Ryomaden Episode 43 (2010.10.24)
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
<Nagasaki, Kaientai Headquarters>
(The place is bustling with activity. There are men moving bags of produce; while others work on orders and contracts. Takamatsu Tarō calls out to the men as Sawamura Sōnojō and Mutsu Yōnosuke look on from the office with pride.)
TT: This is it, people! From now on, our business will be growing bigger and better!
All: Yes, sir! (Ryōma enters)
R: Men! Men, come gather around. (He announces) I’ll have to be going to Kyō.
R: Yōdō-kō should be in Kyō at this moment. The Tokugawa Shōgun is calling a meeting, it seems.
<Kyō(to), Nijō Castle>
Y: (narration) Keiō Year 3, May. To discuss about the future of Japan, the country’s four most prominent Lords* gathered in Kyō.
SS: So what are you doing there?
R: I’m going with Gotō-sama to present Taisei Hōkan for the Great Lord’s consent.
Misc: To the Great Lord?!
Y: (narration) And amongst them, was none other than Yamauchi Yōdō himself.
R: If we’re able to convince him to help, then there will be hope for Taisei Hōkan.
(The 4 Great Lords of Japan - Matsudaira Shungaku from Echizen Fukui Han; Date Munenari from Uwajima Han; Shimazu Hisamitsu from Satsuma Han; and Yamauchi Yōdō from Tosa, enter Nijō Castle to meet with Shōgun Tokugawa Yoshinobu. They kneel as Tokugawa Yoshinobu enters.)
TY: Arise. Gentlemen, thank you for coming.
(At the Kaientai…)
SS: Finally, we’ve come to it.
R: Men, this is the critical moment. I’m counting on you!
All: Yes sir! Yes! Let’s do it!
Y: (narration) Ryōma was making his move to turn Taisei Hōkan into reality.
(The men cheer. Yamauchi Yōdō sits alone in Kyōto, poking his cheek as he thinks. Suddenly a sharp pain jolts his whole body.)
Episode 43: Senchū Hassaku (船中八策 The Eight Point Plan )*
(Oryō rushes into her room. She holds a letter close to her heart and can’t seem to stop herself from smiling.)
R: (letter) Oryō, is everything OK? Are they treating you well over there in Chōshū?
O: They are.
R: I’ll be going on a trip to Kyō. This is the job that will change the future of Japan. In fact, I wish I could take you with me, but… Don’t worry. I’ll be back safe and sound. And I’ll get you a souvenir too, Oryō.
O: (blink)….He’s buying a Kyō woman a souvenir from Kyō….
(Oryō smiles endearingly at the letter, but her gaze turns into loneliness and worry as she looks out to the yard.)
Y: (narration) While on board the ship to Kyō, Ryōma was sketching out in his mind a new face for Japan. In the meantime, the meeting that was supposed to determine the future of Japan, was going horribly wrong.
(Satsuma Lord Shimazu Hisamitsu pleads for Chōshū.)
SH: Firstly we must ask for an Imperial Court pardon to remove Chōshū and the Mōri line from being cast as public enemies!
TY: Shimazu-dono, you’re speaking for Chōshū just so you can reinforce your own power…
SH: If the Hans don’t stand united, Japan will not have a country left very soon. (Yamauchi Yōdō appears in pain and distracted throughout the meeting.)
TY: Before that, we should ask for Court approval to open up the port of Hyōgo.
MS: Open up Hyōgo…?
SH: The Bakufu went and promised the foreign countries all on its own.
TY: The Court would never grant Chōshū clemency! We must open up Hyōgo first!
SH: Chōshū is more important!
(Yamauchi Yōdō gives an involuntary squeal of pain. Shōgun and Satsuma Lord forget their dispute for a moment, as both men look at the Tosa Lord. Matsudaira Shungaku jumps in to stop the squabble at once.)
MS: How did our agenda turn into a debate of “pardoning Chōshū” against “opening Hyōgo port”…
(After the meeting….)
<Kyō, Tosa Hantei>*
(…Yōdō-kō storms back with an icepack to his cheek…)
YY: Ridiculous! Shimazu saying whatever he wants… (he stops in pain) ….and Yoshinobu-kō only thinking about himself!
