Ryomaden Episode 16 (2010.04.18)
Season 1: Ryoma the Dreamer
Episodes 1 ~ 13 - here
Season 2: Ryoma the Adventurer
Episode 14 Go To. Episode 15 Go To. Episode 16 Go To. Episode 17 Go To. Episode 18
Episode 19 Go To. Episode 20 Go To. Episode 21 Go To. Episode 22 Go To. Episode 23
Episode 24 Go To. Episode 25 Go To. Episode 26 Go To. Episode 27 Go To. Episode 28
Season 3: Ryoma the Navigator
Episodes 29 ~ 38 - here
Season 4: Ryoma the Hope
Episodes 39 ~ 48 - here
<Edo, Chiba Dōjō>
(Sana undergoes rigorous sparring practice with the dōjō students. She stops to take a rest and watches as the other students practise. Ryōma peeks into the dōjō from another door. He spots Sana and runs over, jumping out from behind the door to greet her.)
(Sana looks over slowly and opens her eyes wide in shock at the familiar face. He laughs.)
R: It’s been a long time!
(He clambers into the dōjō, throwing his things to a side and sits in front of her.)
R: I did call for you many times from outside. But you obviously couldn’t hear me. (Sana suddenly becomes self conscious of her clothes.) Really, it’s been too long.
Episode 16 : Katsu Rintarō (勝 麟太郎)
(Sana hurriedly changes into a kimono. She checks her makeup in a mirror.)
Y: (narration) Ryōma has returned to Chiba Dōjō again after an absence of 4 years.
S: (talks to herself) Remember to smile. Look natural. (She rehearses her smile in the mirror.)
(Heavy footsteps. Chiba Jūtarō rushes in, giving Sana a scare.)
CJ: Move it, Sana!!
S: Where’s Sakamoto-san?
CJ: He’s gone to present himself to Father.
S: Brother, Sakamoto-san……Sakamoto-san……
CJ: Yes!! He came back to see you!! For 4 years, you’ve been waiting for this, Sana!
S: (starts to cry happily) ….. Yes!
(Jūtarō helps to fix Sana’s make-up. She looks in the mirror to check and to her horror, finds she’s overdone it. Later, in Chiba Sadakichi’s room, Jūtarō and Sana join in with their father to talk to Ryōma.)
R: (cheerfully) I can’t go back to Tosa now. (He crawls over to Sadakichi, who is sitting on the porch.) Sensei
R: Do you know of a Minister by the name of Katsu Rintarō?
R: Yes, I was told he’s the Head of the Bakufu’s Gunkan Sōrenjo (warship training school)
CJ: What about him?!
R: Somehow or other, I was hoping to meet him….(laugh)
CJ: How can you? He’s a Gunkan-bugyō* (naval commissioner)!
CS: Besides, you’re a stateless pro-Jōi* rōnin (he walks back into the room). The very people that the Bakufu is most wary of.
R: Eh?!! (Ryōma looks terribly disappointed.)
S: Well…..Sakamoto-san…..(Sana moves close to Ryōma)
R: (to himself) What should I do?
S: Did you…….Did you…..
CJ: Aren’t you here to see Sana?!
(Ryōma isn’t listening. He heaves a big sigh and sits down, looking away from the Chiba family.)
CJ: Sakamoto-kun, you know, Sana has….
CJ: All this time, she’s been…..
R: (loud revelation) That’s it!!
(Totally ignoring what Jūtarō was saying, Ryōma turns around suddenly and looks at him with glittering eyes.)
R: Jūtarō-sensei is still Kenjutsu instructor for the Echizen Han*, aren’t you?
R: (looking intensely at Jūtarō) Please take me to the Echizen Daimyō residence (hantei)!
R: Please help me! (He gets up holding both Jūtarō’s wrists and walks off, dragging him along.) Let’s go!
R: Hurry, let’s go!
CJ: Wait!! Wait!!
CJ: Ow! Sakamoto-kun!
(In the meantime, Sana has been pushed aside with an incredulous expression on her face, while Chiba Sadakichi looks on, baffled. Later, Jūtarō and Ryōma sit before the Echizen hantei Chief Minister Kitamura Hyōe. Ryōma is clean and tidy, looking very respectable now.)
KH: Well, well, Jūtarō-dono. What can I do for you today?
<Echizen Daimyō Residence (Hantei)>
CJ: Actually, this gentleman here is m-my…. friend…..
R: My name is Sakamoto Ryōma, my Lord.
CJ: To be honest, Sakamoto here would like to request for my Lord’s help.
KH: Oh, that’ll be my pleasure. Let’s hear it.
