Ryomaden Episode 41 (2010.10.10)
Season 1: Ryoma the Dreamer
Episodes 1 ~ 13 - here
Season 2: Ryoma the Adventurer
Episodes 14 ~ 28 - here
Season 3: Ryoma the Navigator
Episodes 29 ~ 38 - here
Season 4: Ryoma the Hope
Episode 39 ==== Episode 40 ==== Episode 41 ==== Episode 42 ==== Episode 43
Episode 44 ==== Episode 45 ==== Episode 46 ==== Episode 47 ==== Episode 48
(Ryōma walks into a huge mansion. It is a split level house with a wide hall. The place appears to be bustling with activity. About a dozen men can be seen busy at work amidst sounds of hammering, which suggests that construction was still being carried out on the house.)
KE: This is the annex that Brother said we are free to use. (Ryōma smiles.)
<Nagasaki, Kozone residence>
MY: Men, gather around!
R: Our companions have increased.
MY: They are all people who have left their Hans.
(The men assemble before their leader, who looks at them with pride.)
R: Men who left their Hans are gathered here, not bound to anyone’s orders, acting on their own free will.
TT: What will we be doing from now on? (Ryōma smiles at Tarō.)
R: Transport; Profit-making; Ventures; Exploration; and that in English is called “Business”.
SS: From now on, with the Tosa Han’s backing, we will trade in bigger volumes than the Kameyama Shachu, and we will be able to earn the money for our own living.*
R: However, that is just our ‘official’ role. Our true mission is to bring Tosa and the Sat-Cho together and achieve Taisei Hōkan eventually.
All: Yes sir!
R: From this point on, we are no longer the “Kameyama Shachu”. The Kaientai is our name!*
(Toranosuke and Tarō raise a banner with the name “Kaientai”.)
R: ”To protect Japan on the seas” is what “Kaientai” means!
Misc: Good name!
R: Umanosuke! (On his signal, the red and white striped Kaientai flag is raised.) This is the Kaientai flag!
(The men crowd before the flag and cheer.)
Misc: What a majestic flag!
(Mutsu Yōnosuke opens up a scroll.)
R: And this is the Kaientai Code. (The men strain to read from it.) All our members must help each other. We are not to bring our companions down for our own selfish purposes. And of course Harakiri under any circumstances is absolutely forbidden. Hear that!
All: Yes sir!
SS: That’s right.
SS: Copy! Raise the Kaientai flag!
(The men cheer. Ryōma looks proudly around.)
Episode 41: Saraba Takasugi Shinsaku (さらば高杉晋作 Farewell, Takasugi Shinsaku )
(Yatarō opens the gates of the Kaientai quarters, and covers his ears at once at the loud cheers.)
Misc: Let’s do it!
Y: What a racket! (He shouts) Shut up! What a noise, you lot!
SS: Oi, it’s Yatarō.
TT: Men! (Tarō puts an arm on Yatarō’s shoulders frivolously.) This is Iwasaki Yatarō from Tosa Trading.
Y: (pushes Tarō away. The younger man laughs.) Don’t just call my name! I’m the Chief of Tosa Trading!
MY: Yeah, and so what.
(Ryōma stands in the office which is on an open a platform overseeing the entire hall. Yatarō passes the Kaientai banner as he walks over.)
Y: The “Kaientai”? Someone’s getting showy again!
R: Ah Yatarō. Good name, isn’t it?
Y: (Yatarō points the hilt of his sword to Ryōma) I am here on Gotō-sama’s orders to take charge of your accounts.
Y: Income and expenses; accounting of profit; plus the Tosa Han’s wages to each of you, will all be under my control!
R: We get paid wages too?
SS: Ahh! Then thank you for that! (Pats Yatarō on the back)
Y: It’s Gotō-sama you have to thank!
R: In that case, Yōnosuke, let Yatarō have them.
MY: Oh yes! (Mutsu’s eyes light up and he runs off.)
R: Yeah, those! Those!
SS: Oh! Right!
R: They’re perfect for him!
Y: You’re serving me cakes, are you? That’s more like it. You got to be nice to people who look after you.