(…and hurls the icepack on the floor, only to wince at his bad tooth once more. In disgust, Yōdō-kō tears his kataginu* off. Meanwhile, Tokugawa Yoshinobu finally realizes he has lost the allegiance of Satsuma.)
TY: Damn Satsuma! Blatantly defying me like that!
<Kyō, Satsuma Hantei>
(Satsuma Chief Minister Komatsu Tatewaki and Saigō Kichinosuke walk with Shimazu Hisamitsu.)
KT: And Yamauchi Yōdō-kō did not speak a word?
SH: That fellow owes the Tokugawa too much. He never joins in the action. (Satsuma retainer Ōkubo Toshimichi sneers.)
OT: In short, he’s just a coward. No need to deliberate anymore, Your Highness, our troops are ready for despatch. (Saigō frowns.) Let’s crush the Bakufu in one strike!
SH: Patience, Ōkubo. We will wait for the right moment. (Saigō Kichinosuke looks at Ōkubo.)
SK: I have a thought. (He turns to his men) Send in Nakaoka! (Ōkubo gives Saigō a quick glance. Resentment flashes across his face.)
(On board the Yūgao Maru, Ryōma is alone in his cabin. He pours over his desk, engrossed in writing. His script is illegible with parts crossed out and corrected.)
MY: Sakamoto-san, er…do you have a moment?
R: (not turning to look) What is it?
MY: I’ve been thinking. Since the different Hans are gathered in the Capital, it’s a focal point for people and merchandise (Ryōma continues on his work without really listening.)
R: Yes, you’re right.
MY: So if….the Kaientai sets up office in Kyō…what do you say?
MY: Sakamoto-san, what are you working on? (Ryōma doesn’t answer. He speeds up.) What is that? (He finishes, heaves a sigh of relief….and then rushes out of the room with the roll of paper.) Sakamoto-san?!
(Gotō Shōjirō stands on the deck, looking through a telescope. Ryōma runs up.)
R: Gotō-sama! Gotō-sama! Gotō-sama (He grins…..) Do you have a moment? (….and holds out the scroll.) Could you have a look at this please?
(Gotō obliges unwillingly. As he reads, his expression changes. He walks to a table quickly, spreading the scroll out for a better view. Then he holds it up again and rereads it, his eyes never once leaving the page.)
R: I was thinking about a course for the future of Japan (pleased at Gotō’s reaction) I tried to sum up what I learnt from people I’d met before, and put in my own words. (Mutsu peeks in to read. Gotō notices and takes the scroll away.) If…Gotō-sama concurs with what is written here, then by all means, please present it to the Great Lord!
(Gotō stares at Ryōma, mouth agape. The Kaientai leader looks straight back, unflinching and determined. Gotō goes through the words once more. When he finally speaks, he sounds breathless and unsettled.)
GS: (handing the scroll back) Without a more presentable copy, I can show nothing to the Great Lord. (Ryōma slowly smiles.)
R: Thank you, my Lord!
(He runs back into the cabin, with Mutsu on his heels. Gotō still stuggles to stay calm but his startled looks betray him.)
Y: (narration) This document that Ryōma had just written, will be called the “Eight Point Plan at Sea”.* And in it was carved out, the future image of Japan. (Ryōma unrolls a clean scroll and takes a deep breath. He regains his focus and proceeds to write.)
<Nagasaki, Tosa Shōkai (Trading)>
(Men shout at one another. The place is bustling with activity.)
Y: Meanwhile at my end, merchants were calling on us non-stop for more business. (Mizobushi Hironojō laughs as Yatarō puffs on his cigar.)
MH: I guess they all heard how we managed to wangle that settlement from Kishū!
Y: And that is thanks to my genius! (He flips open a letter.) What?!
MH: Another sweet deal? (Yatarō runs out, looking shocked. Mizobushi does not notice and continues talking.) Well they say “money flows where money is”. That’s truer than true!
Y: (reads the letter again in brighter light) 180,000 ryō?!
MH: 180,000! Thank the gods!
Y: No!! (Everyone in the office looks at him) It’s what we owe!
MH: We owe…?
Y: To Alt Trading! Gotō-sama has gone and bought ships and rifles on his own again! I’ve been scammed…I’ve been scammed by Gotō-sama….What “Tosa Trading Company Head”! In the end, all I do is wipe Gotō-sama’s ass! Damn! (He kicks the boxes of merchandise in frustration) Damn! Damn!
