Ryomaden Episode 29 (2010.07.18)
Season 1: Ryoma the Dreamer
Episodes 1 ~ 13 - here
Season 2: Ryoma the Adventurer
Episodes 14 ~ 28 - here
Season 3: Ryoma the Navigator
Episode 29 ==== Episode 30 ==== Episode 31 ==== Episode 32 ==== Episode 33
Episode 34 ==== Episode 35 ==== Episode 36 ==== Episode 37 ==== Episode 38
Season 4: Ryoma the Hope
Episodes 39 ~ 48 - here
<Meiji 15 (1882)> / <Tokyō, Senju>
(A rickshaw waits outside the Chiba Moxa Treatment Clinic*. Yatarō is undergoing Moxa therapy. Doyō Shimbun reporter Sakazaki Shiran sits next to him.)
SS: Your stomach…Did it used to hurt so much?
Y: It’s no big deal.
SS: Even so, why does the great company president Iwasaki come to these places….
Y: If word goes out that Iwasaki Yatarō is always visiting the hospital, Mitsubishi investors will be worried.
SS: Indeed! Managing a business is such a complicated skill.
Y: You just need to keep constant vigilance in this world. The fact that you must never be caught off-guard is no different from the Bakumatsu.
SS: A few days back, I checked at the site where the Navy Training Academy was shut down. It seems Sakamoto Ryōma had gone with Saigō Takamori* back to Satsuma. What happened after that?
(At the sound of Ryōma’s name, the Moxa therapist who was treating Yatarō turns towards Sakazaki Shiran. It is Chiba Sana.)
S: Sakamoto….Ryōma….. (to Sakazaki) Are you asking about that gentleman?
Y: (to Sana) This man is Sakazaki-kun, a news reporter from Kōchi. He wants to write a story all about Ryōma.
SS: (to Yatarō) And this is?
Y: Chiba Sana-san
(Sakazaki looks at Sana in shock.)
S: I can tell you a bit about that gentleman too. He was a…..truly remarkable man.
SS: Wait a moment please. Shouldn’t you be in Chiba Dōjō? (He scrambles to write his notes.)
S: The Dōjō closed down in my brother’s time.
SS: It closed?!
S: Nobody was interested in kenjutsu anymore after we entered the Meiji period.
SS: Then what about Jutarō-san?
S: He’s a Government official in Kyōto.
Y: Sana-san opened this Moxa Treatment Clinic here recently.
SS: …..Are you married?
SS: So you’re still……with Ryōma….
Y: (sniggers) What a terrible man. He knew Sana-san was in love with him and he still did whatever he liked.
S: (smile) I was the one who was holding onto my feelings for him. Sakamoto-san’s eyes really do glitter so radiantly like a child’s.
Y: Well that’s just the Ryōma that Sana-san knows.
Y: As the Navy Training Academy closed, his dream to build the Navy of Japan shattered and his friend Takechi Hanpeita lost, Ryōma’s character began to change.
SS: How did he change?
Y: It’s a bit hot now….
Y: That rich young master who grew up in Tosa, that carefree fool who deserted his Han, all of that disappeared….(as the moxa burns up) Hot! Hot! Hot!
S: Stop fussing!
SS: Whatever happened to Ryōma!
Y: Be it samurai, or court noble, or foreigner, Ryōma made a fool of them all! As a samurai, he even started doing business ahead of me! Damn you, Ryōma! Hot! Hot! Hot!
S: Don’t move! Iwasaki-san, careful! Careful now! I’ll take them off for you.
Episode 29: Shintenchi, Nagasaki (新天地、長崎 Nagasaki, A New World)
<Keiō Gannen* (1865)> / <Nagasaki>
Y: (narration) Ryōma and his men sailed for Satsuma on the Kochōmaru, stopping at Nagasaki on the way. As the most flourishing port city in foreign trade, Nagasaki gave the impression of being in a Japan that did not look quite like Japan.
(Ryōma and his men climb up a long flight of stairs to the Sōfuku-ji*, a Chinese temple in Nagasaki. The men stand at the door of the temple, looking back out to marvel at the sights of this strange multi-cultural city.)
R: Come in quick.
SS: What sort of city is this?!
KC: Is this Japan?!
MY: What’s that?!
(Mutsu points to a Chinese lion dance being performed on the paved roads inside. The temple is filled with people from all countries: Japanese, Chinese and Westerners. Red lanterns have been strung up like ceiling covering the roads. Ryōma plays with the lion, sticking his elbow into its mouth. His men call out in concern.)
Misc: Ryōma! Ryōma! Watch out!
R: (laughs) It’s OK!
Misc: What was that! That looked dangerous.
KC: I’m amazed. This is incredible!
TT: There are foreigners everywhere!
CT: Look! Their hair is gold in colour!
SS: Their eyes are blue?!
Misc: A foreign woman!
SS: Though we learnt English in the Training Academy but…
MY: This is the first time we see a real foreigner!