R: Thank you, my Lord! I understand that Matsudaira Shungaku-sama* is the Chief of Political Affairs (Seiji Sōsai Shoku).
KH: Yes, our Lordship is a leading minister in the Bakufu.
R: (crawls forward to look Kitamura in the face) Then could you present me to this Shungaku-sama please?
(Ryōma bows low. So does Jūtarō, but with a dubious expression on his face.)
R: Please introduce me, Kitamura-sama! Please help me! (grin)
(Ryōma is in a room. He dons a montsuki-hakama* with the 5 Sakamoto family crests and completes it with a montsuki coat. Jūtarō and Sana wait for him outside.)
R: (voiceover) I’m coming in.
(Brother and sister are dumbfounded when they see Ryōma in formal wear.)
R: Thank you very much, O’Sana-sama. (He shows her the coat) You’ve even embroidered the Sakamoto family crest on this. Truly, thank you very much! (Sana has happy tears in her eyes.)
(Ryōma and Jūtarō are being presented to Matsudaira Shungaku. They sit in the middle of the room, surrounded by five Echizen retainers. All the men bow as Matsudaira enters. )
R: Yes, my Lord.
MS: So you’re Sakamoto Ryōma?
R: Yes, my Lord.
MS: It appears that Tosa’s Takechi Hanpeita has become the vanguard of Jōi. He’s an unstoppable force now.
R: Takechi was my childhood friend.
MS: Then, are you in the Jōi faction too?
R: (pause) Yes I am.
(Matsudaira’s vassals immediately stand on guard, ready to attack.)
MS: (chuckles) Stand back, people. Chiba dōjō could not have sent me an assassin. (Jūtarō bows in gratitude.)
R: (with a confident smile) I used to be a member of the Tosa Kinnōtō as well. But, not anymore. Besides, I’ve already left the Han*. I’m no longer a Tosa retainer either.
MS: (folds his arms in amusement) Then who are you?
R: (pause) I am….Sakamoto Ryōma.
MS: Are you fooling with me? (Jūtarō, who sits behind Ryōma, has his eyes wide with concern.)
R: Yesterday I was still a man sleeping under the bridge. Yet today (opens his arms) I’m dressed in a montsuki-hakama*, sitting in the presence of the great Matsudaira Shungaku-sama. I don’t suppose any other person can claim to have a life as interesting as mine.
MS: (laugh) He truly is an amusing man, Chiba-sensei.
(Chiba Sadakichi enters the room, laughing. Ryōma and Jūtarō are totally taken by surprise.)
CS: (sitting down) Isn’t there something you need to ask of Shungaku-sama, Sakamoto? (Ryōma hesitates.)
MS: Don’t hold back. Let’s hear it.
(Ryōma looks at Sadakichi, who nods.)
R: Yes, my Lord! Could I beg of you to introduce me to the Naval Commissioner, Katsu Rintarō-sensei! Please help me! (He bows low.)
(Matsudaira looks in doubt. He checks with Chiba Sadakichi who cheerfully bows in support of Ryōma’s request. Matsudaira is put on the spot.)
Y: (narration) About a week before Ryōma’s meeting with Matsudaira Shungaku, Edo castle had been put into a state of tension.
<Edo-jo, Edo castle>
Y: (narration) Under the protection of Takechi and his followers, Sanjō Sanetomi, tasked with delivery of the Emperor’s summons, had finally appeared before the Tokugawa Shōgun. The Shōgun in office at that time was Tokugawa Iemochi-kō*. But even the Shōgun had to kneel in submission, in front of the Emperor’s emissary.
(Tokugawa Iemochi, flanked on both sides by Matsudaira Shungaku and Hitotsubashi Yoshinobu*, kneels to receive the edict.)
SS: Sanjō Sanetomi, respectfully hands over His Majesty’s imperial edict from my custody.
SS: ”Seii-Tai Shōgun* Tokugawa Iemochi-dono will make haste to enter the capital, and in My presence, to confirm implementation of Jōi. That is, to declare the day when foreigners will be subjugated.” And so the Emperor has spoken.
TI: The Emperor’s word shall be obeyed. (The Bakufu Ministers bow low as their Shōgun receives the imperial letter.)
(Sanjō Sanetomi returns from the meeting. He passes Takechi on the way.)
SS: The Imperial letter has been delivered in person to the Shōgun, Takechi.
TH: Has Iemochi-kō agreed to it?
SS: He even rewarded me 200 in silver for the delivery.
TH: That’s so typical Tokugawa…..Such flamboyance!
(Tokugawa Iemochi and the elders are in a panic after the meeting.)