MH: (Mizobushi tries to hold Yatarō down) Don’t work yourself up, Yatarō!
Y: (flings Mizobushi off) Get off me! Get off! Damn! Damn! Damn! (Yatarō hits the pillar in anger. Then slowly, an idea comes to him….)
Y: Cheers! Ahhhh! (Yatarō looks ecstatic.)
TG: Something good happened to you, Iwasaki-san?
Y: Anyone who decides to take their first steps into a new realm, will be filled with exhilaration too. (Glover does not understand.) Glover-san, the good country of England has dealings around the world. How do people in England do business as they like?
TG: (in English) “There are many companies in Britain. Each one competing with one another.” (He nods to an understudy.)
U: England has many “companies”. They all compete against each other.
Y: (in English) “Company”?
TG: (in English) “The Company collects money from individuals in order to conduct business.”
Y: In other words, it can deal in volumes too big for one man!
TG: ”But…for a company to collect money, the capabilities of the man at the top must be acknowledged.”
TG: The one at the very head. Take Glover Trading for instance, that would be me.
Y: Glover-san…I want to be the top man! (Glover chokes on his drink in surprise. Yatarō kneels down.) Can you teach me the English way of doing business? Please! (he bows)
<Kyō, Tosa Hantei>
Y: (narration) Meanwhile in Kyō, unexpected news await Ryōma and company.
MM: Gotō-sama! Gotō-sama!
GS: What is it?
MM: The Great Lord is no longer in Kyō! He has already returned to Tosa! (Gotō walks into the empty room, frustrated, while Ryōma closes his eyes quietly in disappointment.)
Y: (narration) This was a big setback in the plan for Taisei Hōkan for Ryōma and his allies.
(Later, Ryōma dons his boots and prepares to set out for Nagasaki. Suddenly, he hears Mutsu Yōnosuke’s voice.)
R: Oh, Mutsu!
MY: I’ve found an office for the Kaientai!
R: (under his breath) Oh, right.
MY: Suya, a lumber merchant will let us use their premises. Let me show you.
R: Mmmm. Hold on a moment. We’re now…
MY: But this is important too!
R: Alright. Show me then! (He walks briskly out.)
MY: NO!! Not dressed like this!
MY: Sakamoto-san is a wanted man. Come with me!
MY: Come with me! (Mutsu pulls Ryōma back into the house.)
(Two peasants pull a cartload of wood along the streets. They proceed carefully, looking around with every step. Suddenly, they hear a man shout and freeze. It’s Mutsu and Ryōma in disguise.)
Man: Stop there!
Boy: Not on your life!
Man: What’s that! You thief! Stop! (A young boy runs past the cart, clutching a duck to his chest.)
Boy: Move! Out of the way! (Ryōma and Mutsu move on. Just as they round a corner….)
Man: (voice) Scram! (Mutsu pushes the cart back and calls out under his breath.)
MY: Take cover! Take cover…!
(Led by Okita Sōji, a Shinsengumi patrol squad struts down the lane. Kōndo Isami follows close behind. Ryōma quickly hides. As the patrol walks past Mutsu, one of them checks him out but is called away by Okita Sōji. They go quickly on their way. It appears they are looking for the little boy.)
MY: Sakamoto-san, it’s okay now. Let’s get out of here. Quickly, quickly! (The two men try to push the cart away as fast as they can. Suddenly a voice calls to them from behind.)
Man: Stop. (It is Hijikata Toshizō.) Are you running away from us?
R: (masking his voice) No, no, my Lord…
(Okita and the rest of the squad have joined up. Ryōma and Mutsu slowly uncover the straw mat on top of their cart.)
R: It’s just that…we have this load to deliver!
(Ryōma flips the mat up with force and white powder bursts into the air. He throws another bagful of powder at the Shinsengumi, effectively clouding the cart from view. The men unsheathe their swords. Kōndo Isami arrives and recognises Ryōma at once.)
R: It’s been a long time, Kōndo-san!
(The chase is on. Ryōma and Mutsu race down the alleys, throwing obstacles in the way to slow down their pursuers.)
KI: Head them off! Head them off!