(Suddenly we hear a gong and fireworks. A Chinese dragon dance was being performed in the streets. All the men are astounded, except for Ryōma was calmly looking at all of this.)
SS: What’s happening?!
KC: Sōnojō! (Chōjirō pulls Sōnojō out of the way.)
SS: What is that?!
Misc: Is it a snake?!
Misc: That’s no snake!
(While the men are watching the dragon dance, Ryōma notices something going on in the courtyards at the side. He goes over for a better look.)
R: Excuse me.
(Ryōma sees tables of Chinese and Western men sitting together. One group was looking at vases and talking in a language that he didn’t understand.)
KC: Sakamoto-san! It’s incredible here!
R: What’s going on over there?
(There were different items on each table, from dried seafood to tea leaves.)
KC: Looks like business negotiations?
R: Business negotiations?
(Ryōma and Chōjirō walk around the tables looking at what the people were doing. Ryōma smiles. He seems to have thought of something.)
Y: (narration) While at Nagasaki, Ryōma and his men stayed at the residence of a prominent Nagasaki trader by the name of Kozone Kendō.
<Kozone Kendō Residence>
KK: I heard you sailed into heavy storms at the Genkai Sea* (Saigō Kichinosuke is busy eating.) I’m glad you came through safely.
SK: Hm. Oh~ That storm was terrible.
SK: If it wasn’t for Sakamoto and his men, we would have sunk for sure. (He laughs uncomfortably)
KK: Those samurai-sama seem very capable men.
SK: Their ship-handling skills and knowledge are just as good as Satsuma men. And some can speak English fluently.
KK: That would be most useful when we’re sourcing things. In future, when we have business dealings, please bring those men along to help me.
SK: Ferrying such skilled hands over on the warship as passengers? (He laughs) Wouldn’t that be a great waste?
(Kozone Kendō bows in acceptance of the refusal. At this time, his brother Kozone Eishirō enters.)
KE: Brother, the samurai-sama have been brought to their rooms.
KK: Fine (to Saigō) Sakamoto-sama and his men are staying in the annex. (Saigō nods.)
KK: What is it?
KE: Sakamoto-sama has….
R: Oh~~! This place is so full of interesting things! Is that a pendulum clock in the corridor? It was made in Holland. I’ve never seen that before!
(Kozone Kendō is annoyed with Ryōma’s unannounced entry, but he quickly recovers.)
KK: Sakamoto-sama, is there anything that displeases you?
R: Oh nothing! Nothing! The men are simply amazed by the size of your house. (Sits down with Kozone) I heard Kozone-san is the leading businessman in Nagasaki.
KK: (in a loud formal voice to Saigō) We owe it all to the continued patronage of the Satsuma Han. (Saigō chuckles at his bootlicking.)
R: Ah, from what Kozone-san is saying, Satsuma must be……extremely wealthy! (Saigō is not amused by Ryōma’s bluntness) Truly the Han that’s been trading with the West all this time. Remarkable! (Saigō laughs.)
SK: Come. Have a seat, Sakamoto-san
R: Oh, thank you.
SK: Did you want to talk to me?
R: Ah yes, to be honest. I have a request for Saigō-san. Is it alright if the men and I…stay behind by ourselves? (Saigō and Kozone laugh quietly at Ryōma’s request.) Ah, Nagasaki is such an interesting place. It shows how much Japan is a part of the world, in the flesh!
SK: Sakamoto-san, you must remember you are employed by the Satsuma Han. How can you not work for Satsuma then?
R: Oh, I know, I know. However, using men who can sail a steamship as transport workers for your cargo. It’s a bit of a waste, don’t you think?
SK: (chuckles) You’re planning to raise your prices now.
R: Not at all. We plan to support ourselves.
R: But you can rest assured. Satsuma business will always be given first priority.
KK: You “plan to support yourselves”?
R: (to Kozone) We don’t want to rely on any Han. When one is bound by obligation, he cannot speak his mind freely.
SK: ”Speak your mind”?
R: Yes. A samurai lives under his Han. The Han lives under the Bakufu. This has been the normal course of life upto now. But don’t you think it’s time for a change? (The room is quiet. Ryōma moves close to Saigō.) Saigō-san, why don’t we jump out of the Bakufu’s control?
SK: (Saigō laughs and slaps a hand on Ryōma’s shoulder) Another big proclamation, Sakamoto-san?
(Ryōma ignores the sarcasm and puts his hand on Saigō’s shoulder with a laugh.)
R: If we don’t change the system around now, Japan will be a sitting duck for other countries.
SK: (smiling) Oh I see. You’re thinking about the high affairs of the country now.
R: Yes indeed! That’s exactly it.
SK: But then, for you to comment to Saigō Kichinosuke on the state of Satsuma, is a bit presumptious, isn’t it. Yes you handle a steamship well, but Sakamoto-san is after all, just a dappan ronin. (To Kozone Kendō) Kozone-san, I’m going back to the Hantei.
