It was a rainy afternoon, and Okada was in the middle of a good book.
His wife was at her mother's and his son was taking a nap. He had been saving his novel for just such an occasion.
Then the boy woke up and started asking questions."Why can't the sun shine all the time? Why did mother go to grandma's?
It was obvious to Okada that, if he was going to continue his reading, he had to find some way of keeping his son's mind occupied. He picked up a large picture magazine and when he came to a big map of the world, he tore the page out. With scissors he cut the map into little pieces.
Then he gathered up the pieces and spread them out on the tatami.
"Try to put the map together," he said, handing the boy a roll of Scotch tape, sure that his son would be busy for most of the afternoon.
In less that an hour, however, the boy was back at his father's side. "It's all done," he said.
Okada was surprised at the speed his son had reconstructed the map. He was also surprised to see the Scotch tape pasted on the underside of the map instead of on the top.
"You did a neat job," he said admiringly, "pasting the tape underneath so it can't be seen." The boy answered, "Oh, it was upside down when I put the tape on. There was a picture of a man on the other side.
I taped the pieces of the man together. When I turned the page over the map came out just right."
Okada was speechless. "You put the man together," he thought, "and you put the world together."