HT: Yes, sir! (Mutsu trips and falls.)
R: Mutsu! You alright?
(As Ryōma heads back to help, the Shinsengumi catch up. He is surrounded on three sides. Mutsu regains his footing and fights his attackers. Meanwhile, Kōndo confronts Ryōma.)
KI: Finally. I’ve been waiting for this.
(The Shinsengumi attack together. Ryōma wards off each man, disarming them without unsheathing his sword. He joins up with Mutsu, and the two men stand back-to-back, surrounded by the enemy.)
R: This is bad, Mutsu!
MY: It looks hopeless!
R: What should we do?!
(Out of nowhere, explosives sound over their head, showering the group with ash. A man jumps over the fence and joins Ryōma, grinning.)
R: Wha…! Nakaoka!
NS: This looks like fun, Ryōma! (He pulls his sword out)
R: What the hell, it’s no fun at all!
NS: (chuckles) Well, count me in anyway!
(He charges at Okita Sōji without another word. Mutsu joins in, leaving Ryōma to face Kōndo Isami. Still refusing to take his sword out, Ryōma is quickly disarmed by Kōndo. He continues to fight barehanded and manages to wrestle Kōndo in an arm lock.)
R: Kōndo-san (Kōndo cannot break free of the clasp.) I suggest we stop now.
KI: (struggling) My mission in life, is to kill you!
(The two men are in a deadlock. Suddenly a pistol sounds in the air. Ryōma points the gun to Kōndo’s head. The fighting stops and he pushes the Shinsengumi leader away.)
R: I think our little match is over for today!
(He fires another shot at a shelf full of pottery behind the Shinsengumi, causing it fall on top of them. Nakaoka doubles up with another shelf from the side, spraying the attackers with pieces of pottery.)
NS: Hey boss! You can claim these damages from the Shinsengumi! (They run off.)
KI: Don’t let them go!
Misc: After them! Stop!
NS: Ryōma! Mutsu! This way!
R: Eh? (Nakaoka brings them to the backyard of a house.)
NS: (grin) Please. We have customers again.
T: Yes, sir! (Tōkichi opens the door and ushers the three fugutives in.)
NS: Get in!
(They enter a Sumo dōjō. Dozens of Sumo wrestlers are practising inside, oblivious of the three newcomers.)
NS: Stay down!
(As they hide, the Shinsengumi run past outside the house. Ryōma sticks his head up to confirm that they are free for now. Later, Ryōma and Mutsu relax and try out some of the sumo food.)
MY: Yes, indeed! (Ryōma laughs)
R: (to Tōkichi) It’s really good!
T: Here is more food.
R: Oh! Thank you very much. (to Mutsu) Oh oh oh…I’ve never tried this too.
NS: His name is Tōkichi. He’s the cook but he thinks about everything. He’s a great fella.
R: Pleased to meet you, Tōkichi.
T: How do you do, sir.
R Back in our Navy Academy days (to Mutsu) we used to sumo wrestle a lot, didn’t we?
NS: Oh…Did you now? Well then…how about a match? (Nakaoka proceeds to undress as he talks. Ryōma turns to him slowly.)
R: With pleasure.
(In the dohyō or wrestling ring….)
MY: Get ready…* Begin! (The two men charge at each other and are quickly locked in a battle of strength.)
NS: (laughs) Not bad at all, Ryōma.
R: Same to you! (Nakaoka almost flips Ryōma out of the ring, but the latter regains his ground.)
NS: I’m now working together with Satsuma.
R: (shocked) Satsuma?!
NS: Saigō-san and I are planning out a military offensive against the Bakufu! (Taken off-guard, Ryōma manages to keep his cool and finally throws Nakaoka down.)
R: Overthrowing the Bakufu by force…will not work. A victory through war will only propagate hatred. (He pulls Nakaoka up and walks off for a drink.)
NS: In fact… Saigō-san said, he would like to meet up with Gotō Shōjirō-sama.
R: Is that…true?!
NS: If you want to join forces, you’ve got to get face to face and talk it through.
R: We couldn’t ask for anything better than that!
(An excited Ryōma runs in to see Gotō Shōjirō .)
R: Gotō-sama! Gotō-sama! We have good news! I’ve been told that Saigō-san would like to meet with Gotō-sama. (Gotō opens his eyes wide.)