KK: I’ll see to you the door, sir.
(Ryōma has been put back in his place. He returns to his men to report on the meeting with Saigō.)
KC: Just as I thought, he’s not taking us seriously.
MY: Well, there’s nothing we can do. Saigō-san is the leading samurai in Satsuma. He’s not someone who’d work for Japan.
SS: You brought up “changing the system” too suddenly. No-one would be able to accept that.
KC: Also, it’s a bit early to tell him we’d find ways to support ourselves, Sakamoto-san! We don’t even have the means to earn any money yet!
R: We’ll think of something somehow. Chōjirō is an expert in numbers. Sōnojō and Yōnosuke can speak good English. Everyone of us here has strengths of our own from the Navy Training Academy.
KC: Even so….
MY: If only we had a ship, we’d be able to do anything!
SS: Who’d be willing to lend us a ship?
TT: I wonder if such a good man really exists.
CT: No, there isn’t, there isn’t.
R: A ship…..
Y: (narration) “To change the system around”….. It was understandable for Ryōma and his men to be thinking about this. The Tokugawa Bakufu, backed by France, was gradually regaining its power.
(Bakufu Elder, Mizuno Tadakiyo and Finance Minister, Oguri Tadamasa meet with the Consul General of France, Léon Roches)
LR: (in French) “En contrepartie de notre soutien au Bakufu, nous souhaitons que la France obtienne la priorité sur les échanges commerciaux.”
(In return for our support to the Bakufu, we hope that France will be given priority in all business transactions.)
OT: ”Nous sommes en liaison avec les autres nations….*”
(We have liaison with the other nations…)
LR: ”J’en parlerai aux Etats-Unis, à la Grande Bretagne et aux Pays-bas. Je rédigerai un memorandum.”
(I will discuss this with the United States, Great Britain and Holland and I will draw up a memorandum.)
MT: A memorandum?
LR: ”Oui! Dorénavant, les échanges commerciaux ne passeront plus par les seigneurs, mais uniquement par le Bakufu.”
(Yes! From now on, business transactions will not be made with the (Han) Lords anymore but solely through the Bakufu.)
Y: (narration) And this gave the Bakufu overriding power over the Hans. In other words, without the Bakufu’s permission, individual Hans could not engage in foreign trade.
(The Nagasaki Magistrate assesses applications for business transactions within his domain.)
Y: (narration) Even when the trade was already concluded, without the Nagasaki Magistrate’s approval, there was no choice but to give it up.
(At Kozone Kendō’s residence, Satsuma Han Chief Minister Komatsu Tatewaki sits with Kozone Kendō and British merchant Thomas Glover to discuss a deal. Saigō Kichinosuke waits outside the room.)
KK: (inspects the application) The camphor deal has been approved by the Magistracy.
TG: (in English) “Good! Good!”
KK: But (he reads from letter) ‘Transaction quantity halved.’
TG: Halved? The Bakufu is too harsh on Satsuma. Why aren’t you protesting against it?
KT: What are you English complaining about! We were trading directly all along, then your governments had to go and agree to channel everything through the Bakufu!
TG: (in English) “There’s no use complaining to me, man.” (He walks out of the room, slapping Saigō on the back as he passes) “Chin up, old chap.”
(Thomas Glover returns to his mansion on a horse.)
Y: (narration) Thomas Blake Glover, a trader from Britain who arrived in the year Ansei 6 (1859)
Y: (narration) He set up the Glover Trading Company in Nagasaki, and in just 3 years, built up an empire of immense wealth.
(Glover walks through his garden* nodding to the many merchants who have gathered there for business.)
Butler: (in English) “Sir.”
TG: ”Good Afternoon.”
Butler: ”Some samurai are here, desiring to talk to you.”
TG: ”Really? Very well.”
(Inside the drawing room, Ryōma and his men are amazed at the many items they’ve never seen before. Sōnojō points a hunting rifle at a deer head mounted on the wall.)
SS: Could this be….a fake?
MY: No, it’s a real deer.
KC: Why would they want to hang this up?
(As Chōjirō tries to poke at it, Sōnojō startles him jokingly.)
KC: Hey! Stop it!
(In the meantime, Ryōma inspects a western sword.)
R: (He sees Glover at the door.) He’s here.
(Glover walks into the room to greet the 4 samurai standing there.)
MY: (in English) “Mr. Glover?”
MY: (to Ryōma) This man is Glover-san.
R: (walks up to Glover) I am Sakamoto Ryōma.
SS: ”His name is Sakamoto Ryōma.”
TG: (extends his hand) “Nice to meet you.”
R: This is….”shake hand”, right? (He grabs Glover’s hand.) Mutsu, what does “Nice to meet you” mean?
MY: It’s a pleasure to meet you.
R: Oh~~ “Nice to meet you! Nice to meet you!” (He’s still holding on to Glover, who is not amused.)
