Ryomaden Episode 35 (2010.08.29)
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
<Ōsaka, Yamato House>
Y: (narration) In Keiō Year 2 (1866) January, on his way to Kyō, Ryōma paid a visit to Kondō Chōjirō’s wife, Toku.
(Ryōma takes a packet out and passes it to Toku. She opens it and gasps to see Chōjirō’s photo inside. Ryōma’s bodyguard Miyoshi Shinzō waits outside the room.)
R: Chōjirō was, upto the end, worrying for Toku-san and Hyakutarō’s wellbeing.
(Hyakutarō babbles to his Mom as she gazes at her husband’s picture.)
T: Had my husband…..done anything wrong?
R: Chōjirō only wanted to gain more knowledge. But then, he was afraid he had brought trouble to the Shachū because of it. Chōjirō committed harakiri because he disciplines himself far stricter than anyone.
T: My husband has become a truly splendid samurai now! (She smiles happily through her tears.) My husband’s letters always mention how he wants….to protect Japan. (She turns to Ryōma.) Sakamoto-san, can you please fulfill my husband’s….. share of……your aspirations as well?
R: I will! I promise you.
Episode 35: Sat-Chō dōmei zeyo (薩長同盟ぜよ The Sat-Chō Alliance)
(Shōgun’s Guardian Hitotsubashi Yoshinobu and other Bakufu officials report on the progress of war preparations to Tokugawa Iemochi, who as usual, is eating his cake.)
HY: At Chōshū, our 150,000 troops will attack these 5 points. Hiroshima Han will take the Geishū border…
Y: (narration) The Bakufu’s conquest of Chōshū was looming close.
HY: ….the Ooshima point will be covered by Matsuyama Han and Tokushima Han. And lastly for the Hagi point, Satsuma Han and Kurume Han.
TI: Has Satsuma agreed to that? They didn’t say anything about sending troops!
HY: Please do not worry. Satsuma will definitely help the Bakufu. They have no other choice.
Y: (narration) Yet, at this time, sworn enemies Satsuma and Chōshū were being brought together in an astounding move by the hands of one Sakamoto Ryōma.
R: (when he first relayed the plan at the Chōshū camp)….Chōshū and Satsuma to join forces and overthrow the Bakufu!
SK: (when he first heard of Ryōma’s proposal) What are you saying?!
Y: (narration) Ryōma has succeeded to bring Katsura and Saigō together so the talks could begin.
R: Yes! Yes! YES!
<Keiō 2 (1866) January / Kyō, Satsuma Hantei>
Y: (narration) The location….Kyō, Satsuma Hantei*
(A group of samurai march slowly to the Satsuma Hantei. Katsura Kogorō walks in the midst of them.)
Y: (narration) Katsura, now renamed as Kido Kanji, entered Kyō with tense urgency.
Man: (Knocking on the Hantei door) We are Echizen retainers invited to take part in the review Committee…..
Y: (narration) But this move was soon discovered by the Bakufu.
(Officials report to Matsudaira Katamori, daimyō of the Aizu Han which is tasked with the duty of keeping peace in the city of Kyōto where the Imperial Court is situated. He holds the office of Kyōto Protector.)
Misc: Reporting, my Lord! The Satsuma Hantei in Nihonmatsu has just received a man called Kido Kanji.
MK: Kido Kanji? Who is he?
Misc: We are investigating right now. But we hear he’s from Chōshū.
MK: Put the Satsuma Hantei under surveillance without delay.
Misc: Yes my Lord!
(Kido aka Katsura has been brought in to see Saigō Kichinosuke and Satsuma Chief Minister Komatsu Tatewaki.)
SK: (invites Kido to sit at his side, facing Komatsu) Please.
KK: (after some deliberation, Kido ignores the request and sits right in front of Saigō) Chōshū Han Administration deputy* Kido Kanji. (Smiles politely) We finally get to meet, Saigō-san.