Elder: That servant! 200 in silver is too good for him!
HY: What can we do. This concerns Tokugawa’s face.
TI: Must I go to the capital and pledge for Jōi before the Emperor ?!
Elder: How could we expel foreigners now?!
Elder: Should we attack and destroy the American consulate-general?!
Elder: Or set fire to British ships?!
MS: If we do any such thing to the countries we’ve signed treaties with, we shall have a war for sure! (Matsudaira sits in seiza) And in the event of a war, we shall have no hopes of winning.
HY: Then let me, Yoshinobu, go to Kyō and tell them, “Even as the Emperor, please refrain from this futile interference!” ….how about that?
HY: For the last 260 years, the real rulers of Japan are the Tokugawa!
(Matsudaira frowns as Hitotsubashi Yoshinobu speaks.)
HY: Peace in the Tokugawa family (he kneels in front of Tokugawa Iemochi) means peace in Japan. (The rest of the elders kneel as well.)
(Yoshinobu smiles confidently at the young Iemochi, who nods and smiles back.)
Y: (narration) Despite his words, this Yoshinobu instead, went ahead to pledge for Jōi in front of the Emperor. But that story comes later.
(Outside a big house…..)
Y: (narration) As for now, Ryōma has finally come to his fated encounter with Katsu Rintarō. Yes, THE Katsu Kaishū.
(Ryōma walks in with determination. Katsu Rintarō’s study is full of new curious items. A clock ticks and chimes. There are drawings of ships, pairs of compasses, oil-lamps, wooden ship replicas, candlesticks, model globes, two grandfather clocks and lots of books. Ryōma looks around in amazement. He feels and smells the animal skins. He tries out some fragrances. There is a piece of calligraphy with the words Kaishū Shooku / Kaishū Study on the wall.* Katsu enters.)
R: (kneels immediately) Oh! Ah!
(Katsu walks in leisurely in western slacks. He sits down and picks up pen and notebook casually, without a sound, as Ryōma introduces himself.)
R: (bows and nervously starts babbling) My name is Sakamoto Ryōma. I’ve come…. to visit …..so abruptly today, and yet Sensei has still agreed to see me. And even, allowed me to come straight into your study, I’m…..
R: Yes sir!
KR: I’m Katsu Rintarō. Excuse me. Tell me your name again.
R: (bows again, not catching it) Yes…?
KR: Tell me your name again.
R: Yes sir! Ah…my name is Sakamoto Ryōma!
KR: ”Saka” in “Sakamoto” is?
KR: No, the “Saka”. Is it “Saka” 「坂」 as in “Akasaka” (赤坂)*?
KR: ”Zaka” 「坂」 as in “Nobori-zaka” (上り坂)*?
R: (finally getting it) Ah…….yes it is.
R: ”Moto”? (more)
KR: ”Moto”….. Hmm….”Moto” 「本」.
R: ……….As in “Hon” (Book) 「本」!
KR: Fine. ”Hon”. Then “Ryoma”?
R: ”Ryū ” (Dragon) 「龍」 and “Uma” (Horse) 「馬」!
KR: ”Ryū ” and “Uma”.
R: Yes sir!
KR: OK. You’re a stateless rōnin from Tosa right?
R: (looks up sharply, then with a quiet voice)…..Yes.
KR: OK. Matsudaira Shungaku-kō had introduced you in his letter as an extremely amusing fellow. So, how amusing are you? Come show me what you’ve got.
KR: Show me how amusing you are. I say, show me.
R: No …..well… (gulps)……..I’ve no idea at all how to be amusing……
KR: (disappointed) Hmmmm!
(Katsu has written Ryōma’s name on his book. Now he adds a big cross under it. As he lowers the book, Ryōma can see his notes.)
KR: Not for you to see! (covers it up)
R: Yes sir!
KR: You came to see me for a reason. Well what is it? Say it out now.
R: Yes sir! Katsu-sama is the Head of the Gunkan Sōrenjo, I heard.
KR: It’s Gunkan Bugyō (Navy Commissioner) now. (He puts another cross.)
R: You’ve been promoted!
KR: To be exact, it’s Gunkan Bugyō Nami (Vice-Commissioner).
R: (no idea what it is) ….Nami! ……That’s fantastic!
KR: No! No! No!
KR: Nami means it’s a trivial post, not that important (3rd cross). You don’t even know that? Well, it seems you’re really just an idiot (4th cross)
KR: Well, you’d said you wanted to see me? So state your reasons why!
R: Yes,….er…..(thinking hard) The warship…..yes, the warship is….. like the Black Ship, right……I can’t believe…I can’t believe that Japan is actually building a Black Ship, not even in my dreams…..
