Prologue: The Origin – The Prince, the Princess, and the Dog 3-2

Episode III-ii

Kagetsura and Nobutoki subtly sabotage Yoshizane

Ujimoto and Sadayuki comply with Tateyama at risk

 

Having been criticised so, Nobutoki turned red in an instant and signalled to Kagetsura, who sighed a big sigh despite himself.

“You are quite right. It is just that bows and arrows are samurai’s wings and swords their tusks. They protect ourselves so we never put them down in sitting nor sleeping. They’re not to threaten you. I just wasn’t aware that our escorts were equipped with weapon and sumo wrestlers were in the hiding.

For what ever on earth did you do such a senseless thing? Get out now.” Continue reading

Prologue: The Origin – The Prince, the Princess, and the Dog 3-1

Episode III-i

Kagetsura and Nobutoki subtly sabotage Yoshizane

Ujimoto and Sadayuki comply with Tateyama at risk

 

Thus Anzai Saburo Taihu Kagetsura listened to his attendant and largely surmised how Satomi Yoshizane, Ochiudo from Yuki Castle, and his two men came here by sea, but did not answer immediately as it was difficult to predict later troubles. He turned to Maro no Nobutoki and asked,

“Such and such is the matter. What would be your thoughts, sir?”

Nobutoki without a moment’s hesitation replied,

“Even though Satomi is a renowned Genji clan, he has no relatives or acquaintances around here. As they are a Mochiuji’s loyal ally Yuki no Ujitomo talked them into it and they were eventually besieged for as long as three years. If you fought against Kyo[1] and Kamakura you should consider your life gone from the beginning, but on the day the castle fell while his father was being brought down he unashamedly ran and hid, and drifted over around here. He’s a fool not worth taking on. Why should you meet him sir? Presently throw him out.” Continue reading

Prologue: The Origin – The Prince, the Princess, and the Dog 2-2

Episode II-ii

Assassins shoot arrows to slay the white horse

Evil vassal robs two counties and leans on the red gate

 

At this moment Yamashita Sakuza’emon, with a bow on his back and arrows under an arm, came running on his horse up to the cedar trees on the hill.

“You traitor who murdered our lord who is both our land’s ruler over generations and our folk’s parents! Don’t you recognize Yamashita Sadakane here? ‘Tis easier to kill you in one shot right now than to crush an egg with an iron hammer, but I only missed your vitals because I intended to capture you alive. Tie him up.”

As he ordered thus, scores of soldiers strutting about crowded around to capture him.

Bokuhei was astounded at hearing the man name himself Sadakane.

“In that case the one my own arrow shot musn’t have been the man-eater. Now that our plot crossed like a crossbill’s bills and we took the life of our lord, there’s no way of escaping conviction for treason. Cursed is Yamashita Sadakane. He shall be the target of my arrows.” Continue reading

Prologue: The Origin – The Prince, the Princess, and the Dog 2-1

Episode II-i

Assassins shoot arrows to slay the white horse

Evil vassal robs two counties and leans on the red gate[1]

 

In the first place, Awa was the Southern most part of the Province of Fusa. In the ancient days there was no distinction between Upper and Lower, but it was later divided and each named Kadzusa (Upper Fusa) and Shimofusa (Lower Fusa). The land was expansive with many mulberry trees, suited for silk production. Because of this, they submitted tufts of silk for tallage, hence it was called Fusa (tuft). As the South end was sparsely populated, people from Awa (阿波) in Nankai-do region[3] were brought to live here, thus it came to be called Awa (安房) Province[4]. Here is the port of Awa mentioned in the chapter on Emperor Keiko in The Chronicles of Japan. Continue reading

Prologue: The Origin – The Prince, the Princess, and the Dog 1

Episode I

Suyemoto Dies an Opportune Death Leaving Guidance

The White Dragon Goes South through the Clouds

The time was Muromachi Era, many a year before now, when Shogun in Kyoto and Shikken – Shogun’s Chief Steward – in Kamakura lost power, their minds turned bitter and brittle and the world entered the Hundred Years War. Sir Mochiuji of Kamakura, ambitious and independent, forgot the code of honour out of the blue, ignored the counsel of Shikken Norisane and fell out with Yoshinori the Muromachi Shogun. Troops from the capital Kyoto rushed in to serve under Shikken Norisane’s command, fought and advanced into Hohkoku Temple in Kamakura, where they cornered the father and son to their own end. It was the tenth of February in Eikyo 2 (1430) of Emperor Go-Hanazono[1]. Thus Yoshinari, heir of Sir Mochiuji, together with his father, perished to be buried in Kamakura. Yet, his brothers Prince Haruwo and Prince Yasuwo narrowly escaped the encircling enemies and fled to Shimo-fusa (Lower Fusa), where Yuki Ujitomo welcomed them as his lords, as he did their father once. Ujitomo paid no heed to the orders of the capital (the Shogunate in Kyoto) or gave no second thoughts about the big armies of Kiyokata and Mochitomo, the Kanrei – Shogun’s Second-in-Command. Hence, under the flag of Satomi Suyemoto, who for the sake of honour will not stop at death, gathered those who had been indebted to Mochiuji and they all joined the two princes and Yuki Ujitomo. Thus they guarded Yuki Castle surrounded by big armies, but not once showed weakness. For the next three years under siege and no help to turn to, they had finally exhausted food and ammunition. Continue reading

Preview

“In any event, what has become of my dear father? My mind is not at ease.”

Many a time he stopped his horse’s step to look back, only to hear the roar of the battle cries and screaming arrows. Now the castle seemed to have fallen, and violent fire was burning the sky. Even before a sharp cry came out of his mouth, he pulled the reigns and was trying to return, but the two lieutenants had a firm hold of the horse’s bridle and would not let go.

“What a waste! Have you gone out of your mind after all that, young master? What do you make of the Lord’s lessons? If you went back to the fallen castle now and let yourself be gone, it’d be an act more meaningless than a moss jumping into fire as they sang in the old song. Believing too much is not the same as believing. Being too good is not the same as being good. Those were the maxims you always liked saying, were they not? For the noble and the common alike there is only one way to be good. What makes you doubt that? Come this way.”

As they pulled the horse, Yoshizane, maddened by the hurt and pain he felt for his father, shouted in an irritated voice,

“Let go of me, Sadayuki. Do not stop me, Ujimoto. You said as my father wished, but I cannot bear this. A man’s child cannot. Let go, let go!”

 

This is a snippet from the first episode. To read the full story go to the Novel.

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