GS: Saigō, you say?!
R: This will be the perfect chance to talk Satsuma into considering Taisei Hōkan! (Gotō downs his sake in one gulp. He walks out to the yard. Then with a slight frown….)
GS: Saigō wouldn’t be planning to drag Tosa into the war, would he?
R: (turns around to Gotō) I’m afraid that’s exactly it. (He walks slowly to the Tosa leader) But then, Gotō-sama, let this be a duel of wits between Satsuma and Tosa. (Gotō looks at Ryōma) Let them assume Tosa will join their military attack on the Bakufu. If we can then talk Satsuma into the quest for Taisei Hōkan, we will be the winners. (Gotō slowly nods. The two men look at each other in unspoken unanimity.)
<Keiō Year 3 (1867) June / Kyō, Sanbongi>
Y: (narration) In Keiō Year 3, June, at last, top officials of the Tosa and Satsuma Hans were able to meet. From Tosa, there was Gotō Shōjirō and Teramura Sazen. From Satsuma, Komatsu Tatewaki, Saigō Kichinosuke and Ōkubo Toshimichi. At the same time, Sakamoto Ryōma and Nakaoka Shintarō were also present as the intermediaries. Tosa was aiming for peaceful return of power. Satsuma inclined towards overthrowing by force. On this point, the two Hans were in direct opposition to each other.
(Komatsu Tatewaki claps to stop the music.)
KT: Gotō-saa*, I’ve been waiting to meet you for a long time. Appointed as Tosa Under-secretary at such a young age, Gotō-saa’s good name is well known throughout Satsuma.
GS: Komatsu-dono’s excellent reputation as Satsuma Chief Minister is something I’ve heard for a long time too.
SK: (to the people waiting on them) You may all be excused now.
(The attendants exit the room, leaving only key Han officials and the two intermediaries behind. Ryōma nods to Gotō. Their silent exchange is observed closely by Ōkubo Toshimichi. Ryōma turns his head and sees that they were being watched. He takes a long look at Ōkubo, then resumes his expressionless stare ahead.)
SK: Gotō-saa, when I heard that Tosa would like to join the Satchō, I was thinking that’s a million more in allied troops. (He smiles.)
GS: The Tokugawa Bakufu is debilitated. It is necessary for Japan to be reborn in a new way.
SK: So it is. But somehow, it seems that the lords in Tosa are looking at this from a totally different direction.
GS: (slowly gets up) Saigō-dono, isn’t the best battle, one which is won through threat and intimidation, where the opponent surrenders in the end without an arrow shot? That’s what we’d call a perfect victory, isn’t it?
SK: (sneers) In short…Taisei Hōkan, right?
GS: That is Tosa’s intention.
SK: Does Yamauchi Yōdō-kō know about this? (Gotō cannot answer. Saigō chuckles.) It seems Tosa has yet to come to a united front.
NS: Taisei Hōkan…Yoshinobu-kō would never agree to it. (Gotō glares at Nakaoka.) The time is ripe now. Tosa should stand firm and send in our troops!
GS: Be quiet.
GS: (He grabs Nakaoka’s collar) You…!
SK: Nakaoka-saa! Let’s not jump to conclusions. Gotō-saa’s proposal makes a lot of sense.
SK: If the Tokugawa voluntarily returns all political power to the Emperor, nothing would be better than that.
(Ryōma throws a sideways glance at Saigō, not sure what he’s playing at. Every man in the room is now watching Saigō intently.)
NS: Saigō-san…?! (The Satsuma minister smiles confidently, then sits down in front of Komatsu Tatewaki.)
SK: Komatsu-saa, how about we hop on board with Gotō-saa’s proposal?
KT: (in a loud pretentious voice) What do you think, Ōkubo? (Without moving his head, Ryōma looks at Ōkubo at once.)
OT: Gotō-saa’s proposal…I think it’s fine to join in.
KT: (with a smirk) Well in that case, Gotō-saa, Tosa and Satsuma shall team up on this quest to accomplish Taisei Hōkan.