KR: No! No! No! Who said we’re building a warship? Who said that?
R: (confused) No, that ship……that ship. I just want to have a look at it!
KR: (5th cross) Hey! You think it’s so easy?
R: (he’s in utter chaos now) No ….Everyone….everyone’s saying the Bakufu can’t be trusted anymore. But, that’s not true! That’s not true! Because the likes of Katsu-sama……the likes of Katsu-sama ………Because of such incredible people there! Please tell me more about Katsu-sama…. No!…. Disciple….. that’s it! Please take me in as your disciple, Katsu-sama! Please I beg you! Please take me in!
(Katsu Rintarō has made 3 more crosses during Ryōma’s last outburst. He looks disappointed.)
KR: Aa~ah. Really, this is the first time I’ve given anyone so many crosses…..
(Ryōma looks distraught. Katsu has lowered the book again and Ryōma has seen all the crosses.)
Voice: Sensei, I’ve brought tea.
R: Ex…..excuse me, Sensei. Those….those strikes, what do they mean?
KR: (covers the book) Not for you to see.
R: (small voice) Yes sir!
KR: Not for you to see! Not for you to see.
(A disciple serves tea to Katsu, but not Ryōma.)
Voice: It should be just right, I’ve cooled it “arimasuki” (Tosa dialect).
KR: Thank you.
R: (murmuring) “Arimasuki”…? “Arimasuki”……(he looks at the speaker.) Chōjirō?! You’re….Chōjirō, is that you?!
KC: (ignores Ryōma and prepares to leave) Excuse me (”shitsureishimasuki” Tosa dialect).
R: You…What are you doing, Chōjirō?!
KR: Hey!! You really don’t know a thing, do you? I’m not building warships. Most importantly, Japan has never built its own warship.
KR: I’m sorry. I’ve no time to waste on an idiot like you! OK.
R: I..di..ot ……(he’s getting angry) It’s true….It’s true I don’t know anything! But….But I’m neither pro-Jōi nor Kaikōku! I just ……All I want is to protect Japan!
KR: It’s not as easy as it sounds, you asshole!
(Katsu brings out a model globe and sets it in front of Ryōma.)
KR: Take a good look! This is called a globe, it’s a copy of the big wide world. It’s a model. And what we mean by “The World” is really this round ball. Japan…..
R: (sulking) I know that………I’ve seen something like that in Tosa already.
KR: Then you should have said so earlier!
R: I’m sorry, it’s my mistake!
KR: Fine, you can go then.
R: (muttering to himself) ……The “Great Katsu Rintarō”…..And I was thinking what a remarkable man you must be. (Whisper) What a disappointment…..I was a fool to have set my hopes high..
KR: (he crouches down next to Ryōma) I say, at the end of the day, you’re just full of hot air, eh? No-one has ever said that I’m the “Great Katsu Rintarō”! You must have been mistaken. Goodbye.
(Katsu walks out. Later, Ryōma sees himself out. The disciple from before has prepared Ryōma’s shoes for him.)
R: (looks at him and puts his shoes on) Excuse me.
R: You look exactly like a man I once knew in Tosa. Honestly, there couldn’t be anyone else in this world who’d look more alike than you two.
KC: And is that man……Chōjirō from the manju shop?
R: (nods) Yes…..eh?
KC: (starts to laugh) It’s been a long time, Sakamoto-sama!
R: (grabs Chōjirō, pulls him out to the street and starts whacking him, while Chōjirō continues to laugh) You…! Why did you pretend not to know me! You! (whack) There! (whack) There!
KC: My apologies for playing a trick on you.
R: (Points to the house) How did you become a student here?
KC: About half a year ago, I joined the Kenzan Juku (private school).
KC: With Asaka Gonsai-sensei’s recommendation, I came here.
R: You came to Edo for your studies too?!
KC: Perhaps you may think, why does the son of the manju shop need to study? But I’ve heard everywhere that Japan is in a critical state now. And I want to do something too! (Ryōma looks at Chōjirō in astonishment.) About that time, Iwasaki Yataro-sama, he….
(At the manju shop in Tosa, Yataro is eating a bun.)
Shop: Welcome! Welcome!
Y: (to Chōjirō) I’m thinking about starting my own trading.
Y: In timber.
KC: But Iwasaki-sama, aren’t you…?
Y: I’m a man who’s gone to Edo for his studies. If I use my head, I’m sure to able to get rich!
KC: Are further studies in Edo, really such a merit?
Y: That goes without saying! Oh, I want to get some buns for Kisei too.
