Madame Nui’s Toad

Department chiefs  from the Industrial Bank of Japan’s headquarters would take the bullet train down from Tokyo to Osaka in order to attend a weekly ceremony presided over by the toad. On arriving at Nui’s house, the IBJ bankers would join the elite stockbrokers from Yamaichi Securities and other trading houses in a midnight vigil. First they would pat the head of the toad. Then they would recite prayers in front of a set of Buddhist statues in Nui’s garder. Finally Madame Nui would seat herself in front of the toad, go into a trance, and deliver the oracle — which stocks to buy and which to sell. The financial markets in Tokyo trembled at the verdict. At his peak in 1990, the toad controlled more than $10 billion in financial investments, making its owner the world’s largest individual stock investor.

Alex Kerr, Dogs and Demons,

Hill and Wang, 2001, p. 78

Published in: on January 9, 2010 at 3:27 am  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Are you sure this is non-political?

    • It’s about a ceramic toad and comparative banking practices. No topical or political interpretation is intended.

  2. I knew the world was nuts, but I hadn’t realized it was quite this nuts.

  3. Katagiri found a giant frog waiting for him in his apartment. It was powerfully built, standing over six feet tall on its hind legs. A skinny little man no more than five foot three, Katagiri was overwhelmed by the frog’s imposing bulk.

    “Call me Frog,” said the frog in a clear, strong voice.


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