(Mutsu returns with a big stack of papers and hands it to Yatarō.)
MY: These are for you.
Y: (stares at Mutsu.)…..What are they?
R: (Ryōma sticks his head in) We had a lot of creditors outstanding from Kameyama Shachu. (He taps the invoices…) Take good care of them, please (…and walks away quickly.)
Y: Bills?! (His mouth falls wide open)
MY: (smiling sweetly) We’re so grateful to you.
(Ryōma jumps back in. He grips Yatarō’s shoulders)
R: Oh, while we’re at it, Yatarō…
Y: Hold on!
R: …we want a ship.
Y: …A ship?!
R: Our Kaientai’s very own ship. We won’t take any scrap. (Without waiting for Yatarō to react, Ryōma announces loudly….) Men! Iwasaki Yatarō-sama here (he pulls the shocked Yatarō forward to face the people) will prepare a steamship for us in the Kaientai, so we can sail freely around Japan!
Y: Wait, wait! (He pushes Ryōma back) HOLD IT, RYŌMA!! (The house cheers. Ryōma ignores Yatarō while Sōnojō pats him on the back.) HOLD IT!
R: I’m counting on you!
Y: What profligacy is this! (The men celebrate. Yatarō is sandwiched between Sōnojō and Mutsu.) Stop it, you two! (He pushes them off and holds up the invoices.) WHAT THE HELL ARE THESE!!
(Gotō Shōjirō is being escorted in to the Nagasaki Magistrate Asahina Masahiro and Magistracy Official Iwabori Bunjirō.)
Misc: Tosa Han Gotō Shōjirō-dono is here, my Lord. (Gotō Shōjirō sits down without a word.)
AM: We’d like to enquire about the Tosa Han dappan rōnin Sakamoto Ryōma. According to the Fushimi Magistracy, in the Teredaya, he shot and killed 2 Magistracy officers and then escaped with a man believed from Chōshū Han. On top of that, he brokered an alliance between Satsuma and Court enemy Chōshū. A treacherous man.
GS: The Sakamoto Ryōma I know, is a respectable retainer of our Tosa Han. I cannot believe that he would commit all those serious crimes.
AM: (Asahina Masahiro moves close to the Tosa leader) In that case, who was that dapan rōnin in Fushimi who called himself Sakamoto Ryōma…
GS: ….It must have been an imposter who stole Sakamoto’s name. (Iwabori Bunjirō places a plate of sponge cake before Gotō.)
AM: Ah, Gotō-sama. Why not try one? This is a Nagasaki specialty called Castella….
GS: (Gotō keeps his eyes ahead, refusing to look at the Magistrate) Do you doubt the word of the Tosa Han Under-Secretary Gotō? That would be impertinent, my Lord! (He takes a bite of the Castella and turns to Asahina) Unforgiveable even for a Magistrate. I wish to cease all discussion on Sakamoto. (He stands up)
AM: Well then, what about those who helped Ryōma escape? That woman called “Ryō”. Does Gotō-sama have any…
GS: No idea.
AM: This woman called Oryō is said to be in Nagasaki. (He hands over more cake.) Have another piece, Gotō-sama.
GS: (Gotō Shōjirō glares at the Magistrate….) I know nothing of such a woman (….and bites the cake straight out of Asahino’s hand. The Nagasaki official cries out in pain.)
AM: Ouch! (Gotō dusts the crumbs off himself as both men stare each other down. Then he walks off.)
<Tosa Shōkai (Trading)>*
(Yatarō checks his inventory as he talks to Nagasaki merchant Ooura Kei.)
Y: Ah, soybeans…no need. Cotton…no need too.
OK: No cotton?! Settsu’s cotton is the finest quality! You should stock it up now. Prices are sure to rise soon!
Y: The American Civil War is over. They’ve started exporting cotton again. Far from rising, cotton will crash. From now on, it’s coal, Ooura-ya.*
Y: In fact, they’ve found coal somewhere. A large deposit of coal in the ground.*
Y: If we keep relying on other countries, all the money of Japan will flow out. But if we can provide the coal for our own needs, we’ll make a fortune. (He walks back into the house.) Out of the way. Out of the way.