(Back to Edo…)
KC: I decided there and then, that I must go to Edo! (Ryōma stares in admiration.) I don’t intend to return to Tosa anymore. (Ryōma feels humbled.)
(Later, at Chiba dōjō, Ryōma sits deep in thought. He sees Jūtarō approaching.)
CJ: You’ve set your hopes too high, Sakamoto-kun. Katsu Rintarō-sensei is just a government official.
R: But, I’d expected a more inspiring….I’d expected a much greater man…..
CJ: Sakamoto-kun, one man alone is powerless against the changing world. (Ryōma looks at Jūtarō.) Are you willing to come back to Chiba dōjō?
CJ: We’re faced with the challenge of the changing times. It used to be so lively here. Then, gradually the women and children stopped coming. Our students are mostly people who are screaming out for Jōi now. (He walks into the hall.) They don’t want to learn kenjutsu, they just want a way to fight. If this goes on, the Hokushin Ittō-ryū will come to an end. It’s my responsibility to protect this dōjō. (>Sana passes by and stops to listen.) If only you and Sana are willing to help me, no allies are more reassuring than the two of you.
CJ: Sakamoto-kun, you know it already, don’t you? What Sana feels for you. (Ryōma lowers his head.) My sister lo…..
R: Please wait! Please, let’s just talk about that later.
R: I have……I have abandoned Tosa, abandoned my family. In spite of that…..In spite of that, I’ve still achieved nothing…..
(Ryōma bows dejectedly at Jūtarō, and runs out.)
CJ: Sakamoto-kun…..Sakamoto-kun! Sakamoto-kun!
(At the Katsu residence, Chōjirō massages Katsu’s shoulders as they talk.)
KR: He wasn’t as interesting as you said, that Sakamoto Ryōma.
KC: Although the Sakamoto family are Kashi, they’re very well off. Back in Tosa, Sakamoto-sama would have had an easy life. I never imagined he would leave the Han*.
KR: Ah….thank you. Thank you. Thank you. So, even the all-knowing Chōjirō-san felt it was a bolt from the blue?
KC: That’s because Sakamoto-sama is not an easy man to see through.
KR: Even so, if you don’t try to find out, you’ll never know.
Servant: Sensei, a man called Takechi Hanpeita is requesting to see you.
KC: Takechi-sama? (He looks worried)
(Takechi Hanpeita, Hirai Shujiro and Okada Izo kneel before Katsu.)
TH: My name is Takechi Hanpeita, Tosa retainer.
KR: I know you. They say you’re the one controlling Tosa now.
TH: I’m just fulfilling my duties, to the Great Lord Yōdō-kō and our Daimyō Toyonori-kō.
KC: (listening from outside) If they find out I’m Katsu-sensei’s disciple, they might very well kill me…….
KR: So, what would the vanguard of Jōi be looking for with a Bakufu official like me?
TH: In response to the Emperor’s summons, it is rumoured that the Bakufu will send Hitotsubashi Yoshinobu-kō instead. If this proves to be true, I cannot simply ignore it. The Emperor wishes for the Shōgun to go in person.
KR: The way you put it, what should I say!
TH: Katsu-sama, it’s said that amongst the many Bakufu officials, only you have the capacity to get things done.
KR: That’s why they hate me. (He gets up chuckling.)
TH: Please take care of this matter.
KR: Ah….and what if I refuse? Will you kill me?
(Izo subconsciously reaches for his sword.)
KR: (to Izo) Hold it. (He walks calmly over and crouches down in front of Izo, who looks terrified.) I’m still Hatamoto* after all. My status allows me to meet with your Lord Yamauchi Yōdō-kō anytime I want. If you still want to kill me, then listen to what I have to say first. (He walks back and brings out the model globe.) Look! This is called a globe, it’s a copy of the big wide world. Here, take a good look! (He sets it down in front of Takechi.) This is America, Europe…..
TH: (looking straight ahead) I know that. But this has nothing to do with the size of the country. Whoever it is, if they dare to desecrate the holy land of Japan, (he looks calmly at Katsu) they will not be forgiven.
KR: (dry laugh) You people are no different from Sakamoto.
KR: Oh, you should know him. Sakamoto Ryōma from Tosa.
TH: That man has nothing to do with us anymore. He dared to say that he didn’t need the Bakufu or the Han*.
KR: (surprised) ….he didn’t need the Bakufu or the Han*…..
TH: (mutters to himself) Why did he come here….
KR: (quietly reflective) Well, maybe Chōjirō wasn’t wrong after all.
KR: Ah…please go now.
