Ryomaden Episode 30 (2010.07.25)
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
(In Kōzan-ji temple in Kokura*, a small group of Chōshū men have gathered. They are armed and in high spirits. Shouts and war cries can be heard and war banners can be seen everywhere.)
<Shimonoseki, Kōzan-ji (temple)>
Y: (narration) In Genji First Year (1864) December, civil war broke out in Chōshū.*
(Decked in armour, Takasugi Shinsaku walks to the front of the crowd and holds his sword high.)
Y: (narration) To prevent further conquests on Chōshū, the Han had taken a submissive stance to the Bakufu. And this was completely rejected by Takasugi Shinsaku.
(Takasugi slashes through a straw dummy.)
TS: Chōshū will not succumb to the Bakufu. We will be…. independent!
(In another camp, Katsura Kogorō addresses his followers.)
KK: Even if we make enemies with Japan, Chōshū will fight to the end!
<Kyō, Nijō Castle>
(Elder Itakura Katsukiyo reports on the Chōshū situation to Hitotsubashi Yoshinobu.)
IK: So, Hitotsubashi-kō…..
Y: (narration) The Bakufu couldn’t have allowed this to go on.
HY: As I thought Chōshū shouldn’t have been allowed to live. We will exterminate them this time!
(The Consul General of France Léon Roches meets with the British Legation Consul-General Sir Rutherford Alcock, US Minister of Legation Robert Hewson Pruyn and Dutch Consul-General Dirk de Graeff van Polsbroek.)
LR: Le fief de Chōshū…..
Y: (narration) The situation was overwhelmingly in favour of the Bakufu.
RP: (voice in English) “To the Shōgunate!” (They raise their glasses.)
Y: (narration) But for countries targeting for a piece of Japan, this was the best setting for them.
(Review of Episode 29)
TG: (in English) “The Japanese are totally unaware that at this very moment, the fate of their country hangs in the balance.”
At the Satsuma-Chōshū standoff in the Hiketaya…
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: Just like hens killing each other in the coop before the feast! (He throws the Satsuma man back. Both sides roar.) Is this the time for Japanese countrymen to fight! Eh! Saigō-san!
Episode 30: Ryōma no Hisaku (龍馬の秘策 Ryōma’s Secret Plan)
R: In the end, our plan to get a ship….
TT: You couldn’t find any?!
<Nagasaki, Kozone residence>
(Morning. The 4 men who had set out to Maruyama the night before, hang their heads in silence. Ryōma tries to cheer them up.)
R: We knew from the onset that we didn’t have any bargaining power. It’s what we do now! It’s what we do now that matters! Right? Oh, these pants need some washing…. Hey Tora, yours too…
CT: This is not the time to talk about pants! Ryōma-san is too laid back!
KC: When tomorrow comes, we’ll be taken along to Satsuma!
R: Worst comes to worst, we’ll be employed as sailors if we must.
KC: Employed as sailors?!
Misc: But we’re samurai!
SS: Destitute but still samurai!
MY: Very much in the dumps in fact.
TT: You didn’t have to say that!
MY: Can’t take a joke?
(Sōnojō loses his temper and grabs Mutsu. The others try to break them up.)
Misc: Ah! Ah!
Misc: Hey! Hey!
Misc: Stop it! Stop!
Misc: Don’t! No!
(A man suddenly jumps into the middle of the tussle, hitting everyone on the head.)
Man: Hey! Hey! Hey!
(The man has effectively broken up the fight. He laughs out wildly.)
Man: It’s me! It’s me! Have you forgotten this face?
IK: (Ike Kurata holds Ryōma’s face in his hands) It’s been a long time, Ryōma!
R: (He does the same to Kurata) Kurata, how are you!
KC: Why are you here?
R: I’m glad you are!
MY: (slaps Ryōma on the arm) Sakamoto-san! Who’s that?
R: Oh, this man is our mate from Tosa, Ike Kurata!