OK: Where did they find the coal?!
(Yatarō laughs but does not reply. Suddenly Mizobuchi Hironojō announces a visitor.)
MH: Saidani Umetarō is here! (Ryōma walks in.)
R: Good day. (He chuckles)
MH: Saidani Umetarō is here!
R: (He laughs.) Good day. (Mizobuchi shows Ryōma into Yatarō’s office.) Ho! So this is Tosa Shōkai Chief’s office. Oh! Yatarō!
Y: What do you want!
R: Oh~ And isn’t this O’Kei-san!
OK: Good day, Sakamoto-san!
R: Good day. (He laughs.)
MH: (one arm on Ryōma’s shoulder) Thanks to Ryōma’s pact with Gotō-sama, we can finally trade with Nagasaki merchants!
Y: (annoyed) For your information! I have cleared all your bills! And found you a ship! (He throws a set of documents to Ryōma.)
R: Oh! You found one! (He examines the specifications right away.)
Y: This comes from the Ōzu Han. It’s called the Iroha Maru. Ōzu Han said it’s impossible to sell you the ship, but they may rent her to you.
OK: (reading the documents over Ryōma’s shoulder) It’s a new model.
MH: (looking over the other side) That is one mean thing.
OK: Mizobuchi-san knows about ships too?
MH: Me? Not at all! (He laughs)
OK: Oh really! (She joins in.)
R: Splendid…. This is a good ship, Yatarō! We’ll have this one!
Y: That depends on how negotiations go!
(Ryōma returns to the Kaientai headquarters.)
R: Men, we have found ourselves a ship! (The men crowd around.)
Misc: The ship!
R: The “Iroha Maru”, a 160-ton sailing steamship!
Misc: It looks incredible! (Kozone Eishirō runs in and draws Ryōma to one side.)
KE: Sakamoto-san! Sakamoto-san!
R: Oh, what is it, Eishirō?
KE: (in a whisper) Gotō-sama has just sent word.
R: Gotō-sama? What about?
KE: It concerns Oryō-dono.
(Night. Back in their quarters, Oryō massages Ryōma’s back. He looks troubled, deep in thought.)
O: Why so quiet tonight?
R: I can’t just leave you in the house all the time. Although Gotō-sama has managed to suppress the Magistracy, it doesn’t mean that I’ve been pardoned. I don’t know when something will crop up, or might happen to you.
O: Eh? (Ryōma sits up and looks solemnly at his wife.)
R: Oryō. Let’s move to Shimonoseki.
R: That’s right. If you’re in Chōshū, the Bakufu can’t do anything. What’s more, in Shimonoseki, there’s Miyoshi Shinzō-dono you know.
O: I don’t want to.
R: I’m really worried for you! I can’t get you involved again, not like the time in Teradaya. (He holds her hand in his.) Please, Oryō. Please listen to me. (Oryō looks at her husband, very reluctant to leave him.) Please.
O: (she finally nods, and with a sad smile…) Okay.
R: (husband and wife look at each other) I’m sorry.
Y: (narration) When Ryōma and Oryō arrived at Shimonoseki, it was Keiō Year 3, just as winter turned into spring.
(They are being escorted into an annex.)
Misc: This is the room, my Lord.
R: Oh, here we are. (Oryō smiles happily. The room looks into a beautiful garden.) We must thank them. What a splendid room they’ve prepared.
O: It is.
Man: Sakamoto-san! (Miyoshi Shinzō runs in.) Sakamoto-san! Sakamoto-san!
MS: You look good, that’s great.
R: The same to you, Miyoshi-san! Back in the Teradaya, you saved my life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
MS: No, Sakamoto-san is Chōshū’s great hero! Oryō-dono too! You make a great couple with Sakamoto-san.
O: Please stop teasing me.
R: (laughs) Ah, Miyoshi-san, where can I find Kido-san? I want to see Takasugi-san soon too.
MS: Kido-sama has gone to see how he is.