SK: In Shimonoseki, I did something terribly impolite to Kido-san.
KK: (keeping his smile) No, that was just as well. Chōshū and Satsuma couldn’t have joint forces so easily from the start. I was well aware of that. (He laughs.)
(Saigō laughs along, but the barriers between the 2 parties are clear, and particularly obvious with Komatsu Tatewaki who doesn’t seem amused at all.)
SK: So, shall we start? (Kido’s smile fades.)
KT: In forming the Satsuma and Chōshū alliance, we must first agree on a number of terms.
KK: Could we wait for a moment? Shouldn’t we have a witness?
SK: Do you not trust us?
KK: (loudly) I have come with the fate of Chōshū in my hands! Can we resume when Sakamoto-kun is here?
SK: You mean Sakamoto Ryōma?
(Ryōma and Miyoshi Shinzō have reached Kyōto and are close to the Satsuma Hantei.)
R: Look Miyoshi-san! Here it is. Let’s go.
Voice: Hold it!
(Hijikata Toshizō and Okita Sōji of the Shinsengumi stop and inspect passers-by in front of the Hantei.)
MS: Sakamoto-san! (Ryōma and Miyoshi run and hide behind a house.)
OS: You! Over there!
HT: Show your face! (Okita grabs a monk then shoves him off after a look.)
HT: Out of the way! (Hijikata grabs another samurai with a bag.) What have you got!!
OS: What are you doing here!
MS: Why is the Shinsengumi at the Satsuma Hantei?
HT: Now move! (The Shinsengumi walk off towards a peddler. The Hantei door is now clear.) What’s that!
R: Go now. Go, Miyoshi-san!
(As Ryōma and Miyoshi get ready to make a dash for the door, a dog barks close to them. Alerted, the Shinsengumi run over to check.)
Voice: Woh! What?!!
R: What the…?!
MS: Sakamoto-san, we’ll come back later. (They run off. The dog is barking at another man who tries to fend it off with a stick.)
Man: Shoo! Shoo! Shoo! (The Shinsengumi yank him out the alley from behind and throw him on the ground.) Who’s that! Who! Who! Ahhhh!
(It is Yatarō, carrying his old bird cages. He is brought back to Shinsengumi Headquarters and strung up. Kondō Isami sits to one side watching the interrogation.)
Y: Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! Stop! Stop! Stop!
HT: Your name?
Y: Tanaka Tamegorō
(He gets hit with a shinai / bamboo sword. There are other Shinsengumi members standing by with a bokutō / wooden sword.)
Y: Aahhh! Shimizu Sho….! (He gets beaten up again.) Aahhh!
(In Tosa, Yatarō’s wife Kisei talks to their new-born son.)
IK: Hisaya, your father is in the capital of Kyō now.
<Tosa, Iwasaki Residence>
IK: I wonder how he’s doing in his job.
IM: Really, will Yatarō be able to do it? Checking up on Satsuma just like a spy…..
IY: That fellow’s a pretty good observer of faces.
Yano: That’s not enough to be a good spy, Father.
IY: ….I know.
(At the Shinsengumi station in Kyōto….)
Y: I’ll talk! I’ll talk! It’s Iwasaki Yatarō. My name is Iwasaki Yatarō, my Lords!
Yano: He must never reveal his true name and identity.
IY: I know.
OS: Why did you come to Kyō?
Y: Only that! Only that! Even, even if you beat the cr… (They raise their sticks.)
Yano: Brother’s mission was a secret order given by Gotō Shōjirō-sama.
IY: I said I know already, you brat!
Y: It was Gotō Shōjirō-sama who ordered me to come! He said Tosa must not fall behind the current times. So I have to investigate what the Satsuma Han is upto! Ahhh! I said it all out!
KI: (walks up to Yatarō with a smile. Yatarō grins back.) This guy sounds too fluent!
Y: Ehhh?! (He gets splashed in the face with water.)
R: In here, Miyoshi-san.