IK: (looking at Mutsu coolly) Since my dappan, I’ve been fighting alongside Chōshū until now. (He turns around to his fellows and takes his kimono off, showing a torso full of scars.) Take a look!
IK: These are from the Bakan Straits when we fought the battle with foreign ships.
(The men feel his scars…..Kurata turns around and shows them the ones on his back.)
IK: These cuts are leftover from the Tenchūgumi uprising* in Yamato.
Misc: Oohh!! (The men slap Kurata’s back in awe.)
IK: And this came from the battle of the Hamaguri Gate!
SS: Ike Kurata is an indestructible man!
Misc: Indestructible~! Indestructible!
(Ike Kurata laughs. He then turns to Ryōma, suddenly somber.)
IK: By the way, Ryōma
IK: There’s someone who wants to see you.
(Kurata brings Ryōma along the streets of Nagasaki. Ryōma has to rush to catch up with him.)
R: Hey, Kurata! Who am I meeting? Tell me! Hey! Wait up!
IK: This way.
(They’re back at the Sōfuku-ji. It is much quieter now in the early morning. Kurata stops in front of 2 men who are guarding the entrance to one of the courtyards. They are Inoue and Itō from the Chōshū Han.)
IS: Did anyone see you?
IK: Don’t worry.
(Ryōma walks in by himself.)
TS: That chicken coop analogy was interesting, Sakamoto-san. This was the first time someone compared me to a “chicken”.
R: That was….. how I truly feel. (He sits down with Takasugi.) We cannot leave Japan to the Bakufu anymore. If we want to protect this country, we must all break out of the Bakufu’s control. That’s why, when I heard that Chōshū was turning independent, I was truly amazed. However, for such a Han to be tied down by its enemity with Satsuma. This fills me with……the utmost regret.
TS: It’s not just Satsuma. Any Han which joins the Bakufu to bring Chōshū down, is our enemy. 2 years ago, I went to Shanghai.
TS: It was tragic. The Chinese enslaved by the British… like cattle in the fields… So this happens when a country is invaded. I experienced that horror myself.
IK: Inoue-san and Itō-san had gone to Britain in secret for further study.
R: Further study?
IS: ”First, know your enemy.”
IM: Europe’s industry and education are so advanced, it frightens me!
IS: We saw the threat of Western civilization, with our eyes.
IM: Yet Chōshū had to be the vanguard of Jōi. We even attacked those foreign ships!
TS: (to Inoue) The real fools were those who gave up fighting… the Bakufu who grovels to the West to stay alive and the Hans who blindly follow without a mind of their own!
IS: (to Inoue) It’s their fault!
IM: But we’re the ones who have to fight!
TS: (to Ryōma) Although we fight a losing battle, all I want is to follow through my beliefs till I die. But then, we won’t die so easily. Because we believe justice lies with Chōshū.
(Takasugi Shinsaku smiles, then takes his shamisen and leaves, followed by Inoue and Itō. Kurata stays behind.
IK: I must ensure those 3 will get away safely.
R: I have…..misread the Chōshū Han all along. I never thought they’d have such insight and conviction.
IK: That is the Chōshū that the Bakufu wants to destroy. To be honest….I can’t see Chōshū winning this. (He looks at Ryōma) How can we let that happen! Right, Ryōma…..? (Kurata rushes after the Chōshū men.)
<Nagasaki, Satsuma Hantei*>
(Satsuma Han Chief Minister Komatsu Tatewaki and Saigō Kichinosuke discuss about the Bakufu’s planned expedition to Chōshū.)
KT: We can’t escape. We have no choice but to send in our troops.
SK: If we join in the battle and destroy Chōshū now, the vital point of Shimonoseki linking Satsuma with Ōsaka, will fall in the hands of the Bakufu. Trade with Western countries will be monopolized by the Bakufu and our Satsuma strength will decline.
SK: If, after Chōshū, Satsuma becomes the next target, we will be no match at all!
KT: So, to avoid that, we must stay on good terms with the Bakufu!
