Chronicle of the Rebirth of Katsugorō – 01 The Report Of Tamon Dempachirô
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
1.—COPY OF THE REPORT OF TAMON DEMPACHIRÔ.
The case of Katsugorô, nine years old, second son of Genzô, a farmer on my estate, dwelling in the Village called Nakano-mura in the District called Tamagôri in the Province of Musashi.
Some time during the autumn of last year, the above-mentioned Katsugorô, the son of Genzô, told to his elder sister the story of his previous existence and of his rebirth. But as it seemed to be only the fancy of a child, she gave little heed to it. Afterwards, however, when Katsugorô had told her the same story over and over again, she began to think that it was a strange thing, and she told her parents about it.
During the twelfth month of the past year, Genzô himself questioned Katsugorô about the matter, whereupon Katsugorô declared,—-
That he had been in his former existence the son of a certain Kyûbei, a farmer of Hodokubo-mura, which is a village within the jurisdiction of the Lord Komiya, in the district called Tamagôri, in the province of Musashi;— That he, Katsugorô, the son of Kyûbei, had died of smallpox at the age of six years,—and that he had been reborn thereafter into the family of the Genzô before-mentioned.
Though this seemed unbelievable, the boy repeated all the circumstances of his story with so much exactness and apparent certainty, that the Headman and the elders of the village made a formal investigation of the case. As the news of this event soon spread, it was heard by the family of a certain Hanshirô, living in the village called Hodokubo-mura; and Hanshirô then came to the house of the Genzô aforesaid, a farmer belonging to my estate, and found that everything was true which the boy had said about the personal appearance and the facial characteristics of his former parents, and about the aspect of the house which had been his home in his previous birth.
Katsugorô was then taken to the house of Hanshirô in Hodokubo-mura; and the people there said that he looked very much like their Tôzô, who had died a number of years before, at the age of six. Since then the two families have been visiting each other at intervals. The people of other neighboring villages seem to have heard of the matter; and now persons come daily from various places to see Katsugorô.
A deposition regarding the above facts having been made before me by persons dwelling on my estate, I summoned the man Genzô to my house, and there examined him. His answers to my questions did not contradict the statements before-mentioned made by other parties.
Occasionally in the world some rumor of such a matter as this spreads among the people. Indeed, it is hard to believe such things. But I beg to make report of the present case, hoping the same will reach your august ear,—so that I may not be charged with negligence.
[Signed] TAMON DEMPACHIRÔ.
The Fourth Month and the Sixth Year of Bunsei .