(Ryōma brings Miyoshi Shinzō into the inn. He looks around quickly but does not find what he wants.)
R: She’s not here. (He goes out the back yard and sees Oryō drying vegetables.) Oryō-dono! (Big smile) Are you doing well?
O: (opens her eyes wide) Sakamoto-san!
O: (She grabs and pulls him into the back of the inn) Come! In here!
R: What is it? Huh? (Otose runs over at once.)
R: Oh, Otose-san! Once more, I have to impose on you.
O: The Shinsengumi is searching for a dappan ronin from Tosa. (Ryōma’s smile disappears.) It’s Sakamoto-san, isn’t it?
R: (He looks at the 2 women) Perhaps it is. (He chuckles.) But I haven’t done anything bad. (He proceeds to take off his sandals.)
O: Please leave Kyō at once. If you lose your life, you can’t get anything done. (Ryōma pretends not to hear.) Sakamoto-san!
R: (Ryōma stands up and looks at her straight in the eyes.) I am not going to run away.
(Oryō shows Ryōma and Miyoshi to their rooms upstairs and closes the door.)
R: Thank you.
(Ryōma’s room oversees the foyer of the inn on one side and has a view of the Fushimi Satsuma Hantei on the other.* Miyoshi closes the indoor windows immediately. Outside Oryo can hear part of their conversation.)
R: It’s best to wait until midnight to try the Satsuma Hantei again.
MS: That’s too late. We go after sunset. I’ll cut down whoever stops us.
R: We mustn’t kill anyone, Miyoshi-san. If we make a scene, we’ll risk exposing our plans.
R: I will definitely go to meet Katsura-san. The Chōshū and Satsuma alliance must go ahead no matter what.
MS: …..I don’t get it.
MS: (sits down facing Ryōma) Sakamoto-san is a Kashi from Tosa, I heard. Why is a man like that concerned with “pulling Chōshū and Satsuma together”? Why did you promise Kondō Chōjirō’s wife that you will “definitely protect Japan” when she asked you to do it?
R: (seems taken aback for a moment, then he laughs)
MS: What’s so funny?
R: Nothing. Takasugi-san told me that Miyoshi-san is a man of little words but in reality you’re a very good talker, Miyoshi-san! (He chuckles.)
MS: If you don’t understand the person you guard, you’d start thinking too much.
R: (sobers up) I’m sorry. You’re right. As Miyoshi-san said, I’m a Kashi from Tosa. However….. this Tosa, I abandoned long ago. I am nothing anymore. Just a simple Japanese.
MY: Just a Japanese…..
R: Even people without strength, if they call out loud, if they act in earnest, they are sure to….they are sure to be able to change this country too. (Ryōma smiles as Miyoshi thinks about his words.) Right!
(At the Satsuma Hantei in Kyōto, Saigō confronts Kido for his decision to wait.)
SK: Why does it have to be Sakamoto Ryōma?! The alliance between Satsuma and Chōshū is a proclamation of war on the Tokugawa Bakufu. Why should we, for a mere ronin, delay our start, our decision on such a serious matter?
KK: Who else can it be? The pact that we shall sign is not something that is disclosed publicly. A secret agreement between Satsuma and Chōshū. Because of this, the witness can only be Sakamoto Ryōma! Why? Because I believe in him! Saigō-dono too, it’s because you trust him that you’re here, isn’t it? (Saigō cannot argue with that.)
(At the Teradaya, Ryōma sits deep in thought. He looks out the window. It has begun to snow. He walks out and runs into Otose who has brought up a bucket of coal for the heater.)
OT: It’s getting cold.
R: Oh, thank you Otose-san. (Ryōma takes the bucket. He hesitates.) Please don’t worry about us anymore. We’ll leave right after dark. (Otose looks very sad as Ryōma returns to his room to refill the heater. Her voice is full of emotion.)
OT: The first time we met … Do you remember it?
R: Of course I remember.