(Saigō doesn’t agree but is unable to answer. At the same time in Tosa, Yatarō sells wooden planks outside a nice house. Workers have come to buy from him now.)
Y: (narration) At this time, things were going well for me. (He tips a worker.) My wood sales have started to flourish, and I had earned enough stature to move close to Kōchi Castle*. (Yatarō smiles and waves goodbye. He turns around and goes into the house.) Kisei, I’m home.
(Kisei brings Haruji to greet her husband.)
IK: Welcome home, omaesan.
Y: Today was pretty good too, see! (He shows them the money.)
Y: Have you been a good girl, Haruji? (She gives her daddy a big hug.) Haruji~ Haruji~ Haruji~ Hahahaha!
<New Iwasaki Residence>
Y: Ah, this new house is just wonderful! But Kisei, I will earn even more money, so you and Haruji can live in an even bigger house! Hahahahaha!
Y: Ah! Ah! I can’t believe I just said something like that! We’ll live happily just by ourselves, OK?
IK: Just by ourselves
Y: Just by ourselves!
Yano: “Zhenguan 10th year, Taizong asked his officials: ‘In the Emperor’s reign…..’* ” Welcome home, Brother.
Y: Even though Yanosuke is here…..
IM: Yanosuke, will you read the “Zizhi Tongjian”*?
Y: And even though Mother is here….
IY: I feel so restrained in these clothes. I can’t relax in this house.
Y: Oh, you can’t relax, you can’t relax. But the air is very fresh here. What is this!! Well, get out then! Why did you all move over anyway?!
IY: ’Cos I want to live here!
Y: How is this different from before then! (Yajirō passes gas.)
Y: Do not stink up my new house!
(In Nagasaki, Kondō Chōjirō runs excitedly on the streets. He holds something wrapped in a towel gingerly.)
KC: Excuse me! Excuse me! Excuse me!
(Back at the Kozone annex, he shows the packet to his fellows. It looks like cake.)
KC: Come. Try it. (Everyone takes one.)
KC: It is!
TT: It’s sweet!
KC: It’s very sweet!
CT: It’s so soft!
KC: Like it melts in your mouth, right?
(Although he eats, Ryōma is not paying attention. He is deep in thought from the meeting with Takasugi Shinsaku earlier.)
CT: Is this manju (bun)?
KC: No! This is “Castella”!* It was brought in from a country called Portugal. It’s a specialty of Nagasaki!
MY: I don’t like it. Too sweet!
KC: What are you saying! You can’t find another cake more delicious than this! Right, Sakamoto-san?
KC: Sakamoto-san, are you still thinking about Chōshū?
R: Hmm? (He pretends to laugh.)
SS: We don’t have the leisure to worry about that now, Ryōma!
R: I know, but still, for such a forward thinking Han to be destroyed like that…..
MY: What we need to think about now, is how to make money to feed ourselves.
KC: That’s it! If we make this western cake and sell it out, surely we’d make money?
Misc: We make?
KC: That’s right! Let’s do it together.
(Chōjirō brings them to the bakery.)
KC: This way, this way! Come quick! Here it is!
Misc: Hurry, hurry! (The men look in through the window.)
Misc: Oh, they’re making it!
KC: It smells great! Oh! They’ve just finished baking one!
KC: That’s the castella!
Misc: (voice from inside bakery) One set is ready!
KC: Yes, let’s go! Let’s not waste any more time.
Misc: Oh? Oh.
(Later, the men are dressed up for cooking. Ryōma and Sōnojō try making the batter first while Chōjirō calls out the instructions.)
KC: (reads from his notes) First, beat the egg whites…..(to Ryōma) Leave it, leave it.
KC: Next add the egg yolk and sugar, then mix them. (To the men) Now add it to the egg white….
KC: After you’ve mixed them, add in the flour and mix again. (To Ryōma) Why did you pour it from so high? ……Now mix it well! Stir it up, more!
SS: Ahh, how long do we have to keep this stirring! (Finally Ryōma and Chōjirō pour the batter into the pots.)
