In some reports his name is spelt Honma, and the activities that were to make him a hero are ascribed to any time from 1650 to 1750. Homma ran the family rice trading business and rice was the lifeblood of Japan. More than a food, rice was a culture, Rice growing villages lived their whole lives around the rice planting, growing and harvesting cycle. Various parts of this cycle were celebrated with festivals and formal ceremonies. Feudal rulers, Daimyos collected grain from the farmers as land tax and sold it from their storehouses. Rice trading was the Japanese way of life for farmers and the merchant class. Soon rice would replace currency as the value of worth in the Feudal land of Japan.
This Monday morning Homma sat cross legged on his precious straw mats at his family rice warehouse and forced himself to concentrate on the lists of deliveries and inventory that required his attention every morning. He looked longingly at a pile of large, fine, rice paper parchment beside his small desk. These papers were Homma’s most precious possession. It was covered with strange symbols all of them painstakingly drawn by Homma. These symbols ran up and down the sheets in strange whirls and patterns. Numbers ran across the bottom and along the sides of the parchment.