There once lived a wealthy tradesman who had a daughter named Akiko. Akiko was generous and well-loved. Early in her life, her mother died and her father remarried a woman who was sharp-tongued and mean. Envy surged through every inch of the new wife’s soul. She tried to weaken Akiko’s grace and charm by ordering her to take on extra household tasks. Although the work loomed before her like an immense mountain, Akiko worked until it was done… and she still managed to greet visitors at the door with a smile and beggars with a bowl of rice.