(As the three men leave, they meet Chōjirō outside in the yard.)
HS: You….! What do you mean by this?
TH: You’re just from a manju shop. Go back to what you do best. (They start to leave.)
KC: (to himself) What….(in a loud voice) I can’t believe Takechi-san would say such a thing….
KC: I have aspirations too!! (Then politely) Please take care on your way back.
(Chōjirō bows and walks back into the house. Takechi looks long and hard at Chōjirō’s direction, his arrogance slightly subdued. In the meantime, Katsu Rintarō reviews his assessment of Ryōma. He looks at all the crosses quietly.)
Y: (narrative) It happened a few days later. The British legation in Shinagawa was burnt down. The fire was started by the radical Jōi faction led by Chōshū retainers.
Misc: You see this! This is Jōi!!
(Kusaka Genzui stands against the light of the fire, looking doggedly at the burning legation. Thereafter, Ryōma has been invited to the Katsu residence. He waits, his eyes closed, showing no more of the excitement from before. Katsu enters with Chōjirō, who sits down by the door.)
KR: I’m sorry to have to ask you to come again.
R: (he kneels in salutation, but replies curtly) That’s fine.
KR: (sits down on the carpet in front of Ryōma) Well, anyhow, I wanted to have a good talk with you again. Specially for today, I will answer any question you have. Whatever you want to know, go ahead.
R: (not looking at him) No, this is a bit sudden, I don’t know what to say.
KR: Eh? Didn’t you come here to check out what I was thinking? Then there must be something you want to know. Go on.
R: Katsu-sama, if Japan goes to war. In a war, do we stand a chance to win?
KR: No, we cannot defeat the foreigners.
R: Then, would you agree if Japan were colonized by other countries?
KR: Are you joking? I will not let them get what they want.
R: Then what do you think we should do?
KR: (moves closer to Ryōma, hands gesticulating) That’s why I say, on our surrounding…..(Katsu stops as he realizes he’s taking over again.) What do you think then?
R: (quick glance at Katsu) Uh….I have no idea!
KR: No. You wanted to be my disciple, so you must’ve thought about it. You must’ve got your own ideas. (He stands up and pats Ryōma on the shoulder) Show me everything you have, you must have your own thoughts about this. Come, have a seat, here. (Motions to a chair.)
KR: Come, have a seat.
(Ryōma gets up and walks to the table. Katsu is sitting down. Ryōma remains standing. Chōjirō moves in closer to watch the two.)
R: At first, I heard that Katsu-sama is the Head of the Gunkan Sōrenjo (warship training school)
R: By Gunkan Sōrenjo, it must mean the place where people are trained to sail warships.
KR: Yes, that’s right.
R: I never dreamed that Japan would have a place like that.
KR: So, are you interested in warships?
R: (defensively) No…….(he glances at Katsu once, twice and sees the older man looking earnestly back at him.) Yes, I am.
KR: That’s fine, that’s fine. Think it through. Take your time to think. We’ve got all day today. (He gives Ryōma a pat on the shoulder.) Hey, sit down. Sit down.
(Ryōma finally sits. Katsu stands behind him, waiting.)
R: Japan is an island, right?
R: We’re surrounded by sea.
KR: Yes, we are.
R: The foreigners need to come by sea. So the most important thing for us now would be warships (Katsu is listening intently) We need a strong Navy, right?
KR: Ah, and what should we do after we build a Navy?
R: Well………(he stops to think) I learnt my kenjutsu at Chiba dōjō.
R: And, earned my accreditation with the Hokushin Ittō-ryū Mokuroku*
R: If I’m being pretentious, I could say I’m very strong.
KR: You are very strong.
R: But I’ve never thought of killing anyone. To begin with, people who know my strength, would never engage me in a fight. In other words…In other words, what I’m trying to say is. At present……At present, Japan is at the beck and call of other countries because we know we’d definitely lose in a war…..But, with a Navy (he looks at the model ship)…..As long as we have a strong Navy, (he walks to the ship and starts to think out loud as he looks at the model in amazement) as long as our kendo skills are strong enough, there won’t be war.
That’s it…..Japan has already…..Japan has already opened up the country. (He walks to another part of the room, caught up in his own thoughts) If we learn from foreign technology and step-by-step build up Japan’s own Navy…..it’ll be great if we can! And if, we can gradually adopt other things as well and develop a civilization comparable with other countries. If we can develop such a civilization, there will be peace in Japan! That’s it…! No need for war….A way to carry out Jōi without going to war!!
(Chōjirō looks at Ryōma, his face full of pride. Ryōma comes out of his reverie, suddenly noticing the dead serious expression on Katsu’s face.)