MS: Takasugi-sama’s condition is…
(Takasugi Shinsaku is in a bad shape. He coughs into a bucket full of blood and then walks weakly back into the room where Kido Kanji waits. He flashes a grin to Kido who sits to one side, quietly fuming. Ryōma and Oryō arrive and are brought in by O’uno, Takasugi’s companion.)
ON: This way please.
(The two friends look upon each other for the first time in months.)
TS: Oh Sakamoto-san! I’ve been waiting.
R: Don’t you need to lie down? (Takasugi tries to wave it off but Kido Kanji interrupts.)
KK: He jumped out of bed when he heard Sakamoto-kun was coming. Even though the doctor said he must rest.
TS: Whether I rest or not, I won’t be living longer. Just let me do what I want. (He looks at their sad faces and chuckles.) O’uno, please serve us tea.
ON: Yes. (Oryō hands a present to O’uno while Ryōma walks into the room and sits down.)
R: In that case, I’ll make myself at home.
TS: (He smiles and nods) That’s more like it.
(Ryōma sits casually cross-legged as does Takasugi. In contrast, Kido Kanji is tense, his eyes closed in frustration and worry. Oryō settles down on the porch outside as the men talk.)
R: Takasugi-san, I’ve started the Kaientai in Nagasaki.
R: On the surface, it is a Navy for the Tosa Han. But our real mission (he checks out Kido. The older man appears uninterested) while trading with other Hans and countries, is to achieve Taisei Hōkan. (Kido opens his eyes.)
TS: Oh, have you made peace with the Tosa Han?
R: Tosa Under-Secretary Gotō Shōjirō agrees with my goal for Taisei Hōkan and has come on board with me.
TS: Is that true?
(Ryōma laughs happily while Takasugi looks at Kido with joy. The Chōshū leader, however, shows no reaction. Ryōma turns to him, sitting up formally now.)
R: Kido-san, once again I beg you please. Will Chōshū work with Tosa Han to achieve Taisei Hōkan together?
KK: What does Yōdō-kō say?
R: Yōdō-kō is not aware of this proposal yet.
KK: (sniggers) I thought as much.
R: To persuade Yōdō-kō, we need to show him that powerful Hans as Chōshū and Satsuma are allied with Tosa. For this, if Chōshū first…
KK: Impossible. We are enemies of the Court. No-one will partner with us. And that means, force is the only way to bring the Bakufu down.
R: Satsuma is now appealing to the Court on that. To reverse the edict branding Chōshū as enemies.
KK: I don’t want to repeat myself again. (He gets up to leave.)
(Ryōma jumps up after Kido, but Takasugi can only crawl. His friends stop and turn to him, as they hear his strained breathing.)
TS: Please, take this as my last wish. (He sits up formally. Kido returns the formality, giving his full attention.)
KK: What is it?
TS: (looking at Ryōma, his voice barely a whisper) Sakamoto-san has given us a miracle. The Battle of Bakan was a miracle. The Tosa Han Under-Secretary also wishes for Taisei Hōkan. If this is true, we can…call it a miracle too. If Yōdō-kō is a truly wise ruler, he’ll see the change in tides. A petition for Taisei Hōkan may well be possible. Kido-san…. (he bends forward in an attempt to bow. Ryōma holds his shoulders up to support him.) This miracle brought on by Sakamoto-san… Can’t we from Chōshū take a chance on it too? No! We must… take a chance on it again!
(The two Chōshū men look at each other. Takasugi begins to cough.)
R: Takasugi-san, are you alright? Takasugi-san! Takasugi-san!
TS: I’m fine… (but he can not stop)
ON: My dear…
(Kido Kanji cannot bear to watch. He turns away and walks off without another word.)
R: Kido-san! (Ryōma runs after him.) Kido-san! (The two friends talk outside the house, amidst Takasugi’s coughing.) Kido-san, Takasugi-san… how much longer does he have?
KK: (sadly) The doctor said… hopefully he may see the cherry blossoms. (For a moment, Ryōma is unable to speak.)