NS: Please wait, my Lord! It’s too late now for Taisei Hōkan…
OT: However…. (Ryōma still has his eyes on Ōkubo. The Satsuma man walks to Gotō into the middle of the room) the moment Taisei Hōkan should fail, we will have to battle it out with the Tokugawa. Once war is declared, Tosa Han will of course need to send in your troops.
(Ōkubo looks straight at Gotō. The Tosa leader steals a glance at Ryōma, sees his partner deep in thought, and then sits down to consider this himself for a moment…)
SK: Good! (Ōkubo glares at Ryōma as he walks slowly back to his seat.) Today is a red-letter day for us! Gotō-saa! Cheers!
Y: (narration) Satsuma would support the quest for Taisei Hōkan.
SK: Sake! Bring us sake!
Y: (narration) But upon failure… (the two Tosa men exchange looks. Ryōma nods silently in support) Tosa would have to join the offensive against the Bakufu. The pledge they made on this day, bringing together the two contrasting stances, was a win or lose deal for either side.
(Glover Mansion, Nagasaki. Traders William Alt and Ōura Kei enjoy a game of chess. Yatarō barges in unannounced.)
Y: Alt-san! Alt-san! Can you teach me the English way of business?
OK: Iwasaki-san! (Thomas Glover walks in.)
Y: I want to learn from Alt-san too. I’m going to be making money for myself.
WA: (in English) “Thomas, when did you become so friendly with the Japanese?”
WA: ”If I remember correctly, you told me to leave Japan once I’ve earned enough. What’s happened to you?”
TG: (in Japanese) True…True, I did…look down on the Japanese.
Y: What was that!
TG: But it’s different now! Young men with no names are giving their lives to change this country (he looks to Alt, in English) “without any selfish motives”
OK: (with a smile) You mean Sakamoto-san and his men?
TG: (in an emotional voice) Meeting them has….completely changed my point of view.
WA: (in English) “I see. But unfortunately, they lack a clear view of the future. Overthrow the Shōgunate? And return political power to the Emperor? That would lead to chaos!”
WA: ”But it would be welcome news for us, would it not?” (He sneers at Glover, who glares back.) “So, wherein lies the great business chance?”
Misc: (Yatarō’s translator) The perfect “business chance” now is…?
(Yatarō looks shocked as the implications of what he just heard, sink in. Back in Kyōto, Ryōma and Nakaoka return to their shelter.)
R: This is it, Nakaoka.
R: Well it’s a big step forward! (He smiles) Now that Satsuma has agreed to join the quest for Taisei Hōkan. (Nakaoka still appears confused at the way things turned out.)
R: What is it?
NS: The only way to return the country to the Emperor, is to crush the Bakufu completely in war!
R: And after we crush the Bakufu, what happens then?
NS: After that….? (Ryōma smiles at his hesitant friend.)
R: There’s something I want you to have a look at. (He climbs up the stairs) Come! Come with me.
NS: (sigh) What now?
(Ryōma picks up a scroll from the table.)
R: On the ship on the way here, I had a think about what the new governance should be like.
NS: The new… (he takes the scroll)
R: Have a look. (As Nakaoka reads, his eyes open wide and he looks up at Ryōma in shock.) “One. Political power of the Country to be restored to the Imperial Court and all decrees issued only by the Court.” First of all, governing power must be returned to the Emperor. That is what I learnt from Kido-san.
Recap from Episode 39:
After the Bakufu was defeated in the Second Chōshū Expedition in 1866, Ryōma was presented to the Chōshū Daimyō for the Kaientai’s role in the battle of Shimonoseki. Later at Kido Kanji’s quarters, he first learns of the Taisei Hōkan theory.
KK: (explains as he writes the words “Taisei Hōkan” on a piece of paper) The country’s…political power…to be…returned.
R: ”Two. Upper and lower legislative houses to be created where members debate and approve state matters, with Policies decided on mass opinion.” Like the English, there should be two parliaments where members collectively discuss and make decisions on governance. This was what I’d heard from Yokoi Shōnan-sensei before.
Recap from Episode 20:
Ryōma, then a student at the Navy Training Academy in 1863, has been tasked by Katsu Rintarō to ask for sponsorship from the then Echizen Daimyō Matsudaira Shungaku. This was the first time he met the Echizen Han political advisor Yokoi Shōnan.)
YS: Have you ever heard of the word “democracy”?
