|One evening, several villagers gathered at the
home of the village leader. They all sat around the irori (an open charcoal fire), their
faces set aglow by the flickering flames. The village leader, sipping his tea said,
"We'll have to start thinking about who we should send to serve at Court." It
was the custom of the time to send a few selected farmhands from the Kanto area to serve
for one year as gardeners at the Imperial Court in Kyoto.