OT: Ryōma-san said I looked exactly like your Mother. You asked me to call you “Ryōma” like your Mother. Then you said I sounded nothing like her.
R: (grins in embarrassment) I’m really sorry for that. Please forget about. Oh dear!
(Otose’s eyes are red. She runs in.)
OT: I can’t. From that time on, I have decided to stand in for Sakamoto-san’s Mother. When my son is about to go on a life-threatening mission, (tears fill her eyes) how can I not worry! Compared to the great changes in the world, I am more worried about my son!
R: (Ryōma looks at Otose, very moved) Thank you. However…..However, I’m determined not to die. Please don’t worry. Thank you. (Tears stream down Otose’s face.) …So why…. did we close up the inn today? (He looks down the foyer.)
OT: Oryō-chan asked me to. Sakamoto-san must not be seen by the Shinsengumi.
(Ryōma finds Oryō at the well. She does not see him as he watches her work.)
R: Let me tell you what I’m doing. I’m planning to bring Satsuma and Chōshū together and change the world that the Tokugawa Bakufu now controls. The Bakufu are relying on foreign powers and think they can do whatever they want with Japan. If this goes on, our country will be taken over by others. (He looks away.) From now on, I shall be hunted by the Bakufu. I can’t come back here anymore. (He turns to her.) So this will be the last time you need to worry for me.
(The two look at each other without a word. Then Ryōma turns around abruptly and walks back in. Oryō is shocked at the revelation. As Ryōma marches doggedly up the stairs, he passes Otose who rushes out to check on Oryō.)
OT: Oryō-chan…. (Oryō looks like she’s been rooted to the spot. Suddenly she turns and runs off.) Oryō-chan! (Oryō keeps running. Upstairs, Ryōma hears her footsteps and Otose’s cries.) Oryō-chan! (He stands motionless in his room, head down.)
(At the Shinsengumi station, Yatarō is bloodied and beaten. He is lowered to the ground and splashed with water.)
Shin: Hey you!
(As Yatarō goes in and out of consciousness, another group of people arrive.)
Man: Stand back!
Shin: Who’s that?! (The Shinsengumi members draw their swords at once.)
HT: Who’re you?
Man: We are the Mimawarigumi!* So you’re Kondō Isami? Didn’t we tell you to report all suspicious characters to the Mimawarigumi first?
KI: We are, like yourselves, tasked with the protection of the capital of Kyō.
Mima: We are direct vassals of the Shōgun! Do not compare us to the likes of you! (He points to the Shinsengumi.) Stand down! Stand down! Stand down! (Kondō Isami glares at the Mimawaguri and grits his teeth.) Well?
(As Kondō kneels and bows, members of the Shinsengumi follow suit. The leader of the Mimawarigumi sniggers.)
KI: We’ve heard Satsuma and Chōshū are acting suspiciously and a Tosa dappan ronin is their go-between!
Mima: This does not concern you! Right? (He sneers) You people only know how to kill! (he pushes Kondō’s face on the ground. Okita Sōji is furious.) You wanna fight back? You wanna fight back?!
Y: (muttering to himself) …must be Ryōma…….must be Sakamoto Ryōma…….going between Satsuma and Chōshū …….Only Sakamoto Ryōma will do that…. (he loses consciousness again)
Mima: What did you say? (Shakes Yatarō in vain) What did you say! Say it again! What was that!
(But Kondō Isami has heard Yatarō’s words and recognized Ryōma’s name.)
(Nightfall. Ryōma dons his coat as he prepares to leave the Teradaya.)
R: (voiceover) Takechi-san, Izo, Chōjirō, everyone, I’m setting out now.
(He goes downstairs with Miyoshi. Otose waits at the back door to see him off.)
R: (to Otose) Well, please take care! (He gives her a formal bow.)
OT: Stop! Talking like we’ll never meet again! Don’t say that!
R: (relaxes a bit) …You’re right. Where’s Oryō-dono?