TG: ”Nice to meet you….”
(Glover pulls his hand away. Sōnojō introduces each member of their party.)
SS: ”He is Kondo Chōjirō.”
KC: (shakes Glover’s hand) “Nice to meet you! Nice to meet you! Nice to meet you!”
SS: ”I am Sawamura Sōnojō. Nice to meet you.”
TG: (He takes Sōnojō’s hand but it obviously tired of all this.) “Nice to meet you.”
MY: ”I am Mutsu Yōnosuke.”
TG: ”Nice to meet you. Well, you all speak very good English.”
MY: ”I studied at the Navy Training Academy.”
SS: ”I did too.”
TG: (in Japanese) The Navy Training Academy. That’s the navy school the Bakufu set up in Kōbe, right?
TG: I learnt to speak Japanese.
R: Truly the gentleman from faraway Britain who became such a big success in Japan!
KC: Remarkable indeed!
TG: What did you want to talk to me about? (motions them to sit) Please.
R: Oh, in fact…. we hope you could loan us a ship.
TG: A ship?
KC: A steamship!
R: Japanese merchants only have sailboats. That’s why we need to ask foreign businessmen.
TG: Why do you need a boat?
MY: (in English) “Business.”
SS: For trading!
R: Once we have a boat, we can get anything done.
KC: Can you loan us? One steamship.
(Thomas Glover looks at the samurai incredulously and breaks out laughing.)
TG: ”You samurai are doing business now, are you?”
R: What did he say? Hmm?
TG: I will loan one to you.
TG: 1,200 pounds a month, how about it?
R: Thousand? Two hundred?
TG: 3,000 ryō
SS: 3,000 ryō?!
TG: ”You cannot expect to buy a steamer for a penny, man.”*
KC: 3,000 ryō a month. How can we afford it!
R: Glover-san! A bit less…
TG: ”I am very sorry.”
TG: ”Anything less than one thousand two hundred pounds is absolutely out of the question.” (He gets up to leave.) “You should be able to find some older ones in Maruyama.*”
Misc: Oh! Oh!
R: Wait! Wait! Wait!
(Ryōma tries to hold Glover back, but is stopped by his bodyguards at gunpoint. Sōnojō and Mutsu, who understood what Glover said, are both furious and make to go after Glover. Ryōma and Chōjirō have to hold them back to stop them from charging at the guns.)
SS: What do you mean?!
R: What did he say?
KC: (looking at the guns pointed at them) What’s happening?!
SS: That man is treating us like fools!
MY: He told us to ‘get scrap ones in Maruyama’!
SS: Come back!
Guard: “Come on then!”
SS: Damn! Why must we bow our heads to foreigners!
(Ryōma stands in between the guns and his men. He faces the guards while he talks to his men.)
R: Calm down, both of you! Didn’t we agree we’d bear with it for the sake of our goal!
KC: That’s right! As long as we can get a ship, what does it matter if they’re foreigners!
R: (smiles and bows to the guards) Excuse us.
(They lower their guns. Sōnojō and Mutsu are still very angry but no longer wanting to fight.)
SS: In the end, he totally disregarded us!
MY: He’s just taking advantage of us!
(Ryōma stands straight, still facing the guards.)
R: Where is this place Maruyama?
Y: (narration) Maruyama is Nagasaki’s geisha district, and is lined with restaurants. Amongst these, large establishments like the Hiketaya have customers from Hans all over.
R: This one?
KC: This one.
(Saigō Kichinosuke and some Satsuma samurai are eating in the Hiketaya.)
Misc: The Bakufu is going to start another war with Chōshū. Is that true?
Misc: What?! A Chōshū conquest?!
SK: They asked Satsuma to send our troops as well.
Misc: We should! Chōshū is the enemy! (They all cheer.)
Misc: Those people fired at Satsuma ships and sank them!
Misc: My brother was on one of them!
All: There! You see!
Misc: Let’s join the Bakufu forces and crush Chōshū to pieces, Saigō-san!
All: That’s right! Saigō-san!
SK: Even if we destroy Chōshū now, Satsuma won’t get any good out of it. It’ll only make the Bakufu stronger.
(Ryōma and his men are being escorted to another room by the proprietress.)
Hike: This room here, sirs. Please.
R: Oh! (They see a round table inside) What’s with this table?
SS: It’s round!
KC: Oh! It’s so red!
Hike: The Nagasaki Shippoku cuisine is served on this type of table.* There are no higher or lower seating. So everyone is happy.
MY: That makes sense!
R: It’s just right for us!
KC: What customers do you have today?
Hike: We have gentlemen from various Hans.
MY: ’Various Hans’ ……like where? (She doesn’t know how to answer. Sōnojō pretends to laugh it off.)
R: I see! I see! It means your customers came from all over.
Hike: What would you like to order, sirs?
R: We’ll order later.
R: We have something to discuss. No need for sake or geiko* either.