R: Takasugi-san he… It’s not cherry blossoms… It’s not cherry blossoms he wants to see. What Takasugi-san really wants is our rebirth into a brand new era… to see Japan accomplish that!
KK: (he pushes Ryōma off and shouts in pain) You think I don’t know that too?! (His voice shakes) The fastest way for this country to be reborn, is to overthrow the Bakufu by force!
R: …Kido-san… (Takasugi can hear them clearly from the house. He closes his eyes in despair.) But… But Takasugi-san…
(A group of peasants with women and children rush up suddenly.)
Man: Please! Please let us in! (Kido Kanji’s bodyguards hold them back.) Please let us in! Please let us in!
KK: Isn’t there an order forbidding anyone near this house!
Man: We come from the next village! We just want to see Takasugi-sama. Just one look! And give this to Takasugi-sama…!
R: Are you members of the Kiheitai?
Men: Yes we are!
Man: We pray for Takasugi-sama’s full recovery at the shrine a hundred times a day! (Takasugi starts to cry as he listens to his former followers.) Please, I beg you! Please!
Misc: Please! Takasugi-sama! Takasugi-sama!
KK: Takasugi is no longer commander of the Kiheitai! I will pass your wishes to him. Go back now.
Man: (holds out a basket of eggs) Then at least these… (Kido takes them) Thank you so much!
Misc: Thank you my Lord! Thank you for your help!
All: (bowing and leaving) Thank you for your help! Thank you for your help!
R: (A tear trickles down Ryōma’s face as he watches the peasants go. Kido starts to cry helplessly.) Kido-san…
(Back in Nagasaki…)
Y: (narration) At the same time, I was meeting senior officials from Ōzu Han to negotiate on the Iroha Maru and the terms of her lease.
Y: The Iroha Maru is an important ship to the Ōzu Han, I am well aware of that. But to have finally acquired a steamship and then sail it but a few times a year. To be frank, it is like casting pearls to swine.
Ozu: We can do what we like! It’s not for other Hans to comment…
Y: Is that wise use, my good Lords! And so, and so, and so… If you leased Iroha Maru to the Tosa Han, just like it says on the agreement, for each sailing, we pay a rent to your honorable Han. And in addition to that fee, if we do business using the Iroha Maru, your honorable Han will get a share of our profits. This I promise you. (The Ōzu Han officials are taken aback, their mouths drop open.) How can it get better than that? And so, and so, and so…
Ozu: Yes but…
Y: Oh, I understand! To the Ōzu Han, the Iroha Maru is a very, very important ship. If you lease it out, God forbid what happens if it should get damaged? Oh I understand. But then, but then, but then… No need to worry! No matter what, no matter what, please lease the Iroha Maru to Tosa Han! (Yatarō looks around the silent faces at table. He then makes a big show to go on his knees.) No matter what, please lease the Iroha Maru to Tosa Han!
(Sunset at Shimonoseki, Ryōma accompanies Takasugi down to the beach.)
R: Wow! Hahahahaha! Wow! What a beautiful scene! (Takasugi’s legs fail and he falls. Ryōma rushes over.) Oh, watch out! (Takasugi laughs weakly as Ryōma holds him up.) Takasugi-san, how are you?
TS: I’m fine. On the contrary, you have to listen to the whims of an invalid. My apologies.
R: What are you saying. Taking a stroll with Takasugi-san like this, makes my trip to Shimonoseki all worth it!
(The 2 men laugh, one supporting the other as they walk. Back at Takasugi Shinsaku’s home, Oryō helps O’uno prepare the medicine.)
O: Sakamoto-san and Takasugi-san are truly two of a kind.
ON: (laughs) Yes they are. Not afraid to have their lives taken any time. They have the look of someone prepared to die.
(Oryō smiles sadly back. Meanwhile, at the beach…)
TS: Kaientai, is it? Good name.
R: Kaientai “to protect Japan on the seas”. With this Kaientai, I want to open up a new world.
TS: A new world…
R: Not as victors in war, but anyone with the honorable aspirations to give Japan and her people a blessed future, will be able to run the country. A world like that.
TS: That would be great. That’s wonderful!
