Long, long ago a hard-working husband and his wife were living in a village. However hard they might work, their lives were always poor.
"I got tired of poverty. Why are we always so poor? I would like to drink, buy you a beautiful KIMONO, and once in a while go to the town." said the husband to his wife.
"It's no use thinking of such a thing. The best way to live is anyway to work hard in our field." said the wife to his husband.
"Maybe, you are right."
They were the hardest workers in the village, though they were not so rich. He worked in the field from morning till evening, while she made boots, baskets of straw and so on .
It was the last day of a year. They were talking by the hearth.
"Thanks, God. We could save a little money and make Mochi(rice cakes) for the new year." said the wife folding her hands in prayer.
It was the God of Poverty that put his face out of the attic.
"I see. It was because of you that we are so poor. By the way, why are you crying?" said the husband to the God of Poverty.
"As you worked so hard this year, I can't stay at this house any more. Soon the God of Fortune will come to this house instead of me. I must leave here.
"Why don't you drive him back and keep staying here?"
"But I'm so hungry that I don't have any energy to do so."
"You coward! Eat these rice cakes and fish as much as you like." The wife encouraged him to eat.
"I have never eaten such a delicious meal before. Give me another rice cake."
He ate and ate for the first time in his life so much that he had power and courage to drive back the God of Fortune. He stamped like a Sumo wrestler on the earth floor for a warm-up.
The God of Fortune was now walking along a narrow street to the house.
"Oh, that's the house I have lived in from today." And he knocked on the door.
"Hey, I am the God of Fortune. I'll live here from now and give you fortune. The God of Poverty, it is no longer your house. Why don't you get out at once?"
"No, I'll never leave this house. I'll stay here. My master and his wife told me to drive you out."
"The Poverty, Never be defeated by the Fortune. We'll cheer you." said the couple.
"What! It's unbelievable. Why do you support him? He is the God of Poverty." said he, trying to enter the door.
The Poverty attacked the Fortune and threw him away on the street with all his might.
"I'll never come to this house."
The God of Fortune went away, dropping his magic hammer.
"He dropped something. Oh, it's a magic hammer. Now he has no hammer. He is not the God of Fortune any more. I have one, so I am the God of Fortune." said the God to the couple, picking it up.
"This is a magic hammer which brings you fortune. What do you want?"
They looked at each other. They wanted some straw bags of rice and a beautiful KIMONO and a little money.
"I am not the God of Poverty any more. I am the God of Fortune." said the God and returned to the attic.
The couple worked very hard even after it and had a happy life though they were not poor.(2006.5.26 remake)