R: Oh….please excuse me! I got carried away with my thoughts….. (He immediately tries to contain his excitement)
KR: (to Chōjirō) Chōjirō, I’ve lost.
KC: Yes you have! But….
KR: But, to lose is to “win” (katsu). (They both laugh, leaving Ryōma at a loss.)
KC: (to Ryōma) “To lose is to win”. The “win” (katsu) here is the same as Katsu-sensei’s “katsu”….
KR: Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop. If you explain a joke, it’s not funny anymore. Right, Sakamoto! That was very interesting. I like it. You passed. From today on, you work for me! (He walks off.)
R: I…I passed? Ka….Katsu-sama! W…please wait! I’ve no idea what’s happening…..
KR: I’ve been looking for people who can drive the creation of Japan’s own Navy.
R: Japan’s……own Navy?!
KC: What Sakamoto-sama was just talking about is exactly what Katsu-sensei wants to do now!
R: Heh ….?
KR: You see, Sakamoto. Those heads in the Bakufu are made of wool. You just can’t make them understand anything. It’s been two years now, since I went to America. And the ship we sailed over was the Kanrin Maru*. Built in Holland, but driven by Japanese.
KR: That’s right, and all of them lowly petty boatsmen. But we pulled our hearts together and shoulder to shoulder, we worked to cross the ocean. And guess what! As we battled the rage of the Pacific Ocean, one and the same, we turned into Japanese people!
R: (puzzled) Japanese people…….
KR: Yes, that’s right. All that “Bakufu”, “Chōshū “, “Tosa”…. Now is not the time to talk like that! If we don’t stand unified as “Japanese people” to build our Navy now, Japan will disappear from the face of the world.
R: Katsu-sama went to America?
KR: (proudly) That’s right. (He walks back into the house.)
KC: They say it was the first time in 225 years* that Japanese vessels sailed the oceans again!
R: Eh? (He follows Katsu back in.)
KR: (brings out his globe) Here. Take a good look! The British vessels set out from here. (He motions to the globe) They sail from island to island and along the coasts, stopping at each port to replenish supplies and fuel, working their way gradually to Japan. But not the Kanrin Maru! (Stretching his arms) She went straight through the widest ocean in the world! And that, Sakamoto, that had nothing to do with the Bakufu. It was the achievement of “Japanese people”!
R: (amazed) Japanese people…….Katsu-sama, the Kanrin Maru, now….
KR: She’s still here.
(Katsu Rintarō points to a direction. He takes Ryōma on a small boat out to sea. Ryōma, looking apprehensive at first, suddenly sees the Kanrin Maru.)
R: Oh…..Oh! Oh!!
KR: There she is!
R: A..amazing….! Amazing!!
(The small boat sails slowly towards a steamship which hoists the Japanese flag.)
R: It’s the Black Ship!!
KR: That, is the Kanrin Maru!
(The steam pipes blow. Ryōma finally sees the ship that he has been dreaming of, for the past 9 years. He is highly emotional, calling out to the ship. Katsu waves to the Kanrin Maru.)
R: The Black Ship! The Black Ship! The Black Ship~~!!
(As they approach, Ryōma can see the sailors working on “his dream ship” and they are all Japanese.)
R: Japanese people…..(he looks at Katsu, who grins back.) Truly…..truly Japanese people! Japanese people…..!
(Ryōma is estactic and wonderstruck as he climbs onto the Kanrin Maru. Katsu Rintarō chuckles as he looks at the little boy of a man standing before his eyes.)
R: This is incredible! (Katsu laughs even louder.) I’m on……I’m now on…..the BLACK SHIP ~~!!
KR: Ah, see how excited you are!
(Ryōma starts running about the ship. He’s forgotten everything else.)
R: This is the Black Ship!
R: (looking up at the sails) It’s so….
R: It’s so~~ big!! (He slaps the mast.) It’s really black! (Some sailors run past him. He points them out to Katsu, like a little boy to his dad.) Ja….Japanese people.
KR: Yes, that’s right!
R: Japanese people!
KR: That’s right, that’s right!
R: Hahahaha! (He climbs on the side of the ship) We’re so high up~~! (He feels the black wooden deck.) Black Ship~! Black Ship~!
KR: Yo! John! How’s she doing?
(A Japanese man in ponytail, dressed in a vest and pants and holding a sextant, replies to Katsu.)
JM: Splendid, Katsu-sensei!
KR: Yes. This is the famous John Majiro-dono!
JM: (In English) Yes! Yes!
(Sounds of a cannon. )
R: (Taken aback) Oh! Oh!