All: Oh~! (They put the pots on the ovens.) It’s hot! Hot! Hot! Hot!
(Chōjirō times the baking on a joss-stick, while the men wait impatiently. Ryōma closes his eyes and takes in the fragrance. There are people looking in through the windows at this strange group of samurai. There are Westerners, Chinese and locals.)
KC: Yes! That should do.
SS: Ready…set! (They uncover the lids. There is a hug crowd outside now.)
(The men try out their castella.)
All: Thank you for the food!
KC: Well…..Is it good?
Misc: It’s so dry.
R: Chōjirō (he tries hard to swallow) This is….no good.
(Omoto entertains a room of western guests.)
Song: “Nagasaki’s famous Hata-age and Bonmasturi festivals~”*
Y: (narration) Nagasaki is a city where Japanese and foreign cultures. are integrated together. Unlike any other place. Glamorous, chaotic, full of mysteries and hidden secrets.
Hike: (Voice) This is Mitsu. (A drawing of the Blessed Virgin Mary lies on the ground. A woman’s foot touches it.) Officer sir, we don’t have any of those weird girls in here.
(Nagasaki Magistracy officials, led by Iwabori Bunjirō, are checking for Christians in the Hiketaya. The girls are queuing up to step on the fumi-e* of Blessed Virgin Mary as proof.)
Hike: (Voice) This is Omoto. (Omoto steps on the picture, gives Iwabori a smile, then walks off.) See, what did I tell you? This is O’ume.
(Inside the Hiketaya, four people are playing mahjong*. Kozone Eishirō sits at the back, watching the game.)
Y: (narration) In fact, the real people behind Nagasaki were the wealthy Japanese merchants, known as the Magnates.
(Ryōma and Mutsu walk in unannounced.)
R: Excuse me!
R: Well…. (The merchants ignore them.) WELL~….(motions to the table) What is this?
KK: This the first time you see mahjong*?
KK: A game from Manchu China. Something like Hanafuda*
R: Oh…from China.
(A lady comes in with a peke-faced Persian.)
L: I’m sorry to have kept you waiting. (She looks at the 2 samurai.) Well…? (They step back to let her pass.) OK, next game. (One man, probably her aide, stands up to give her the place and she hands him her cat.) There, there, there.
(The 4 ‘magnates’ on the table are now Kozone Kendō, Masuya Torakichi, Iwase Kōemon and the lady who just joined, Ooura Kei*)
MT: What a lovely cat!
IK: Don’t know who those samurai are.
KK: Oh, those gentlemen have left their Hans.
MT: Dappan rōnin! Hahahaha!
OK: We’re not used to bowing our heads to the samurai lords. After all, Nagasaki is a merchant’s town
R: Ah, no no. It’s alright. (Mutsu tries to grab Ryōma’s arm, but is told to wait.) To be honest…..To be honest, Kozone-san, could you help us? Could you lend us some money?
R: In fact, we’re planning to start a business in Nagasaki.
R: To make castella and sell it. So we need to borrow money for the flour and eggs. Please.
KK: Does Saigō-sama know about this? (Ryōma and Mutsu exchange looks.)
R: …..We…… haven’t told him yet. (Ooura Kei watches the men.)
KK: Saigō-sama would never allow you to stay back in Nagasaki.
R: No, no! We would never give Kozone-san any trouble.
MY: We only need 5 ryō!
(Ryōma goes on his knees.)
R: Kozone-san, please help us! Could you…Could you lend us the money! Please! (Kozone looks away.)
MY: (whisper) Get up, Sakamoto-san!
OK: It’s Sakamoto-san, is it not?
OK: Come over. Come over here.
(Kei beckons him. Ryōma looks dubiously at Mutsu. But he gets up anyway.)
R: Al…alright. (Ryōma looks at Kozone as he walks towards Kei. She grabs his hand.) Hey…Hey!
OK: My, what big hands you have!
R: No no no… (The merchants snigger.)
IK: You and your fancies!
OK: This or this (she points to her mahjong tiles.) Which one would you play?