YS: A political system where the country is run based on the majority view of the people.
R: ”Three. Men of ability among nobles, daimyō or the people at large, to be sought for counsel and granted official ranks. While those sinecure offices of old should be removed.” (In a sad voice…) So men of low status but brilliant minds like Takechi-san should be allowed to take part in government too. Just as Yoshida Tōyō-sama said.
Recap from Episode 13:
Just before Ryōma decided to flee Tosa in 1862, he visits Yoshida Tōyō and asks him to allow Takechi Hanpeta to enter the administration, but is turned down.
YT: Even a Kashi, if he is capable, I’ll give him a fair chance.
(Ryōma smiles sadly at the old days.)
R: I’m feeling a bit thirsty! (He runs downstairs) Tōkichi!
T: Yes, sir!
R: Where’s the water? (Nakaoka takes a look at the scroll and quickly follows him down. He carries on reading on his own.)
NS: ”Four. Foreign affairs to be governed by mass consensus. New treaties based on equity, should be made.”
R: Agreements with foreign countries should be fair and square. That is the Japan that Takasugi-san wanted to see.
Recap from Episode 41:
Shortly after the establishment of the Kaientai early this year (1867), Ryōma brings Oryō to Chōshū as the Nagasaki Magistracy had started to investigate her involvement in the Teradaya attack. He visits Takasugi Shinsaku and finds his friend at the final stage of his life.
TS: I leave Japan…in your hands, Sakamoto-san. (He bows to Ryōma)
Y: (narration) These eight clauses written by Ryōma are the famous “Eight Point Plan at Sea”.
NS: ”Five (his hands shaking as he reads) An Imperial Guard to be dedicated to protect the Emperor.”
R: (arms crossed and standing tall) We must build an army to protect the Emperor from foreign attack. Takechi-san’s aspirations must not be in vain!
NS: ”Six. Naval forces should be expanded.”
R: That of course came from the teachings of Katsu Rintarō-sensei!
NS: ”Seven. The value of goods and currency should be brought into fair balance with foreign countries.”
R: This is from what Kusaka Genzui-dono told me before.
Y: (narration) And that was what Ryōma had cleverly adapted from all he had learnt, like a dazzling crystal, a brilliant piece of work.
NS: ”Eight. Old laws and decrees to be set aside and a new universal legal code should be created.”
R: In order for Japan to stand up proudly on her own, a new order must be established. (He walks up to Tōkichi) Samurai, Merchants, not to mention, our own Tōkichi, will have equal chance to take part in politics under the new structure! And this is what Kawada Shōryō-sensei from Tosa had taught me. (He chuckles) It brings back memories!
(Nakaoka is speechless. Tears stream down his face as he too envisages Ryōma’s vision of the new Japan.)
R: Nakaoka… in the world I want to create, there will be no Jōshi or Kashi…We will all be equals. In a structure where one person is under the rule of another, there will always be hatred and resentment. My own…Mother had taught me this. Hatred will not bring about anything. I think, if these eight points can be accomplished (he looks at his own plan…) this country of Japan, will be one where everyone can live in laughter. I’m sure of it (… rolls the scroll up…) That’s why (…and looks straight at Nakaoka) a war to overthrow the Bakufu… must never be.
(Nakaoka grabs Ryōma by the collar. His voice shakes as he speaks.)
NS: What.are.you? (He laughs through his tears) Look at me…(Ryōma smiles as his friend hugs him) I’m…crying like a girl! (Ryōma laughs. Then they hear sounds of another person sobbing uncontrollably.)
R: Tōkichi! What’s wrong?
T: Me too!
R: Huh? (Tōkichi crawls over and hugs Ryōma on the legs.)
T: If there’s a country like this… I don’t know…anything, and I can’t understand difficult things, but if Japan… if you can turn Japan into a country like this…! (Ryōma pats Tōkichi on the back and laughs.)
R: Don’t cry, Tōkichi. There, there there (he laughs again and holds Tōkichi’s face in his hands) What a surprising fella you are! (Behind him, Nakaoka suddenly frowns.)
NS: But then, Ryōma… It won’t work… Supporters of the current regime are never going to allow it!
R: You’re probably right.
NS: If you make this public… Ryōma! They’re going to kill you! (Tōkichi cries out in shock.)