OT: She….went out…..
R: …..I see….. (collecting himself) Well then, please pass her my regards.
(He nods a goodbye and walks towards the front. At that moment, someone bangs urgently on the back door. Miyoshi runs over, on guard.)
O: It’s me! Please open the door!
(Ryōma walks back to see what’s wrong. Oryō rushes in with another samurai.)
O: (points to Ryōma) This gentleman is Sakamoto Ryōma-san.
Man: I’m Yoshii Kōsuke from the Satsuma Han.
YK: Saigō-sama and Kido-sama* have left the Hantei and moved to Komatsu Tatewaki-sama’s residence.
YK: This young lady came to tell us that Sakamoto-sama is here. (Oryō is still catching her breath.) So I’m here to take you to Komatsu-sama’s house!
(Ryōma looks at Oryō in horror. Miyoshi follows Yoshii Kōsuke out but Ryōma stays back. He’s too shocked for any more pretense.)
R: (shouts at Oryō) Why did you do such a dangerous thing!!
O: I heard a Tosa samurai was caught by the Shinsengumi. Please….Please be careful.
(Ryōma is speechless. Oryō runs into the kitchen and quickly wraps up some onigiri / rice balls. She puts them in his hand, holding on to it.)
O: I want…I want…(looking in his eyes) to keep on helping Sakamoto-san…. I don’t want this to be the end! Once you finish your job, please come back here!
R: (looks long at Oryō) I understand. I’ll come back.
(Oryō tears up. He puts the onigiri into his kimono. They look at each other without words, then he turns for the back door. Otose hands him his umbrella, he gives her a bow and walks out.)
O: Please be safe.
(Ryōma slams the door shut and stands there for a brief moment to collect himself in the quiet of the rainy night.)
Man: Reporting, my Lord! That Sat-Chō middleman is a devious dappan ronin from Tosa called Sakamoto Ryōma!
(Kondō Isami has come to the Kyōto Protector, Aizu Han daimyō, Mastudaira Katamori.)
Misc: Sakamoto Ryōma?
KI: Yes, my Lord!
Misc: How can you be so sure!
KI: Because Sakamoto Ryōma is capable of anything without bounds.
MK: Inform the Mimawarigumi to look for this Sakamoto person.
Misc: Yes, my Lord!
KI: If I may! Sakamoto normally stays at the Teradaya in Fushimi. If you could assign us to go….
Misc: Watch the way you talk, Kondō!
(Matsudaira Katamori is undecided but Kondō does not dare to push his case anymore. In the meantime, Yoshii Kōsuke leads Ryōma and Miyoshi along. Suddenly Ryōma stops.)
R: Please wait a moment Yoshii-san.
YK: What is it?
R: I want to stop by the Shinsengumi station.
MS: What are you talking about!
R: They’ve mistaken someone for me. I can’t just let him die.
MS: Kido-sama and Saigō are waiting for you! Didn’t you want to protect Japan, Sakamoto-san!
R: I’ll be back soon! (He turns and runs off.)
MS: Sakamoto-san! (He takes his hat off and hands it to the Satsuma samurai.) I’m sorry! Here! Please wait for us! (Miyoshi chases after him.)
(Ryōma reaches the Shinsengumi Station. He hides around the corner, checking it out. He is about to walk up to the front door, when Miyoshi grabs him from behind and pulls him back.)
MS: I will go.
R: (shocked) I can’t let you do that!
(Ryōma struggles with Miyoshi but is no match. Miyoshi pushes him against the wall with one hand.)
MS: Sakamoto-san needs to go to Komatsu-sama’s residence! (Ryōma is torn, he cannot let another man die on his behalf. Miyoshi slaps him on the chest.) You are a very important person Sakamoto-san!
R: But Miyoshi-san!
(They hear noises from the station. Yatarō is being dragged out and thrown on the ground.)
Voice: Move it! Now scram! (They throw all of Yatarō’s baggage out.)