R: No, no, no, no! I know nothing about mahjong. (Kozone smirks. Kei is still holding Ryōma’s hand.)
OK: It doesn’t matter. Choose one.
R: Well….that one?
(Kei plays the piece. The game continues. Masuya Torakichi then throws out his tile.)
OK: Yes, I win.
MT: Ah! Damn! (Kei looks at Ryōma, satisfied.) Ohhh!!! I thought you didn’t like mongrels, woman!
OK: I don’t like all of you, either.
(Kei laughs. Kozone sneers. Ryōma looks deflated, having seemingly achieved nothing from this meeting. The merchants start another game. On the streets of Nagasaki, Omoto walks with an apprentice geiko Tane.)
T: What do I have to do to be as popular as Omoto-sis?
OM: Keep practicing your dance, O’Tane-chan. A geiko unskilled in her arts, will not requested by customers.
T: I understand.
(As the girls draw near to the Hiketaya, they see Mutsu and Ryōma leaving and looking frustrated.)
MY: Who do they think they are!Looking down on samurai like that!
T: The samurai-sama from last night…. (Otome looks away and pretends not to see them.)
MY: Assholes! A bunch of assholes!
OM: (to Tane) If we bump into our customers in the day, we must pretend not to know them.
T: I understand.
R: (to Mutsu)Come, let’s have some tea.
(Tane continues on to the Hiketaya, but Omoto turns around to follow Ryōma and Mutsu.)
R: (to the tea house) Ah, excuse me.
R: (to Mutsu) But, I found that very interesting.
MY: How “interesting’ was that, Sakamoto-san!
(Omoto sits outside the teahouse next to a window, eavesdropping on Ryōma and Mutsu, who are on a table on the other side of the window.)
R: My family’s main line are merchants. I thought I’d understood a lot about being a businessman, but I have never seen traders as formidable as them. These merchants are rivals with each other. But then, however bad their relationship, for the sake of the business, they must keep up their liaison. That was the purpose of the mahjong I think.
(Ooura Kei passes by the tea-house at this moment. She spies Ryōma and Mutsu.)
MY: All I saw was a bunch of greedy fellows.
OK: I found you! (She joins them at the table uninvited.) Thank you for your help! (Ryōma bows.)
OK: Oh~ what a surprise, Sakamoto-san. Samurai lords making a business out of castella?
MY: What now!
OK: In fact, I’m full of admiration for you. This is the first time I’ve seen such uninhibited samurai lords
OK: But then, for samurai lords to make castella is impossible! Better try other businesses instead!
MY: We don’t want to be merchants! To protect Japan, what we want is to change the system around!
OK: To change the system around? My, in that case I must have my foot in early.
R: Huh? Your foot?
(Kei takes 5 ryō from her purse.)
OK: Here’s the money…. I’ll lend it to you. (She takes Ryōma’s hand again)
R: Hey! Hey! (Kei puts the money in his hand.) Huh? There’s no reason for you to lend us the money.
OK: Treat it like a speculative investment.
R: What? Speculative investment?
OK: If I help out Sakamoto-san now, surely it’ll do me good someday.
R: But…..but still, I can’t ask you to lend…
(Mutsu snatches the money from Ryōma.)
MY: Sakamoto-san! We’ll take it!
OK: Good! Good! Sakamoto-san has a lot of luck. People like this… (she grabs his hand again)
R: Oh! Oh!
OK: …should be taken good care of. (She moves in close)
R: O’Kei-san, please please let go of me…..
OK: (chuckles) I’m going. See you then. (She leaves.)
R: O’Kei-san? O’Kei-san!
MY: With this, we’ll be able to buy the castella materials! This money, I’ll keep it.
MY: In case Sakamoto-san decides to give it back! (Mutsu runs off. Ryōma chases after him out of the teahouse.)
R: You…wait..wait..wait! Hey! Mutsu! Mutsu! Hey! What do I do with him!
(Omoto walks off discretely, but Ryōma notices as soon as she gets up.)
