In the city of Kyoto, there lived a great Zen master called Keichu. He was the head of Tofoku, a huge cathedral in the city. Keichu held sway over his jurisdiction and was well-respected for his astute perceptiveness.
When Kitagaki took over as the Governor of the city of Kyoto, he heard much about Keichu’s wisdom. Deciding to pay his respects, Kitagaki called upon Keichu one evening. Upon reaching the cathedral, Kitagaki presented his business card to Keichu’s attendant and asked for an audience with the Zen Master. The attendant asked Kitagaki to wait and went inside to give the card to Keichu.
“Master, there is someone here to see you,” the attendant announced.
“Who is it?” Keichu asked.
The attendant gave Keichu the Governor’s calling card which read: Kitagaki, Governor of Kyoto.
“I have nothing to do with this fellow!” bellowed Keichu, throwing the card in disgust. “Tell him to leave right away!” he said, turning to the attendant. The attendant picked up the calling card and dashed to the hall where Kitagaki was waiting. “My apologies, dear Sir,” he said. “The Master does not wish to see you,” he told the Governor, remorsefully returning his card.
Kitagaki was startled. He took his card and was about to leave when he read the words on his card. Realizing his folly at once, the Governor took a pencil and scratched out something from his card. “That was my mistake,” he told the attendant, giving him the calling card again. “Would you please be kind enough to ask your Master one more time?”
The attendant returned to Keichu’s chamber and handed him the Governor’s card again. The card now simply read: Kitagaki. The Governor had scratched out the words, ‘Governor of Kyoto.’
Keichu read the card and his eyes lit up.
“Oh, it is Kitagaki? Yes, I would like to see him now; send him in please!” he told his attendant.
And that’s how the Governor of Kyoto got an audience with the Zen Master Keichu.