R: Birdcages?! (Yatarō moans and cannot walk. When he is alone, Ryōma edges forward.)
MS: Sakamoto-san! (Ryōma motions him to be quiet. The 2 men run up to Yatarō.)
R: Hey! Hey! Are you alright? Are you…. (He flips Yatarō over and sees his face.) Huh?! It really is you, Yatarō! Yatarō!
Y: Who’s that?
R: It’s me! Ryōma.
R: Yes, me! What happened! (They drag him barefoot along the gravel into the alleys.) What are you doing in Kyō?!
Y: I’m in Kyō…….I got caught by the Shinsengumi! (He starts to wail) The Shinsengumi~~~!
R: I know! Be quiet! (Covers Yatarō’s mouth.)
MS: Sakamoto-san I’ll bring this man to the Teradaya. Sakamoto-san, please get going.
R: OK! (His hand still over Yatarō’s mouth.) Yatarō, it’s alright now! It’s alright now! (He runs off.)
(Ryōma barges out of the alley, giving the Satsuma men a scare.)
R: I’m so sorry you had to wait for me! Let’s go now!
YK: Good! Let’s go!
(Meanwhile, the Mimawarigumi is searching everywhere.)
Mima: Use force if you need! Just find him! Anyone resisting or looking suspicious, bring him back!
(At the Komatsu residence, Kido meditates while Saigō waits impatiently. As the Mimawarigumi combs the capital, Ryōma has to hide and run through back alleys to avoid being caught.)
(A watch-out bangs on the door, collapsing as he runs in.)
Misc: Are they here?! (Too breathless to talk, the watch-out nods emphatically.) Good! (Two officials set off in opposite directions to notify Kido and Saigō respectively.)
Misc: Kido-sama! Sakamoto-sama is here! (Kido rushes out.)
Misc: Saigō-sama! Sakamoto-sama… He’s here! (Saigō heaves a sigh of relief.)
YK: (knocking at the door) It’s me. Open up!
(Ryōma follows Yoshii in. He is breathless and looks frantic. Kido runs up to him immediately.)
KK: I’ve waited long! I’ve waited long for you, Sakamoto-kun!
R: I’m late. Please accept…. my apology! (Kido shakes his head happily.)
SK: The important thing is you’re safe!
R: Sorry to have kept you waiting.
(Later that night, the talks begin.)
R: Can we…. sit a bit closer? (The 2 Han representatives glare at him. Ryōma runs over to both sides, moving them closer to each other.)
Y: (narration) On the night of January 22, Keiō year 2 (1866), the Satsuma and Chōshū secret talks began.
R: Well then, let’s begin.
SK: (looks hesitantly at Komatsu Tatewaki) To start off, if the Bakufu goes to war with Chōshū, the Satsuma army will send 2,000 soldiers to secure Kyō and Ōsaka. (Kido eyes open wide.)
KK: (taken aback) 2,000?
SK: Satsuma will do our best to clear the Chōshū Han name.
Y: (narration) The Sat-Chō secret agreement that will turn around the future history of Japan…..It will specify how Satsuma becomes a complete ally of Chōshū, to stand together against the Bakufu.
SK: And lastly, if the Bakufu’s Hitotsubashi, Aizu and Kuwana troops should try to interfere with the Court, then Satsuma will fight to the end.*
(Ryōma looks at Saigō with admiration. He turns to Kido who is breathing heavily, and looking very upset.)
KT: Will that do? (Kido does not talk.)
SK: Is that….not enough?
KK: If I accept, I can’t return to Chōshū!
KK: This agreement, every term involves Chōshū receiving help from Satsuma That means… we’re not equals!*
SK: But then, for Chōshū ….
KK: I know! I know that! For me, as long as Chōshū can be saved, I was prepared to bear with any shame! (The two representatives look at each other in a deadlock.)