R: Oh? Ah! Miss! Miss, Miss, Miss! (He catches up with her.) Aren’t you the geiko from last night?
OM: (recovers quickly, putting on her charms) My, the samurai-sama at that time. (Ryōma laughs) Are you alright? I heard there was awful trouble after that.
R: Yes, you see, I’m fine. (His smile disappears.) By the way, how long have you been sitting there? (He points to the window.)
OM: From a while back.
R: Well then, were you listening to what we said? Hmm?
OM: (looking straight at Ryōma) ….No….
(Ryōma takes a long look at Omoto, then suddenly covers his face in an exaggerated move.)
R: What an embarrassing thing to show you! (Omoto chuckles, her guard down.) This is the first time I’ve had to borrow money from a complete stranger….
OM: There’s no need to worry. O’Kei-san is well-known in Nagasaki for her wealth.
R: Really….. (he knows she’s lying) Well, I’m off now.
OM: Have a safe trip. (Ryōma walks off.) Wait…..! What does it mean to “change the system around”? Just now, your companion said that.
R: Oh…(he feigns a laugh)….him… Ah….that means, we want a world where every person in Japan can live their life together in laughter. (The two pretend to laugh.) Goodbye then.
(As Ryōma runs off, Omoto’s smile disappears immediately.)
AM: Former Tosa retainer, Sakamoto Ryōma?
(Omoto has come to report to the Nagasaki Magistrate, Asahina Masahiro and Nagasaki Magistracy Official, Iwabori Bunjirō)
OM: The man who suggested that they cover shipments for Chōshū last night.
IB: They’re just a bunch of destitute rōnin. You don’t need to report every minor matter to us.
OM: I’m very sorry.
AM: Give Omoto some reward, Iwabori. However insignificant, they are still rebels against the Bakufu. Keep your eye on them!
IB: Yes, my Lord. (He throws some money on the floor to Omoto) There.
OM: Thank you, my Lord.
(She picks up every coin, and goes looking for those which have fallen off the porch. That night, Omoto walks through the dark alleys into a small shop. She goes down a hidden stairway into a room where people are praying in front of a statue of the Goddess of Mercy*. They hold a crucifix in their hands. Omoto makes the sign of the cross after she enters the room. It appears Omoto is a hidden Christian.)
OM: (prayer) I have committed many sins because of my desires. I am sorry, I am sorry. I am very sorry. Mother Mary, I beg you. Mother Mary please…. please…. forgive me! Forgive me!
(Meanwhile, at Glover Mansion, Satsuma Chief Minister Komatsu Tatewaki and Saigō Kichinosuke have come to buy weapons from Thomas Glover.)
KT: We want to buy weapons! 1,000 Minié rifles.
TG: (in English) “Again? That would cost you 30,000 ryō….”
KT: A sum like that is not a problem for us!
TG: ”Even though the Shōgunate’s imposed restrictions on trading?”
KT: Satsuma has sugar and camphor! We have no shortage of things to substitute money!
TG: ”The price of sugar will not always be as it is. I for one, have no intention of being out of pocket. I’m a merchant….sir.”
Y: (narration) Time was running short.
(Ryōma’s men are still trying to figure out the recipe for castella. Ryōma, on the other hand, is pre-occupied on finding a solution for Chōshū.)
MY: It’s a failure, again!
TT: Ah, how come?!
MY: You were the one who said we can make castella, Chōjirō!
KC: I was thinking for us all….!
SS: What should we do, Ryōma. We can’t even find a way to support ourselves!
MT: Saigō is going to take us to Satsuma tomorrow!
SS: At this rate, we’ll have to take his orders!
(Ryōma takes a bite of the castella.)
R: Is it really…. that bad? Don’t lose your head because the castella isn’t coming out well. Nothing comes easy in this world. We just learn from our mistakes.
KC: Sakamoto-san! How can you still take it easy at such a time!
R: Calm down, Chōjirō
R: Tarō, what is our goal?
TT: …..To protect Japan from foreign invasion.
