Today Himaruya asks in Bamboo Blog whether "The king has donkey ears" story is not known well or not in other countries.
I suppose he finds the people around him in New York don't know the reason why Japan made a pipe from the wood.
I had the same question when I editted the article about the new comic strip on the blog.
The barber knew the secret of the king's ears, to shout it into a hole on the ground. Some reeds grew on the ground and sing "King has donkey ears!", just as they learned the barber's words.
This story is from Aesop stories or ancient Greek legend, I think.
Did you know the story? Is it known in your country?