R: Well then, how about this? (Both men turn to Ryōma.) The 5 points to be decided on now all refer to commitments in the event of war. What if we add one more.
SK: One more?
R: Up till now, countless lives have been lost. Satsuma men… Chōshū men… and including friends of mine. A great too many people have died. Though we had different views, all these men gave their lives to fulfill their aspirations for the greater good of the country. In this case, what if we incorporate into this Sat-Chō agreement, the will of these people?
KK: And that term is?
R: The Sat-Chō Hans will, in mutual trust and union, for the sake of Japan, work together to rebuild this country. Both will commit…..all effort…..without restrain. (Kido and Saigō look at each other with understanding.) In this way, Satsuma and Chōshū will be on equal terms.
SK: I see. I have no objection. (Saigō looks at Komatsu Tatewaki who nods.)
KK: Neither do I.
R: In that case, based on these terms, the Satsuma-Chōshū agreement is hereby concluded. All agree? (The men nod.)
(It is early morning by the time the meeting is over. Ryōma walks out of the Komatsu residence to find Miyoshi Shinzō guarding the door.)
R: Miyoshi-san, Chōshū and Satsuma are firmly holding hands now!
MS: (cries out) It’s finally done?
MS: (falls on his knees, wailing emotionally) Thank you for everything! Thank you for everything, Sakamoto-san!!!
R: Miyoshi-san! Get up, please. (He pushes Miyoshi up.) The decision was made by Kido-san and Saigō-san.
MS: No! It’s you I want to thank. If it wasn’t for Sakamoto-san, I don’t know what will happen to our Chōshū !
R: (shakes his head) I was able to get here all because of Miyoshi-san. Miyoshi-san has saved Chōshū as well.
R: Of course!
MS: (starts crying again) Thank you for everything!
Y: (narration) A crisp refreshing morning. But then…..
(At the Aizu Hantei…..)
Misc: Last night, in the home of Satsuma Han elder Komatsu Tatewaki, Satsuma and Chōshū held a meeting, we heard!
MT: What was it about?
Misc: It seems, the two Hans have formed an alliance!
(Matsudaira Katamori stops and stares at his men. They kneel immediately.)
Misc: Our spies have reported the presence of a dappan ronin from Tosa as well! (In fury, Matsudaira recalls Kondō Isami’s words.)
KI: Because Sakamoto Ryōma is capable of anything without bounds.
MK: Sakamoto Ryōma….. (to his officials) Send our men to the Teradaya at once!
All: Yes, my Lord!
(On their way back to the Teradaya…..)
R: Oh I’d forgotten this…..(He had found Oryō’s onigiri, which is now crushed up.) Miyoshi-san, are you hungry? (He opens the pack.) It’s onigiri.
MS: Oh! (The two men share the food.)
Both: Delicious! Hahahahaha!
Y: (narration) Danger was bearing down fast on Ryōma.
R: It’s so cold! (They laugh.)
The Sat-Chō Alliance
*1. Hantei is a daimyō’s residence in another Han.
*2. Office of the Kyōto Protector - more info here
*3. Matsudaira Katamori - more info here
*4. Chōshū Han Administrator - The actual name is Seiji-do Yogakari (政事堂用掛) where Seiji-do (政事堂) represents the administrative diet or government of the Han and Yogakari (用掛) is the equivalent of a steward or deputy assigned for the task.
*5. The Satsuma Hantei in Fushimi is situated next to (literally minutes away) the Teradaya Inn. This is different from the Satsuma Hantei in Kyōto (Nihonmatsu) where Ryōma is supposed to meet Saigō Kichinosuke and Kido Kanji.
*6. The Mimawarigumi was a Tokugawa group whose job was to police the capital of Kyōto, much like the Shinsengumi. The difference was that the Mimawarigumi was made of Bakufu samurai, while the Shinsengumi was composed of stateless ronins.
*7. Yoshii Kōsuke had actually used the honorific “sa’a”, which I belive is the equivalent of “sama” in Satsuma ben (dialect). For the sake of consistency, I have changed it to “sama” in the translations.