R: That’s right. Not to make a good castella, nor to stay in Nagasaki
SS: We haven’t forgotten that! We’re here together because we share this aspiration!
KC: To turn Japan into a remarkable and independent country, we’ve decided to use our own strength to make that happen.
R: Listen. Aspirations alone will not change the world.
R: Takechi-san and his men…. their desire to protect Japan was no different from ours. But, just by their aspirations, they could not change the world. We should have learnt that from them already. The regret they left behind, must not be wasted in vain. Think about it. In order to accomplish our goal, what should we be doing? Think about it. Right?
(Dawn breaks. Ryōma walks alone into the courtyard of the Sōfuku-ji. He cannot find a solution to help Chōshū. He recalls the last meeting here with Takasugi Shinsaku.)
TS: Any Han which joins the Bakufu to bring Chōshū down is our enemy.
(He recalls the Satsuma-Chōshū standoff at the Hiketaya.)
R: Who is our most dreaded enemy! Foreign countries!!
(It suddenly hits him. Ryōma looks up to the sky as he’s thought of a way forward.)
(The morning sun shines into the Kozone residence as Saigō Kichinosuke comes to bid Kozone Kendō goodbye.)
KK: So now you’re heading straight back to Satsuma?
SK: Yes. The ship is all ready to sail.
KK: Will you be bringing Sakamoto-sama and his men along?
SK: I want those men to work for Satsuma.
KK: They’ve started making castella ever since yesterday, those samurai-sama.
SK: (incredulously) Castella?! Hahahaha!
KK: But really a very interesting group of gentlemen. They’re certainly open minded and very flexible in their thinking.
SK: (chuckles) Sakamoto?
KK: Yes, it’s true. If the present structure doesn’t change, perhaps both Satsuma and I myself, may not survive in the near future.
(Kozone Eishirō rushes in.)
KE: Saigō-sama, Sakamoto-sama…..
R: (walks in) We’re having a big problem at the annex. They’re fighting over whether to pack up, or not. (Saigō drinks his tea nonchalantly.) Saigō-san! Why must you insist on bringing us back to Satsuma?
SK: (heaves a big sigh) Sakamoto-san
R: What if I tell you that we’re working to save Satsuma?
SK: Save Satsuma? (Ryōma sits up formally)
R: Saigō-san, if you continue like this under the Bakufu, Satsuma will have no future left.
SK: That again…. (he gets up)
R: Please listen to me.
SK: How can we possibly go against the Bakufu! In the event of a war, Satsuma has no chance of winning! (He walks off.)
R: YES YOU DO!! (Saigō stops. Ryōma turns to him.) There is a way to defeat the Bakufu! (Saigō doesn’t move, his back to Ryōma.) And that is…. to join forces with Chōshū.
(Saigō turns around, shocked. In a rare moment, we see his true feelings reflected on his face.)
SK: What did you say?
R: Chōshū is a Han with a lot of reserves. More learned than anywhere else, more resilient in their battles than anyone else.
SK: (sneers) What are you saying!
R: The Bakufu now, without support of the Hans, cannot go to war on its own! Without Satsuma as their ally, they couldn’t possibly destroy Chōshū.
R: Satsuma’s decision on who to side with, will determine who wins this! Chōshū and Satsuma are at odds with each other. We all know that. However, this is not the time to talk about that! However nasty their relationship, these Nagasaki merchants…. Kozone-san still plays mahjong with them! For their own interests, they can liaise with anyone. That is the resilience of the Nagasaki merchant. Saigō-san, we samurai can shed our attitudes. Can we not learn from the Nagasaki merchants too? (He goes on his knees) There is no other road to Satsuma’s salvation!
(Saigō looks doubtful. He shakes his head.)
SK: ……No, that’s not possible.
R: Saigō-san! I will convince them! I will… I will definitely convince them! Saigō-san…just say it. Just say “Yes” please! I beg you! I beg of you, Saigō-san!