Hike: Then please excuse me. (She bows and proceeds to leave.)
KC: Thank you for your help.
Hike: Please make yourselves at home.
(The men pretend to laugh as the Hiketaya hostess closes the door.)
Misc: Oh, what a great place….
Hike: Weird customers!
(Once she’s gone, the men immediately crowd around the table, discussing in low voices.)
KC: Right before the stairs, I heard Satsuma-ben (dialect)
MY: I heard it too. The Camillia Room.
R: If we walked into the Camillia Room without knowing, we’d have a big problem.
SS: So…which room should we try out first?
R: Hmm…Let’s see…..
<Plum Blossom Room>
(In the Plum Blossom Room, a geisha performs for some samurai against the music of the Nagasaki Burabura song*.)
Song: “Nagasaki’s famous Hata-age and Bonmasturi festivals~*, And the Autumn shagiri in Suwa* where parishioners go burabura. Singing burari burarito as they go…..The Hata-age soars above the Konpira and Kazagashira*~~ We’ll come back and get tipsy as the bottles go burabura. Singing burari burarito as we go.”
(One samurai with hair cropped short and dressed casually in a yukata, picks up a shamisen and plays together with the performers, while the others appear to downcast and brooding.)
Man: Splendid. A beautiful dance.
Geisha: Yes,sir. Thank you very much.
Man: (to his associates) People went through all the trouble to dance for us, Yamada-san. Kikuchi, say something too.
K: I’m not in the mood.
Man: (sighs) Your name is Omoto, right? Come here.
OM: Yes sir. (Omoto moves over.)
Man: Have a drink too. (He pours sake for her.)
OM: Thank you, sir. Why does Samurai-sama have this hairstyle?
Man: This one? Because I became a monk on a whim. (He grins.)
OM: A monk?!
Man: Since we’re born into this world, we might as well make life more interesting.
Y: How can you still make jokes?! Glover is treating us like idiots! Aren’t you furious at all, Matsuda-san?
M: (to Otomo) We were supposed to meet a British merchant here today. But he stood us up.
O: Oh, Glover-san.
Y: Oh, you know him?!
O: Yes, those foreigners are always very wary. If they come across a Jōi customer here, they’d risk their lives. (The men react uneasily at the mention of Jōi.) Even I was psychologically prepared before I came today. It’s the first time I had customers from the Tsuwano Han (to another geisha) right?
M: There’s nothing to fear from a short-haired samurai playing the shamisen. (Otomo laughs. Kikuchi slams his fist on the table.)
(In the meantime, Thomas Glover is having a drink with another British merchant, William Alt.)
TG: (in English) “Nothing beats a good scotch, ol’ boy?”
WA: ”Shouldn’t you be going? The Tsuwano clan’s been waiting for you, haven’t they?”
TG: ”God…the Tsuwano clan…. What they want are guns. That clan may very well carry the banner for Chōshū one day. I do not think the Shogunate (Bakufu) would take kindly to that.”
WA: ”I wonder if the Shogunate will continue to run the country as they have upto now”
TG: ”We shall see.”
(Back at the Hiketaya, the Tsuwano samurai are still waiting.)
M: We’ll just start over, Yamada-san.
Y: We don’t have much time left!
K: We finally made it to Nagasaki. And we’re still empty-handed!
R: (from outside) Now that’s terrible!
(The Tsuwano men jump up, their sword ready as Ryōma and his men enter the room. Only the samurai named Matsuda remains seated.)
R: I’m so sorry for interrupting your banquet.
SS: We heard the beautiful shamisen from outside, so we couldn’t help overhearing you at the door.
R: Oh, did you know that? This Shippoku table is round….
R: …to do away with the barriers of high, low or side seating. So everyone can eat happily around the table! (Ryōma picks a manju to munch.)
KC: Amazing, isn’t it!
SS: (sits himself down) Are you all Tsuwano retainers?
KC: What did you want to buy from Glover?
Y: What’s with you people!
K: Get out!
R: Listen carefully! We’re not from the Magistracy.
SS: We’re your allies.
(Sōnojō has started eating too. All the Tosa men have made themselves comfortable at the table. Matsuda laughs.)
M: Nagasaki is full of interesting people. But why are you our allies?
Y: (hiss) Matsuda!
M: It’s alright. Let’s hear what they have to say.
M: Tell us.
R: We are dappan ronin. We don’t belong to any Han and we’re off the Magistracy’s survellance.
MY: On top of that, we can operate steamships.
SS: If the Tsawano Han will lend us 1 of your ships, we can deal with those foreign merchants on your behalf.
Y: On our behalf?
M: You’re from Tosa, aren’t you.
R: (exchanges looks with Chōjirō) That’s right. My name is Sakamoto Ryōma.
SS: Sawamura Sōnojō.
KC: I’m Kondo Chōjirō.
MY: I’m originally from Kishū Han, Mutsu Yōnosuke.