*8. More info on the Sat-Chō alliance - here
The Sat-Chō Agreement
Many thanks to River of MashaPlus [dot] Info Forums for providing the following information:
The book “Chōshū in the Meiji Restoration” by Albert M. Craig gives a clearer insight into the dilemma and pain of Chōshū samurai in entering the Sat-Chō Agreement. In the words of Kido (page 317, Chapter IX: The March to Power):
“At present, the position of Satsuma is different from that of Chōshū . Speaking frankly, Satsuma openly serves the Emperor, openly meets with the Bakufu, and openly deals with various daimyō. Therefore, openly and without hindrance it can participate in national affairs. In contrast, all are enemies of Chōshū and even now press on us from all sides. Our samurai are at ease solely in their hearts as they prepare to [fight until they] die. Once can say that Chōshū ’s danger is extreme; it has no way out. In this condition, can samurai of Chōshū propose an alliance with Satsuma? From their point of view, even if it did not appear that we were inviting them to share our danger, we would seem to be asking for help. This is not in the hearts of Chōshū samurai.”
It was said in the book, that the SatCho alliance was kept secret even within the Chōshū domain.
For anyone interested in the terms of the Sat-Chō Agreement, page 318 of the same Chapter gives a brief look:
1. If the Bakufu goes to war with Chōshū, then Satsuma will send troops to secure Kyōto.
2. If Chōshū should win the war, then Satsuma would mediate on its behalf at the Court.
3. If Chōshū should appear to be losing the war, since this would not come about quickly, during this time Satsuma would do all that was possible on its behalf.
4. If there is no war, Satsuma will mediate on behalf of Chōshū at the Court.
5. If Satsuma is absolutely unable to meditate because of interference by the Bakufu, Aizu or Kuwana, then it will go to war against the Bakufu.
6. Pardoned by the court, Chōshū will join Satsuma in working for the glory of the Imperial country.
Timeline for this Episode:
- To be updated
[Kyōto Prefecture, Kyōto City]
The Sat-Chō Alliance was forged in secret in the capital of Kyō. One of the places where it took place, was the Satsuma Hantei north of the Imperial Palace.
[Memorial for the Satsuma Hantei Site / Dōshisha University]
At that time, public order in Kyō was policed by the Office of Kyōto Protector.
[Site of the Office Mansion of the Kyōto Protector / Kyōto Prefectural Government]
It was heard that the Bakufu was alerted to the actions of Satsuma and Chōshū.
[Site of Komatsu Tatewaki’s Residence (speculated) / Vicinity of the Ichijōmodori-bashi (bridge)]
To guard against the Bakufu’s attack, the talks were said to have taken place in Satsuma Han elder, Komatsu Tatewaki’s house.
Satsuma Han elder, Komatsu Tatewaki’s house was rumoured to be on the premises of the Konoe family*
[Kido Takayoshi’s documentation of the Sat-Chō Alliance secret agreement]
(from the archives of the Imperial Household Agency Archives and Mausolea Department)*
This letter documents the historic talk.
1. If the Chōshū Han has been pardoned, the Sat-Chō hans will exert all effort to restore Imperial power.
In the event of war between the Chōshū Han and Bakufu, the actions to be taken by the Satsuma Han
were covered in these 6 terms.
Ryōma wrote on the back of the letter in red ink, attesting to the contents of the meeting between the Sat-Chō Hans.
At the same time, Ryōma’s attestation of the meeting could be found at the back of the letter. The establishment of the Sat-Chō Alliance finally opened the door to great changes in the times.
[Site of the Satsuma Hantei Monument / Dōshisha University Imadegawa Campus West Gate]
Get off at the Kyōto Municipal Subway Karasuma Line “Imadegawa 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!! Special thanks again to River for the excerpts on “Chōshū in the Meiji Restoration” by Albert M. Craig!