a K h o

foolish traveler

Posted on: March 29, 2008

this is the story of the most foolish traveler in the world.

once upon a time, there was a foolish traveler who had gone on a journey. why was he foolish? well, because he was fooled by everyone he met!

everywhere he went, people made up all kinds of sad stories to tell him, and the traveler fell for every one of them.

please, some money for medicine…?
i have a sick younger sister…
i don’t have money to buy seeds to plant in my fields.

pretty soon, his money, his clothes, even his shoes had been cheated away from him.

however, the foolish traveler was always glad to help. for everyone of them, he’ll smile and say, “i wish you happiness.”

but by this point, the traveler was completely naked, and with nothing left to cover himself, he decided to leave the main road and travel through the dense forest, where no one could see him…

soon, he was discovered by the goblins that lived in the woods. the goblins wanted to eat the traveler’s body, so they begged and pleaded, and used kind words to try and trick him…

of course, the traveler was fooled. first, he let the goblins eat one of his legs. then an arm. then more and more…before it was over, all that the traveler had left was his head. he’d even given his eyes away to the last of the goblins…

and as the last goblin was eating the traveler’s eyes, he turned and said “thank you, traveler. in return, i leave you this present.”

what the goblin left was a slip of paper, with the word “fool” written on it. the traveler couldn’t see it. he didn’t know what it was. even so, tears began to flow down his face. “thank you,” he said. “this is the first present anyone ever gave me. i’m so happy. i’m so happy. thank you.”

even without his eyes, he cried and cried great tears of joy. then, the traveler died, with a smile on his face.

and that’s…the end of the story.

i close my eyes and think about him a little bit longer. i think about how he had given everything away, until all he had left was his head…and how at the end, he still cried for joy as he said thank you.

and then i realize…i feel sorry for him.

see? loss, hardship, things like that? you can’t only focus on them. the traveler didn’t…he never thought about his own troubles at all.

i imagine that it probably does sound really foolish to some people. but i don’t think he’s foolish at all. even though other people probably think he was being tricked? i don’t think he was. i think he did exactly what he wanted to do.

i think, more than anything, he just wanted to make others happy.

what do you think? really? is that foolish? when you close your eyes and think about it, is that what it is?

(episode 11, Fruits Basket ~ a rare gem of an anime)

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26 Responses to "foolish traveler"

Hi there! This is beautiful. Do you have a Japanese version of this please?

This was taken from the anime Fruits Basket, so it’s in japanese (with english subtitles) =)

it’s so deep…but i don’t really understand how it ties in. I kno that it represents tohru’s kindess..but what does mommiji mean? is he telling them that only stupid ppl would use her in that way?

Its not that momoji is saying that stupid people would use her in that way its showing that tohru is the sacred fool. She is willing to do anything for anyone as long as she can make them happy even if it means she loses everything.

well i happen 2 know a foolish traveler and i guess u could only understand from experisnce . but in a way the foolish traveler got exactly what he wanted . he wanted 2 make people happy and it made him happy 2 give. the point is he got more satisafaction in giveing than they ever got in takeing.

wow. thats sad. he he.. im no fool fool. its kind of depressing. why would he give hes body away? when the goblins asked if they could eat him i thought he would say sorry. but my body is all i got left.

No, till the end, he was willing to give everything to make others happy, even a lowly goblin, kinda sad, even sadder is that you cant be that kind these days without being taken advantage of

I feel like the point is that the traveler WAS taken advantage of, but he did what he wanted, and he wanted to make people happy from the bottom of his heart. So although the takers were clever and thought him a fool, the traveler couldn’t be beaten. Nothing could take his happiness away because he had such a generous and grateful heart. Perspective / perception is everything.

The fool is symbolism for Tohru-
how she always gives herself up for the sake of others. Kyo calls her a fool for spending all her time and money on them during the past Valentine’s day, and Momiji presents the story as a counterattack. The first time I read it, however, I was unable to make that connection.

I’m actually using this monologue of Momiji’s as a reference in a research paper I am writing… what’s truly strange about it is that there is no other record of the story anywhere else; I assume it was made up by Takayaka to serve it’s purpose in the story, but all the same, it makes a valuable point. In a way, it is almost a very Christ-like figure. Perhaps (even indirectly or unintentionally) this is a reference to Tohru’s sacrifice being Holy, even…

This is actually an ancient Buddhist story. I’ve heard a similar story from my parents about how there was a man who had given everything away. So when I heard this story, it sounded familiar.

