-The First Two People-

Long, long ago a boy and a girl came down from heaven to Kouri Island. They did not wear any clothes. They lived a happy life eating rice cakes (mochi) which fell down from heaven everyday.

They were happy. But they began to doubt. They wondered about the rice cake from heaven. "Will they always come down every day?" What should we do if they stop falling?" So they decided to save a few rices cakes each day, just in case. But as soon as they began to save the cakes, the cakes suddenly stopped falling from heaven.

The boy and girl looked up in the sky and prayed to the full moon:

"Dear Moon, Dear Moon,
Please send us rice cakes,
Please send them soon."
But their prayers were not answered.
No more rice cakes ever fell from heaven.

After that time their lives became difficult. They had to collect fruits and nuts for food. Their lives were not happy anymore.

A few years later, there at the seaside they happened to see two dugongs. They noticed that the dugongs were male and female. They then realized for the first time that men and women were different. Then they felt ashamed because they weren't wearing any clothes. So, they made clothes for themselves out of tree leaves. As time went on, they had children, and their children had children, and their grandchildren had childrenn and on and on. These first two people are the ancestors of all the people of the Ryukyu Islands.

Back to Folktales Index