R: I believe we can definitely make it happen. It’s all thanks to Takasugi-san.
R: Yes. Takasugi-san founded the Chōshū Kiheitai with no class differences. Samurai, merchant and peasant, all united with the aim to protect their own Han. And that… And that… is the substance of the new Japan. I strongly believe it.
TS: (staggers up) Oh~ I’m so happy (Ryōma chuckles) I found the person to entrust my hopes in. (He turns to Ryōma) I leave Japan in your hands, Sakamoto-san.
(Takasugi bows to Ryōma who is moved beyond words. The Tosa man can only nod his head as he holds his friend by the shoulder. Ryōma’s mouth shivers as Takasugi laughs quietly.)
TS: My role in this is over. Now, I will drink my sake, play my shamisen and enjoy my days… in that other world. Takasugi Shinsaku is simply a man like that. (He looks down at the water, his smile gone. Tears well up in Ryōma’s eyes.)
R: You’re right. That’s it! (They laugh.)
TS: Today is a great day!
R: Yes indeed, a great day! (his voice breaks)
(The 2 friends stand together watching the waves. Later, back at their home, Oryō hangs up Ryōma’s clothes while Ryōma broods on the porch.)
R: Why do people have to die…? Because the Heavens are thinking “Your job is now over”…?
O: Perhaps so. But then, I don’t think everything ends with a person’s death. To those who take up that person’s work and aspiration, it is a beginning.
R: (nods slowly) You’re right. (He heaves a deep breath, his face set with determination again) That is true. (Oryō smiles and nods.) No matter when, we must keep looking forward.
(Oryō smiles proudly at her husband. As if as a promise to himself, Ryōma empties his sake cup in one go. As Oryō refills it for him, a manservant appears.)
Man: Sakamoto-sama! Sakamoto-sama, there is a guest here for you.
R: For me? (Ryōma looks out and sees a man)
R: (squinting) …Nakaoka! You’re in Shimonoseki too!
NS: Yup. I came to meet with Kido-san. (The 2 kinsmen greet each other happily.)
R: Ah, Oryō. you’ve met each other before. (Oryō smiles and nods) This is my friend from Tosa, Nakaoka Shintarō.
NS: Er…I’m sorry, Oryō-dono. Could I have some time alone with Ryōma?
O: (looks at Ryōma and sees the surprise in her husband’s face) Ah, sure. (She excuses herself)
NS: I’m sorry.
R: What is it? What’s up, Nakaoka?
NS: Ryōma, I’ve heard. You started something called the Kaientai in order to accomplish Taisei Hōkan.
R: That’s right. Nakaoka, will you join the Kaientai too?
NS: No, no thanks. If Sakamoto Ryōma sets up the Kaientai, I will then set up the Rikuentai* (lit. Land Support Regiment)
NS: We aim to remove the Bakufu by force. (Like a challenge to Ryōma, he slams his sword on the mat. His look turns into a glare.) To destroy the Tokugawa. You should know very well, Ryōma (Nakaoka points the hilt of his sword to Ryōma) what I’m thinking about.
R: (smiles) Our joint wish is to end the Tokugawa Bakufu world (he looks straight into Nakaoka’s eyes and offers a sake cup) and to build a new structure for Japan. Right?
NS: (Nakaoka finally relaxes and takes the cup, but the look in his eyes have not changed) ….Yes.
R: (pours sake, his eyes never leaving Nakaoka’s face) That’s why I think Taisei Hōkan is the best way to go about it.
NS: (drinks the sake) I don’t agree. I think war is the only way.
(Ryōma looks long and quietly at his friend. He raises his cup. Although Nakaoka fills it at once, his eyes are determined.)
R: I see. You go ahead and do what you want to do. Even if our paths differ, our goal is the same.
NS: Then I will do my best.
R: (smiles with confidence) And I too. I will not lose to you. (Nakaoka smiles.)
(Upon Ryōma’s return to Nagasaki…)
Y: Be grateful to me, Ryōma! Even the cargo, I’d painstakingly arranged for you!
R: Got it.