Do you remember the title of the Buddhist story? (:

in the context, Momoji is talking about why Tohru bought everyone chocolates at her own expense. Momoji uses the sotry to show that even though Tohru spent a lot of money she was happy for doing. and not foolish as Kyo had suggested.

The traveller was the same. he gave his life in trying to help people. Momiji said he did not think the traveler was foolish, as he died doing exactly what he wanted to do – helping people. Even if those people were tricking him. the traveler didnt complain about this, and neither does tohru.

One of my most favorite stories ever. It reminds me so much of how I was in public school, even when I knew people were lying. I think about how happy he was before he died, and I think that’s the most important part of the story, was his being happy knowing he’s made others happy, and that was exactly what he wanted to do.

OMG, I love tis story so much & I also like how Momiji felt about the story!~ =D

Haha. Now I see where you get the name: Foolish Traveler.

This story is very similar to Grim’s tale of a girl who gives everything to the people in need, then as she stands on the hill, stars start falling down for her (it’s the “Heaven’s Coins” tale).

this story is very beautiful and very inspiring and i think its not foolishness what he did ,is to make every one’s happy and i am going to use this story this coming christmas i want everyone heard this story

This story never fails to get my blood boiling and never fails to make my heart sink. I know people say the point of the story was that he was happy when he died but I can’t just think of it that way. I still find it horrible no one, not one person was honest and thanked him sincerely. The taunted him and he was too blind(literall) to notice. And then he died.

And that’s the end.
Even the Little Match Girl had a happier ending!!!

I’m sorry but this story makes me mad and depressed. But I have to admit, it makes me admire the “foolish” traveler. I know I could never be so kind.

Wow that story is amazing, i remember watching that episode :). That story is so deep, the sybolism that the author compares what kind of person Tohru is and how the foolish traveler is like her. They both give up whatever they have just to make people they care about happy. I don’t think that is foolish at all, but to an extreme measure like the foolish traveler(that maybe somewhat foolish to give away his body…but he did it willingly)

It is a very good story!!!

actually im touched when momiji was teeling the story., i think he’s trying to tell them that Tohru is not a fool. She is just doing what she thinks is right and that she only wants them to be happy, for her to be happy. I also think that the traveller is not a fool. And im amazed that as a devil, the goblin is the only one who said thank you. For me it is something great to say thank you. Even if he wrote fool but then the thought is, still, he said thank you…

its one of those stories which can only be understood by those who’ve lived life for quite a while and has understood that life isn’t always fair or the outcome that we’ve predicted isn’t the same…not only that, but the least person you’d expect to give gratitude was the only one who did… no offense to those who’ve yet to understand the story,but when you finally understand it, it will really live a mark in you’re life…something like a value ^^

one good characteristic which failed to be pointed out is his undoubting to people’s motives. he never questions those who ask for his help… therefore does his deeds unconditionally…

Brilllaint story the way momiji said it was perfect

Lol I got inspired from this to write a fairytale

I like to think that the title is misleading. Maybe it isn’t about who is being smart or foolish. The wanderer is just showing love isn’t he? (unconditional love)
For example, if we change the title from “The Foolish Traveller” to “Mom” or “Dad”, and if we change everyone (goblins, villagers, etc) to their children, siblings; suddenly the story doesn’t seem so foolish.. If love is present, the parents help out without any second thought, regardless of their well being.
Just my $0.02. :)

I believe that the title makes you think that the traveler is foolish and when you start off with that judgement that he is, you slowly understand how much he isn’t. Although hes doing all this, and it seems selfless, its really quite selfish. He does it to make himself feel good. He doesn’t care about the consequences. I can see why some people would call it foolish but in the end its not foolish. All though he did everything without a second thought, he still does it with purpose and intent, because he tried to make himself feel better. It wasn’t about how he loved so much that he even gave himself away, it was about how man can still be selfish and benefit others. At least that’s how I interpreted it.

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u can regard everything here as fiction, or fanfiction (me being my own fan haha), or messed up ramblings from the deranged mind of a guy in his midlife crisis. whatever. comment as u see fit. the brainless ones go to /purgatory, not that i'm saying ur a zombie. then again seeing as i'm not getting much sleep lately, i probably am one. that said, u'll realise that u can't take legal action against a zombie. cause we've gots diplomatic immuniteh. rawr.

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