R: Every one of us here was trained at the Navy Training Academy.
(The Tsuwano samurai jump at this revelation and get ready to draw their swords again. Again, Matsuda is the only one without reaction.)
All: Navy Training Academy?! The Bakufu’s…..!
SS: We didn’t establish the Navy for the sake of the Bakufu!
KC: We learnt those skills so we could protect Japan from other countries.
(The geisha Omoto is quietly listening to every word.)
R: By the way, who exactly are you? (Matsuda looks at his fellows.) I don’t think you’re Tsuwano retainers. At the mere mention of the Bakufu, you draw your swords like Jōi advocates. The Tsuwano Han is not like that.
MY: If you’re not Tsuwano retainers…
SS: Then who are you?!
M: We are from Chōshū.
SS: But aren’t Chōshū retainers prohibited from entering Nagasaki?
R: You changed your names to sneak in?
Y: No! We are Tsuwano retainers!
M: That’s enough, Shunsuke. (He stands up.) Katsura-san has said before, Tosa’s Sakamoto Ryōma can be trusted.
M: I am Takasugi Shinsaku. How do you do.
R: Takasugi-san, you… You’re acquainted with Katsura-san? (He laughs) What a coincidence!
TS: Sakamoto-san, are you really willing to lend us a hand?
R: That goes without saying…..
SS: (grabs Ryōma) Ryōma! Chōshū is a Jōi Han!
KC: They want to instigate war with foreign countries!
R: I know! Anyway, let’s continue this in another place.
R: In any case, let’s get out of here first!
R: Because this place is filled with Satsuma retainers.
Y: Satsuma you say?!
(The Chōshū men make for the door immediately. They want to fight. Mutsu, Sōnojō and Chōjirō barely had enough time to stop them. Only Ryōma and Takasugi Shinsaku remain where they are. Ryōma looks at the men incredulously.)
KC: No! You mustn’t go now!
Misc: If it weren’t for Satsuma, we Chōshū would never have become imperial enemies!
Misc: Now I know there are Satsuma retainers, you think I can sit here quietly!
SS: Calm down!
R: Hey, YOU!! Aren’t you backing yourselves in a corner if you create a scene now!
TS: He’s right.
TS: If the Magistracy finds out, we lose everything.
K: Dammit! Satsuma!!
TS: Even so, Sakamoto-san (He sits down.) We’ll stay here to talk.
TS: If you think I’m one to run away from the enemy, then think again.
R: Chōjirō (to Takasugi) I see. (He sits down) Well then (to Omoto) Excuse me, could you ask the proprietress to make sure that these people will not run into Satsuma retainers?
OM: Yes, sir. (She bows. Ryōma chuckles.)
R: Thank you!
(Outside the Hiketaya, Omoto leaves without telling the proprietress anything.)
Hike: Omoto-chan, what about the customer?
OM: I don’t want to be dragged into any trouble.
Hike: Omoto-chan? Omoto-chan!
(Omoto runs off. Back at Glover Mansion….)
TG: (in English) “We may be rivals at business, but we’re both British. Let me give you a word of advice…..Leave Japan as soon as you’ve made enough money.”
WA: ”And why might I do that?”
TG: ”Because this country is finished.”
WA: ”What do you mean by saying Japan is finished?”
TG: ”The Shogunate is now nothing but a…puppet of France. Do you honestly think that Great Britain will allow that to continue?”
WA: ”You mean there’ll be war?”
(At the Hiketaya, Takasugi Shinsaku explains Chōshū’s stance to Ryōma and his men. The other Chōshū men present are Kikuchi whose real name is Ito Shunsuke* and Yamada whose real name is Inoue Monta*….)
TS: What we want are weapons.
TS: 10 warships, 10,000 Minié rifles.
SS: 10 warships?! 10,000?!
TS: 500,000 ryō should cover it.
MY: 500,000 ryō?!
R: Does Chōshū have such a lot of money?
K/IS: We have the Bakan Straits* and Shimonoseki. We can access resources from all over Japan.
TS: We have plenty of money.
R: Well then, what does Chōshū plan to use the weapons for?
SS: To carry out Jōi?
KC: Is Chōshū planning to attack foreign ships again?
IS: No more of those useless acts. We can’t implement Jōi by force!
TS: We got the message loud and clear when we fought those countries. When it comes to military strength, we cannot beat them.
R: Your Han policies have changed?! (Takasugi nods.)
R: True….that’s so true! Implementing Jōi by force is impossible! This is wonderful! It’s wonderful that Chōshū can see this!
KC: But then, why do you still need those 10,000 rifles?
IS: The only thing left to do. To fight the Bakufu!
Y/IM: Chōshū has decided not to abide by the Bakufu anymore!
TS: Chōshū is going independent.
(Outside the room, a samurai walks by and hears their conversation. He stops to eavesdrop.)