Y: We have to pay Ōzu Han rent for the ship. You people better work your asses off to earn enough for that.
R: You will be rewarded for your hard work. (They enter the Kaientai hall.) Men! Gather around. We have the Kaientai’s first job!
Misc: The first job…! At long last!
R: Iwasaki-dono. If you please.
Y: We are to operate the Ōzu Han’s Iroha Maru. We depart from Nagasaki on April 19, and 5 days later on April 24, we deliver cargo and passengers to the Ōzu Han warehouse in Ōsaka!
Misc: All right! Yes!
Y: The cargo is rice; sugar and other groceries. Then from Osaka, we bring silk and sake back here to Nagasaki. Do our job and we make big bucks! (The men cheer and start preparations for the trip.)
Y: (narration) Keiō Year 3 April. With the Ōzu Han contract signed, the Iroha Maru was finally handed over to the Kaientai.
(While Oryō spends her time in Shimonoseki, Ryōma and his men board the Iroha Maru on the Kaientai’s first sailing.)
R: (in a letter to Takasugi Shinsaku) Takasugi-san… I am truly grateful to you. I know no-one else but Takasugi-san who lives with such daring boldness. I will follow Takasugi-san’s lead and use up all my life to accomplish our aspirations.
(In Shimonoseki, Takasugi leans against O’uno, crying as he reads Ryōma’s letter.)
Man: Takasugi-sama! Takasugi-sama! (His old Kaientai followers are here again, with their families.)
Misc: Takasugi-sama! Takasugi-sama!
Man: We were all under Takasugi-sama’s command when we fought for the Kiheitai.
Misc: That’s right!
Man: We’ve been ordered not to come near, but we noticed the cherry blossoms in this yard and we all hope, we could to see the flowers with Takasugi-sama…
Misc: That’s right!
Misc: We just wanted to see you somehow!
Man: Even if we had to disobey our orders!
(Too weak to talk, Takasugi cries soundlessly, moved by his men. The peasants sing and dance in the yard, as Takasugi plays the shamisen. Propped up feebly on a rock, he tries to mouth the words. His eyes are half-closed but he smiles at his men.)
Song: Ya-tose~~* Soon, soon, their dance will soon start. The ears of rice will sprout in full. Ha~~ Yansore* Hold it, hold it. Ya-tose~~ Soon, soon, their dance will soon start. The ears of rice will sprout in full …
(On board the Iroha Maru, Ryōma and his men prepare to set sail.)
Misc: Sakamoto-san! We just received this from Takasugi-san!
Misc: It’s the Kiheitai flag!
(Meanwhile, Takasugi staggers down the beach alone…)
R: Men, are we ready?
All: Yes, sir! Yes, sir!
SS: Standby Outward Bound!
Misc: Standby Anchor, sir!
Misc: Standby Helm, sir!
CT: Weigh Anchor!
Misc: Weigh Anchor! Weigh Anchor! Weigh Anchor!
Misc: Anchors Aweigh, sir!
(Takasugi raises his arms to the sea and collapses into the water on his knees. He breaks down in bitter heartwrenching sobs. Ryōma ties the Kaientai flag onto the Iroha Maru and lets it fly in the wind.)
R: (in thought) Takasugi-san, thank you very much.
(Takasugi looks out to sea, his chest heaving heavily from strain.)
TS: Sakamoto-san, I leave it to you.
(Sobbing out his last gasps, Takasugi’s head falls back. He looks briefly at the sky and closes his eyes.)
Y: (narration) In Keiō Year 3, April, Takasugi Shinsaku dies. But his soul has already been ingrained deeply in Ryōma.
Y: (narration) There are 7 more months until Ryōma is assassinated.
Farewell, Takasugi Shinsaku
Timeline for this Episode:
- To be updated
[Yamaguchi Prefecture, Shimonoseki]
Takasugi Shinsaku died at the early age of 29 without seeing his dreams come true.
[Site of Takasugi Shinsaku's Passing]
His final wish was for his remains were taken to the Kiheitai camp stationed in Shimonoseki, Yoshida.