Ryōma’s Secret Plan
*2. A brief background from the historic events on Chōshū’s civil war from English wiki:
Weakened by the foreign bombardment after they fired on the foreign ships in 1863, Chōshū was unable to withstand the Bakufu’s expedition in autumn 1864. At Saigō’s suggestion, 3 of their elders committed seppuku in return for a peaceful end to the expedition. After this, conservative forces within Chōshū became dominant in Chōshū politics. They favored conciliation with the Bakufu in order to secure the domain, and Takasugi Shinsaku and some of his compatriots had to leave the domain to avoid imprisonment. Takasugi and some 80 followers, including future political leaders Yamagata Aritomo, Itō Hirobumi, Inoue Kaoru and Ishikawa Kogorō, gathered in Kokura and prepared an attack on the conservative forces in Chōshū. Itō led the Chōshū Rikishi Kumi (lit. Fighter Squad) while Ishikawa led the Yūgekitai (lit. Commando Squad). The subsequent Chōshū civil war began on 13 January 1865.
*3. A detailed recount of the Chōshū Civil War - here
*4. Tenchogumi Uprising - more info here
*5. Hantei means a Daimyo’s residence in another Han.
*6. Close to Kōchi Castle 高知城下 - 城下 (jōka) means the land around the Castle.
*7. From the Shōganseiyō (or more commonly known by the Chinese name Zhenguan zhengyao) 貞觀政要 which means “Essentials of Government of the Zhenguan period”. This is an account of the court during Emperor Taizong’s twenty years reign which started the Tang dynasty in China. Written in 708-710, it is said to catalogue the conversations between the Emperor and his officials and is used as a reference book on statecraft for monarchs and leaders in many other countries. Since this is essentially a Chinese classic, I have used the common English names, which in turn are based on the Chinese version. For reference, Emperor Taizong is pronounced as “Taizō” in Japanese and the period Zhenguan as “Shōgan”.
*8. Zizhi Tongjian (in Japanese “Shijitsugan”) 資治通鑑 meaning “Comprehensive Mirror to Aid in Government” is a compilation of the universal history of China.
*9. More on castella - more info here
*10. Fumi-e is a likeness of Jesus or Mary upon which the religious authorities of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan required suspected Christians to step on in order to prove that they were not members of that outlawed religion - more info here
*11. Mahjong - more info here
*12. Hanafuda is a Japanese playing card game - more info here
*13. More info on Ooura Kei - here
*14. The Goddess of Mercy or Guanyin 観音 (pronounced Kannon in Japanese) is the goddess in the Buddhist religion. Because Christianity was forbidden in Japan during the time of the Tokugawa Shōgunate, many continued to practise their belief in secret or under the cover of other approved religions. This Goddess of Mercy statue was used to represent the Blessed Virgin Mary - more info here
Timeline for this Episode:
- To be updated
[Nagasaki Prefecture, Nagasaki City]
On a hill overlooking Nagasaki stands the old Glover Residence, home of the British merchant Thomas Glover*
[Former Glover Residence]
When the port of Nagasaki was just opened, Glover came to Japan at age 21. Full of ambition, Glover started to trade in arms and ships.
Glover House in Glover Garden* (from the archives of the Nagasaki University Library)
Glover provided arms both to the Bakufu and anti-Bakufu factions. There is a secret room in the attic
for patriots planning to sail overseas to hide.
Glover Garden also has a weapons exhibition site.
Glover’s Daughter Hana’s wedding (from the archives of the Nagasaki University Library)
Having achieved success, Glover and his Japanese wife Tsuru built a loving family together.
Glover at the Takashima Coal Mine (from the archives of the Nagasaki University Library)
After the Meiji Restoration, he became active in shipbuilding and coal mining. And he was deeply involved in Iwasaki Yataro’s business. Glover has left behind a great legacy in the modern history of Japan.
[Former Glover Residence]
8 mins walk from “Ōura Tenshudō Shita” Tramway Station
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!! And a big thank you to River of MashaPlus [dot] Info Forums for her suggestions and information on Fumi-e!!