TS: (voice) We have decided to live by our own means. Even if we are at odds with the whole Japan. Even if Chōshū is down to the last man, we will fight to the end.
(The samurai outside is shocked and rushes off. Meanwhile, at Glover mansion….)
TG: (in English) “Britain is already working on a strategy for landing operations…under the assumption that conflict with Japan is inevitable.”
WA: ”What? A strategy for landing operations?”
TG: ”First, they will blockade the sea of Settsu* and then land 12,000 infantry men and 500 cavalry men at Hyōgo* The British forces will put down Ōsaka and make inroads into Kyōto.”
(At the Hiketaya, the samurai rushes into Satsuma’s room.)
Misc: There are Chōshū retainers in the Plum Blossom Room!
Misc: Plum Blossom Room! (The men run out with their swords.)
SK: Stop! (No-one hears him.)
Misc: Chōshū! (Saigō gets up to follow his men.)
(At Glover Mansion….)
TG: (in English) “The Mikado* will be taken captive.”
WA: ”Good Lord!”
TG: ”And the Navy will advance on Edo Bay. The main force of 15,000 will then attack Edo Castle. Japan will surrender …just 1 day! Ha! They’re such simpletons! The Japanese are totally unaware that at this very moment the fate of their country hangs in the balance.” (Glover laughs.)
(At the Hiketaya, Ryōma and his men hear a commotion as Satsuma retainers rush to their room.)
R: Who is it?!
Misc: Why are you people in Nagasaki!
(Satsuma and Chōshū men face each other, swords out.)
(The men roar at each other in fury. Saigō arrives and walks to the front.)
SK: I am Saigō Kichinosuke. I haven’t seen you Chōshū gentlemen since the Hamaguri Gate.
IM: Saigō! I’ve had my eye on you for many years!
IS: Kill Satsuma!
(A Satsuma retainer attacks first. Ryōma, who had crouched down in the middle of the 2 groups, stands up quickly and disarms the man.)
R: Stop it, all of you!!
R: Brandishing your swords at each other in such a small room, just like hens killing each other in the coop before the feast! (He throws the Satsuma man back. Both sides roar.)
KC: Stop it! (He runs up to Ryōma, standing back-to-back and facing the Chōshū men.) That’s exactly right!
SS: Once the dawn breaks, we’ll all be slaughtered by the foreigners and served to them on a dish!
R: Who is our most dreaded enemy! The foreign countries!! Is this the time for Japanese countrymen to fight! Eh! Saigō-san!
(At the same time, officers from the Nagasaki Magistracy rush into the Hiketaya.)
Officer: Out of the way! Out of the way! Nagasaki Magistracy! Where are those Chōshū retainers!
Hike: How can we help you~~?
Officer: Move aside!
Hike: Please wait a moment!
(The men inside hear the calls of the proprietress. They know the officers are here.)
IS: Inoue-san! Run!
(Ito races towards the sidedoors to the yard. The Satsuma men are about to stop him but Takasugi Shinsaku takes a pistol out and shoots at the ceiling. He then points it at the Satsuma men. Saigō walks up to the pistol, shielding his men.)
SK: (smiles) This cropped head….You must be the founder of the Kiheitai* Leader of Chōshū, Takasugi Shinsaku.
TS: (raising an eyebrow) You do know a lot, Saigō. If there weren’t people interfering, we could have had a good fight. You’re in luck.
(Takasugi shoots at the ceiling again. The Chōshū men make use of this to escape through the side-doors, pursued by Satsuma retainers.)
Misc: Chōshū! Stop! Chōshū…!
KC: Sakamoto-san, we have to run!
MY: We’re dappan ronin! Quick!
SS: Ryōma, quick!
MY: Come on!
(Ryōma stands looking at Saigō as if still waiting for an answer. Mutsu pushes him. The officers, led by Iwahori Bunjirō, arrive almost immediately after they leave. )
Misc: Nagasaki Magistracy! Don’t move!
Hike: (trying to stop the officers from disturbing the customers)… making it difficult for us!
SK: Oh! Isn’t that Iwahori-san.
Misc: Look over there!
SK: There are no Chōshū retainers here anymore.
IB: What? (Saigō pretends to laugh.)
(At the Nagasaki Magistracy, Iwahori Bunjirō reports back to Nagasaki Magistrate, Asahina Masahiro)
IB: I’m terribly sorry! We just missed them. They escaped.
AM: What was Satsuma doing there?
IB: Apparently the culprits ran off when they got there.
AM: Chōshū retainers appearing in Nagasaki under my rule….Next time, tell us earlier, Omoto.
OM: Yes, my Lord Magistrate.
AM: (He walks off) Nagasaki is really hot.
