Taxes! Repaying Virtues! Sontoku!
In spirit of Tax Day here in America, let’s learn about houtoku, or repaying virtues, from our good friend Ninomiya Sontoku (二宮 尊徳, 1787-1856). Chances are, you haven’t heard about this fascinating fellow. First and foremost, don’t associate him right away with taxes! He’s not a bad guy! In fact, he’s so amazing that he’s one of the few people who have a Shinto shrine named for them (rather than a mythical deity). Ninomiya Jinja, founded during the Meiji period in 1894, is located very close to Odawara Castle in Japan’s Kanagawa Prefecture.