Tales of Old Japan, Volume 1

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Macmillan and Company, 1871 - Folk literature, Japanese - 272 pages
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Page 12 - Ronins who had come in by the front door, and were fighting with the ten retainers, ended by overpowering and slaying the latter without losing one of their own number; after which, forcing their way bravely towards the back rooms, they were joined by Chikara and his men, and the two bands were united in one. By this time the remainder of Kotsuke no Suke's men had come in, and the fight became general; and Kuranosuke, sitting on a camp-stool, gave his orders and directed the Ronins.
Page 14 - ... stood an outhouse for holding charcoal and firewood. Looking into the outhouse, he spied something white at the further end, at which he struck with his spear, when two armed men sprang out upon him and tried to cut him down, but he kept them back until one of his comrades came up and killed one of the two men and engaged the other, while Jiutaro entered the outhouse and felt about with his spear. Again seeing something white, he struck it with his lance, when a cry of pain betrayed that it was...
Page 25 - " The surviving brother must not take office in the same State with the slayer; yet if he go on his prince's service to the State where the slayer is, though he meet him, he must not fight with him.
Page 8 - Ronins determined that no more favorable opportunity could occur for carrying out their purpose. So they took counsel together, and, having divided their band into two parties, assigned to each man his post. One band, led by Oishi Kuranosuke, was to attack the front gate, and the other, under his son Oishi Chikara, was to attack the postern of Kotsuke...
Page 207 - She was neither too fat nor too thin, neither too tall nor too short; her face was oval, like a melon-seed, and her complexion fair and white; her eyes were narrow and bright, her teeth small and even; her nose was aquiline, and her mouth delicately formed, with lovely red lips; her eyebrows were long and fine; she had a profusion of long black hair; she spoke modestly, with a soft, sweet voice, and when she smiled, two lovely dimples appeared in her cheeks; in all her movements she was gentle and...
Page 244 - The priest, thunderstruck, called in the novices of the temple to see the sight ; and whilst they were stupidly staring, one suggesting one thing and another another, the kettle, jumping up into the air, began flying about the room. More astonished than ever, the priest and his pupils tried to pursue it ; but no thief or cat was ever half so sharp as this wonderful badgerkettle. At last, however, they managed to knock it down and secure it; and, holding it in with their united efforts, they forced...
Page 15 - The retainers of Takumi no Kami have slain their lord's enemy, and are passing this way; I cannot sufficiently admire their devotion, so, as they must be tired and hungry after their night's work, do you go and invite them to come in here, and set some gruel and a cup of wine before them.
Page 1 - I fear that the long and hard names will often make my tales tedious reading, but I believe that those who will bear with the difficulty will learn more of the character of the Japanese people than by skimming over descriptions of travel and adventure, however brilliant. The lord and his retainer, the warrior and the priest, the humble artisan and the despised Eta or pariah, each in his turn will become a leading character in my budget of stories ; • and it is out of the mouths of these personages...
Page 25 - If the principal, on whom the revenge devolves, can take it, he has only to stand behind with his weapon in his hand, and support him.' " I will add one anecdote to show the sanctity which is attached to the graves of the Forty-seven. In the month of September, 1868, a certain man came to pray before the grave of Oishi Chikara. Having finished his prayers, he deliberately performed /iara kiri,1 and, the belly wound not being mortal, despatched himself by cutting his throat.
Page 4 - ... kiri, that is, commit suicide by disembowelling ; his goods must be confiscated, and his family ruined. Such was the law. So Takumi no Kami performed hara kiri, his castle of Ako was confiscated, and his retainers, having become Ronins, some of them took service with other daimios, and others became merchants. Now amongst these retainers was his principal councillor, a man called Oishi Kuranosuke, who with forty-six other faithful dependants formed a league to avenge their master's death by killing...

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