Nagasaki, A New World
*1. Moxa 灸 (or moxibustion) is a traditional medical therapy used in China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Tibet, and Mongolia. Mugwort herbs are ground and burnt to warm specific regions or acupuncture points of the body so as to stimulate circulation - more info here
*2. The Mitsubshi Mail Steamship Company - more info here
*3. Keiō Gannen means the first year of the Keiō era - more info here
*4. Sōfuku-ji 崇福寺 is a buddhist temple in Nagasaki and a national treasure - (1) wiki (2) Nagasaki Tourism Guide
*5. Nagasaki dragon dance - picture. More information on Nagasaki traditional festivals here - (1) Pictures (2) Nagasaki Tourism Guide
*6. The Genkai Sea 玄界灘 (Genkai-nada) is the sea at the southwestern tip of the Sea of Japan, that borders the northern coasts of Fukuoka and Saga prefectures.
*7. French dialogue for the Bakufu’s Finance Minister, Oguri Tadamasa has been scripted from the Japanese subtitles.
*8. Glover gardens - more info here
*9. Although the Japanese sub-titles had quoted “rent a steamship”, Glover clearly said “buy”. We will script the dialogue as recited where we can.
*10. The name Maruyama was taken from the Japanese subtitles. Because Ryōma and his men were calling “Oh! Oh! Machiya! Machiya!” (meaning Wait! Wait!) in the foreground, Glover’s words are covered.
*11. Geisha district - the formal name of a geisha district is Hanamichi 花街 (lit. flower street), more info here
*12. The Hiketaya (引田屋) still stands today. It is now called Kagetsu (花月) and is a national historical site in Nagasaki - Japanese home page
*13. Nagasaki Shippoku is a renowned traditional Nagasaki cuisine - picture More information and pictures of Nagasaki famous cuisine here (1) (2)
*14. Geiko is another name for Geisha.
*15. The Nagasaki Burabura song is a traditional song about the festivals of Nagasaki - Japanese lyrics. A very interesting site to read up on Japanese culture and festivals by prefecture - Nippon Kichi
*16. The Hata-age is the Nagasaki Kite Festival held in April each year. The Bonmatsuri Festival is the equivalent of the ghost festival and is held in July - more info here
*17. The Shagiri (砂切) is a piece of festival music. When written as 車切 (same pronunciation), it refers to festival floats. Suwa Shrine in Nagasaki - more info here
*18. The Kazagashira and Mount Konpira are the names of places in Nagasaki.
*19. The Bakan Straits 馬関海峡 (Bakan Kaicho) is the old name for the Kanmon Straits or the Straits of Shimonoseki - more info here
*20. Spoiler: (1) Ito Shunsuke, also known as Ito Hirobumi, became the first Prime Minister of Japan in the new Meiji government in 1885 and (2) Inoue Monta, also known as Inoue Kaoru, became the Japan’s first Minister of Foreign Affairs.
*21. Settsu 摂津 is in Osaka - more info here
*22. Mikado is the Japanese reference to the Emperor.
*23. The capital of Hyōgo 兵庫 is Kōbe - more info here
*24. The Kiheitai (奇兵隊) was purportedly the first modern non-samurai militia, in a society where only samurai were allowed to own weapons - more info here
Timeline for this Episode:
- To be updated
[Nagasaki Prefecture, Nagasaki City]
Nagasaki was opened up to foreign countries from early times. The Maruyama district that Ryōma visited, was the most well-known of pleasure quarters in Nagasaki.
In the Bakumatsu, the port of Nagasaki was open. Foreign merchants from England, France etc.
made Maruyama into a bustling place.
Historical Site Ryotei (restaurant) Kagetsu - This ryotei was designated as a historical site by the Nagasaki Prefecture, thereby allowing the remains of the Hiketaya and the red light district to be passed on.
Han retainers and foreign traders gathered in the restaurants there, turning them into international social places. It was said that Ryōma built extensive networking with other patriots here.
Here in Maruyama, Ryōma met the geiko Omoto.
The Tenman-gū (shrine) stands in the midst of a plum blossom garden. Strongly supported by geiko and yūjo*, this is the guardian god of Maruyama.
Omoto was beautiful and well-skilled in her arts, and became Ryōma’s regular geiko. Thereafter, it was said that Omoto would also be called to appear in political negotiations, and that she became an influence on Ryōma.
[Sakamoto Ryōma Statue / Maruyama Park]
In the new world of Nagasaki, Ryōma was able to accomplish much greater progress here.
Get off at the “Shianbashi” Tramway Station
* Yūjo - unlike geiko or geisha, yūjo are ‘play women’ or courtesans (more info here)
Episode 29 ==== Episode 30 ==== Episode 31 ==== Episode 32 ==== Episode 33
Episode 34 ==== Episode 35 ==== Episode 36 ==== Episode 37 ==== Episode 38
Translated from the Chinese and Japanese subtitles on the episode. Many many thanks to the hard work of all these fans, without which this would not have been possible!! Special thanks to Reder for the scripting of the French dialogue, and to the members of MashaPlus [dot] Info Forums and D-addicts who have helped to listen and responded to my call for help for a part of the English dialogue. I love you guys!