Harada Kurando was one of the leading vassals of the Lord of Tsugaru. He was a remarkable swordsman, and gave lessons in fencing. Next in seniority to Harada among the vassals was one Gundayu, who also taught fencing; but he was no match for the famous Harada, and consequently was somewhat jealous.
One day, to encourage the art of fencing amongst his vassals, the Daimio summoned all his people and ordered them to give an exhibition in his presence. After the younger vassals had performed, the Daimio gave an order that Harada Kurando and Hira Gundayu should have a match. To the winner, he said, he would present a gold image of the Goddess of Kwannon.
Both men fenced their best. There was great excitement. Gundayu had never done so well before; but Harada was too good. He won the match, receiving the gold image of Kwannon from the hands of the Daimio amid loud cheering.
Gundayu left the scene of the encounter, boiling over with jealousy and vowing vengeance. Four of his most faithful companions left with him, and said they would help him to waylay and assault Harada that very evening. Having arranged this cowardly plan, they proceeded to hide on the road which Harada must traverse on his return home.