The Midnight Brew

Good conversations at the best virtual diner on the Internet.

The Midnight Brew is a podcast hosted by Cailean Babcock out of Osaka, Japan, at the best virtual diner on the internet. Episodes feature interviews with inspiring individuals from around the world, as well as discussions about creativity, art, movies, current events and culture. Released every other Friday at midnight Japan Standard Time.

The Story of the First Baka (馬鹿)

(馬鹿 (ばか) is Japanese for "idiot", and literally translates to "horse-deer").

There was once an emperor of China who was not a very strong or respected ruler. Thus it was that, one day, his chief eunuch decided that the time had come to make his move and become the de facto power behind the throne. 

So he had a deer brought before the emperor and said, "I bring to you a horse, my Emperor."

"But that is no horse! That's a deer!" laughed the emperor. 

"But I tell you, my Emperor, you are mistaken; it is a horse."  He turned to the assembled lords and ladies of the court and asked them, "Is this not a fine horse you see before you?"

And fearing the power of the chief eunuch, they all nodded emphatically and agreed that they had rarely seen a finer specimen of horsedom. 

And so it was that a deer became a horse, and the emperor was made to look like a fool - the very first "baka".