody could answer him.
When he said his name, a very old person said that in his childhood he had heard the story of a fisherman who was called the same and who had disappeared in the sea. The detail is that it happened hundreds of years ago, although for Urashima only three days had passed.
Alone, sad and desperate, he went to the edge of the sea. It was then that he thought that if he opened the box that the queen had given him, perhaps he could return to the Dragon Palace. But when he opened it, white smoke came from inside.
That’s how, suddenly, Urashima was getting older with every step she took. His face had more and more wrinkles, his body was getting heavier and his hair turned white. It was at that moment that he realized what the box contained: the years that had elapsed while he was in the palace, which returned to his body. The next day, Urashima’s body was on the shore of the beach.
Teachings of the Japanese legend of the fisherman and the turtle
The Japanese legend of the fisherman and the turtle invites us to reflect on the quality of our time and our actions. As well as the importance of being aware of the consequences that our people have.
Often, when we are well or we are happy, we perceive the passage of time much faster. The question is not to lose the north and always keep in mind what is important: the people around us and our plan of life. Because we must not confuse pleasure and desire with well-being, nor what we get at the moment to satisfy our need with the satisfaction resulting from having achieved something through our effort and work.
Nor can we forget the repercussions of our decisions and actions. Everything has consequences, for better or for worse. The legend of the fisherman and the turtle exemplifies it very well when Urashima opens the box, despite having been warned not to do so.
“The best life is not the longest, but the richest in good deeds.”