A wealthy man invited Sengai to a housewarming and, after serving him a fine meal, asked him to write a poem in honor of the occasion. Sengai quickly wrote down the first half of a waka, which made the host, who had been hovering over his shoulder, extremely angery. It read:
The house is surrounded
By the gods of poverty.
Ignoring the host and the guests, who on being informed of what he had written looked daggers at him, Sengai smoked his pipe in silence. Suddenly he grasped his brush and completed the poem with these lines:
How can the deities of good luck
Ever leave it?
When the host and the guests read these lines there was great rejoicing, and all praised Sengai warmly.