Jigoku-no Sata-mo Kaneshidai

(Money is the key that opens all doors./ Money is a good master key./ Money makes the mare to go.)


(Courtesy to notable-quotes.com)

 It is said in most religions that you cannot take your money to the Heaven/Hell. According to those religions, humans are not advised to keep their wealth at the time of death. The less attachment to the material wealth, the better. “The Church Business” makes dough that way, right?

 Now here is a Japanese proverb that says that you have to be wealthy enough at the time of your departure (to the other world) so you can bribe demons in the Hell, who are going to torture you less…. Interestingly, you Americans think people are automatically to go to the Heaven when they die. Dying means going to the Heaven (hopefully). In Japan, however, people take it for granted that they are directed to the Hell at the time of their death. For the Japanese, dying means going to the Hell. What a difference!!

 Wait a minute! Something is wrong here! Most Japanese are humble (Of course, there are exceptions all over the world!), as you may know it. Still they teach their children and/or grandchildren that you should save some money so you can bribe the demons in the Hell when you go to the Hell!?

 I did a research on this particular proverb. Yes, I hit the gold! “Jigoku-no Sata-mo Kaneshidai” means opposite to the translations above. I am telling you the truth. 

 Original story from which this proverb came goes like this:

   “There was a Buddhist temple in the mountains. One day the family of the wealthy man, who hires lots of employees, came over to let the monk know that he passed away. The family asked him to have a funeral for him too. The Buddhist monk was preparing the Buddhist funeral for him. All of sudden, the clear revelation came to the monk. He saw the image of the wealth man falling into the Hell! 

   The monk sent his young apprentice monk to the wealthy man’s house to let them know what he saw in the image. Also, he had the little monk tell them that the rich man was about to fall into the Hell and that he may be saved and can possibly go to the Heaven instead if the family share all the wealth the dead man owned with the poor in the village IMMEDIATELY!

   The totally scared family did what they were told to do IMMEDIATELY! As a result, the wealthy dead didn’t have to go to the Hell. (He lived in the Heaven happily ever after – I don’t know!!)”

 So, this proverb was NOT intended for the average or the poor in the Japanese society, telling them to have some savings. But, it is for the rich. The proverb teaches the rich how to live ethically enough to share their wealth with the “Have-Not,” using the scare tactics. – “You are going to suffer in the Hell if you keep all your wealth to yourself. Lighten your burden. Grow up spiritually and live ethically. (Courtesy to dic.pixib.net)”

“Just because you are rich, that does not necessarily mean

you can do whatever you want to.”

Do you live ethically?

I will show you other Japanese ethics!

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