Handsomely Reward Your Messengers

As we all know, Heian-era Japan partly declined due to money no longer being minted. After all, people had just stopped using it. Why reward a messenger delivering a rival’s witty poem with actual coins (how gauche!) when you could instead give him a fine silk for his troubles?

We should all try to be as magnanimous. The next time you order a pizza, don’t tip (or pay) the pizza boy with filthy printed money. Instead, show your gratitude with a hand-painted fan you’ve owned since infancy. Sigh as you hand it to him, sentimentally reflecting on your past days of youth. “Ah,” you’ll say. “It’s served me well. This belongs to you now, kind sir.” Trust me: he wants that fan more than some five dollar bill.
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1 Comment

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One response to “Handsomely Reward Your Messengers

  1. Peko-P

    No kidding! Yep, I’ve got plenty of fai’dollar bills, but a fan owned by Sei Shonagon, from infancy is something that I would deliver A LOT of pizzas for!

    So, in your era, money was no longer minted? I didn’t know that. So, in my country, the United States, we will be minting A LOT of money in the coming years to buy our way out of the fiscal disaster, so we can expect REALLY good times do you think?

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