(Sailors congratulate each other on the successful trial of the cannon. Katsu Rintao and John Manjiro both laugh at Ryōma’s reaction.)
R: A….a cannon!* (He laughs happily. The cannon sounds again.)
Episode 16 : Katsu Rintarō
~ The End ~
*1. Gunkan-Bugyō - more info here
*2. Jōi = Joui
*3. “Han” means clan or domain.
*4. A montsuki hakama is a formal wear decorated with 1, 3 or 5 family crests on the sleeves, chest and back - more info here
*5. Matsudaira Shungaku (from Echizen), Chief of Political Affairs & known as one of the “Four Wise Lords of the Bakumatsu” - more info here
*6. Tokugawa Iemochi, the 14th Shōgun - more info here
*7. Hitotsubashi Yoshinobu, Shōgun’s Guardian & subsequently the 15th & last Shōgun - more info here
*8. Seii-Tai Shōgun - more info here
*9. Kaishū Shooku - Katsu took the name Kaishū from this piece of calligraphy by Sakuma Shozan, who wrote the “Eight policies for the defense of the sea” (海防八策) in 1842. He is the teacher of Yoshida Shoin, Katsu and later, Ryōma - more info here
*10. Akasaka (赤坂) is a place in Tokyō - more info here. Nobori-zaka (上り坂) means “uphill” or “ascent”. The Kanji 「坂」in both cases is the same as 坂本龍馬 (Sakamoto Ryōma).
*11. Hatamoto (旗本) is the direct vassal of the Shōgun - more info here
*12. Mokuroku (目録) refers to the documentation of the level of ability of a martial arts instructor - more info here
*13. Kanrin Maru (咸臨丸), Japan’s first screw-driven steam warship - more info here
*14. 225 years - The Kanrin Maru sailed to the US in 1860. It’s been 225 years since Japan’s Sakōku (Closed door) Policy has been enforced - more info here
*15. The closest Ryōma ever came to seeing a cannon were probably the temple bells on the Shinagawa beach with Perry’s arrival in Episode 5. During that time, he was very frustrated at the farce made where temple bells were used in place of cannons in the “protection” of Edo.
* For more information on Katsu Kaishū - please refer here
Timeline for this Episode:
- To be updated
[Tokyō Metropolis, Sumida City]
A bronze statue stands on the banks of the Sumidagawa (Sumida River).
[Katsu Kaishu Statue / Uruoi Hiroba (Square)]
Honjo in Sumida City is hometown of Katsu Kaishu, who dedicated himself to development of the Navy.
[Monument of the Site of Ushijima Jinja (Shrine) / Sumida Kōen (Park)]
Born the eldest son of a poor family, Katsu devoted his youth to the study of kenjutsu.
[Nose Myōkenzan Betsuin (Branch Temple) / Honjo 4-chome (Yonchōme)]
Young Katsu soon channeled his energy to Dutch (western) studies. His proposals to the Bakufu were all adopted and he began to stand out from the crowd.
[Kanrin Maru on Stormy Seas]
(From the Kimura family archives of the Yokohama Kaikō Shiryōkan/Yokohama Archives of History)
After that, Katsu sailed the Kanrin Maru to America. The advanced social systems he witnessed there created a huge impact on him.
[Minato City, Akasaka]
[Site of the Katsu Kaishu residence] / Motohikawazakashite]
On returning home, he met Ryoma. He imparted on his disciple Ryoma, a global outlook on life.
[Young students on the training tall ship “Kaiwo Maru”*, now headed for America, following in the wake of the Kanrin Maru.]
It has been 150 years since he sailed the Kanrin Maru to America. This passion shared by Katsu and Ryoma for the ocean has been inherited by the young people of Japan and carries on to this day.
[Katsu Kaishu Statue]
5 mins walk from “Honjo-azumabashi Station” of the Toei Asakusa Line*
5 mins walk from “Asakusa Station” of the Tōbu Isesaki Line*
5 mins walk from “Asakusa Station” of the Tokyō Metro Ginza line
Episode 14 Go To. Episode 15 Go To. Episode 16 Go To. Episode 17 Go To. Episode 18
Episode 19 Go To. Episode 20 Go To. Episode 21 Go To. Episode 22 Go To. Episode 23
Episode 24 Go To. Episode 25 Go To. Episode 26 Go To. Episode 27 Go To. Episode 28
Translated from the Chinese subtitles on the episode, with reference to the original Japanese subtitles. Many many thanks to the hard work of all these fans, without which this would not have been possible!!
Thanks also to mashamasha of the HK fans forum, for help in identifying the Tosa dialect.