Children of His Majesty

Yamaoka Tesshu was a tutor of the emperor in Japan. He was also a master of fencing and a profound student of Zen.

His home was the abode of vagaonds. He had but one suit of clothes, for they kept him always poor.

The emperor, observing how worn his garments were, gave Yamaoka some money to buy new ones. The next time Yamaoka appeared he wore the same old outfit.

“What has became of the new clothes, Yamaoka?” asked the emperor.

“I provided clothes for the children of Your Majesty”, explainded Yamaoka.

Reference:
Zen Flesh, Zen Bones: A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings
compiled by Paul Reps, Arkana 1991
ISBN:0140192670