[Site of the Kiheitai camp/Shimonoseki, Yoshida]
Showing how he wished to fight alongside the Kiheitai, even in Takasugi’s death
[Statue of the Kiheitai]
[Gravesite of Takasugi Shinsaku/Tōgyōan]
Takasugi’s final resting place, Tōgyōan. This building was constructed in the Meiji period by Chōshū retainers in memory of the Takasugi they love.
[Takasugi Shinsaku Honour Memorial]
One of these followers, Itō Hirobumi describes Takasugi as such:
“His moves are like a bolt of lightning, his actions are like a storm.” *
[In Yamada, people dance in honour of Takasugi and the Kiheitai on Sports Days and Bon Matsuri (Festival)*]
Takasugi Shinsaku’s Kiheitai paved the way for Chōshū Han’s overthrow of the Bakufu.
[Takasugi Shinsaku Statue/Hi-no-Yama Kōen (Park)]
His spirit was passed on to those who went on to build up the New Age.
Take the bus from JR “Otsuki” station
5 min walk from “Tōgyōan Iriguchi” bus stop
- Ryōma and his men have been earning their own living for some time, but to the new members of the Kaientai, Sawamura Sōnojō’s declaration was a significant break from the Samurai way of life. Under the Bushido (Samurai) code, the Samurai were vassals of the Lord of their Han and are paid stipends automatically in return for their duty to their Lord. They have no need to earn a living, unlike merchants who belong to a lower class. Dappan rōnin, i.e. samurai who have fled from their Han, are deemed to have committed treason for abandoning their Lord. They lose their salaries of course, and their lives if caught. Many would therefore seek to serve new Masters.
In this regard, the Kaientai posed a hope for those to have a life (in Ryōma’s words) not bound to anyone and on their own free will. This by itself could be seen by some as a defamation of the Samurai code already. Of course the Kaientai’s real mission was to abolish the entire Samurai existence and way of life through Taisei Hōkan.
- “Kai-en-tai” is made up of the words 海援隊 where 海 (kai or umi) means “The Sea”; 援 (en) means “to help, support, save”; and 隊 (tai) means “regiment, squad”, so the Kaientai literally means the Sea Support Regiment. That is why the Kaientai has been described as a private Navy in the Bakumatsu.
- Yataro is probably referring to the coal of Takashima Island. For more information, please refer to the notes appended at the end of Episode 39 translations - here
- The Rikuentai founded by Nakaoka ShinTarō is called 陸援隊 in Japanese where 陸 (riku) means “The Land”. In response to Ryōma’s Navy or “Sea Support Regiment”, Nakaoka has set up a “Land Support Regiment” or Army.
- This is probably a rice-planting song. The rice planting season in Japan takes place from end of April to late June, right overlapping with the cherry blossoms (March to June). “Yatose” is a type of traditional Japanese dance, while “Yansore” is a dance step. It is usually accompanied by dancers singing out “Yansore! Yansorese!” There is a Yatose festival every June in Akita which is famous for rice growing and sake brewing - see pictures and more info
- Tōgyō is Takasugi Shinsaku’s pen name or alias. From comments on the web, it appears to be his favorite. See here for two fan translated poems written by Takasugi
- Drunk poem, in which he signs off as “Tōgyō, the Wild One of Japan”
- One of his prison poems, which he wrote while imprisoned for his Sonnō Jōi propagation, by Chōshū authorities in 1864. This was after Chōshū was branded imperial enemies and evicted out of Kyōto the summer before.
According to the notes pertaining to this poem, he was not released until August that year, after which he led the Chōshū Civil War from Kozan-ji temple in Shimonoseki (This part was covered in Episode 30.)
For more on Takasugi Shinsaku, see here
- The English translation of Ito Hirobumi’s epitaph was taken from the Koizumi Cabinet English Email Magazine - here
- The Bon Matsuri is a big festival to honour one’s ancestors in Japan. More info - here
Episode 39 ==== Episode 40 ==== Episode 41 ==== Episode 42 ==== Episode 43
Episode 44 ==== Episode 45 ==== Episode 46 ==== Episode 47 ==== Episode 48
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!!