(Ryōma looks long and hard at his friend.)
R: …Nakaoka… If we avoid anything that makes us targets (he smiles) Japan will never be changed. Right? (Nakaoka stares at Ryōma incredulously, and then he too bursts out in a hoarse chuckle.)
NS: Let’s be damned…! (Ryōma laughs out loud.)
T: Yes, sir!
R: Let’s eat.
(He walks off laughing, but not before giving Nakaoka a slap on the back. The Tosa kinsman looks at him with tears in his eyes and renewed respect.)
Y: (narration) Ryōma’s “Eight Point Plan at Sea” would become the “New Government Eight Point Programme”* and used as the building blocks for the Meiji Government.
(Kōndo Isami’s Shinsengumi sweeps the streets in search for Ryōma.)
Y: (narration) However this will put Ryōma into ever greater danger day by day.
KI: (in frustration) SAKAMOTO!!
(Meanwhile, Satsuma’s Ōkubo Toshimichi vents his anger out on the sword, while Saigō Kichinosuke watches from the house.)
OT: This man is such…an eyesore…. (Saigō drinks his tea, looking uncharacteristically troubled.)
(Back at Glover Mansion in Nagasaki…)
WA: (in English) “…wherein lies the great business chance?”
Y: War for sure is our “business chance”!
WA: ”That’s right!”
Y: (Yatarō smiles in glee) Glover-san! The latest guns, ammunition (Ōura Kei looks at Yatarō, eyes wide in disbelief…) and cannons to be delivered from Britain, if you please! (…while Glover closes his eyes in pain, as if willing Yatarō to stop.) War is inevitable! No matter how hard Ryōma tries, he won’t be able to stop it! Ha! And I’m going to make me a fortune!
Y: (narration) There are only 5 more months, until Ryōma’s assassination.
The Eight Point Plan
- The Four Great Lords - It is interesting to note that, only Date Munenari was the Daimyō of his Han at that time. While the other three have handed down the name of Daimyō to their sons, the real political power still vests in them. Shimazu Hisamitsu of Satsuma is known as “the Father” of the Han. Yamauchi Yōdō is the “Great Lord” of Tosa and Mastudaira Shungaku was appointed the 14th Shōgun Tokugawa Iemochi’s Chief Minister (Chief of Political Affairs), together with Tokugawa Yoshinobu (as Shōgun’s Guardian) before the latter took over as 15th Shōgun after Iemochi’s young death.
- Taisei Hōkan means “to restore Imperial Rule through the peaceful return of power”
- Senchū Hassaku 船中八策 - there are 2 Eight-Point Plans composed by Ryōma at different times, the contents of which differ slightly.
In June Keiō Year 3, he wrote the Senchū Hassaku 船中八策, literally “Eight Point Plan (composed) on Ship” on board the Yūgao Maru, which was then submitted to Yamauchi Yōdō via Gotō Shōjirō. I will call this the “Eight Point Plan at Sea”. The said proposals are :
Political power of the Country should be restored to the Imperial Court and all decrees should be issued by the Court (Taisei Hōkan)
Both upper and lower legislative houses should be created and government policies should be decided by this legislative body, and by general opinion.
“Men of ability” from the former daimyô, nobles and general population should be appointed councillors. Traditional posts of power that existed under the baku-han system should be abolished.
Foreign affairs should be conducted in accordance with regulations agreed upon on the basis of general consensus.
(Foreign affairs to be governed by mass consensus, and new treaties based on equity should be made)
Rules and regulations created during Japan’s feudal days should be abolished and a new, modern legal code should be created.
(Old laws and decrees should be set aside, and a new, universal legal code should be created.)
Naval forces should be enlarged.
An Imperial Guard should be established for the purpose of defending the capital.
The value of goods and silver should be aligned with the going rates in foreign countries.
(The value of goods and currency should be brought into fair balance with foreign countries)
This is the focus of Episode 43. According to Japanese wiki, the original manuscript written by Ryōma could not be found. There is a rewritten version here. After the achievement of Taisei Hōkan and just before his assassination, Ryōma redrafted the original plan. While some may still take it as the Senchū Hassaku, the Taisei Hōkan proposal has been replaced, and most other points amended, as can be seen here. This second plan is often referred to as the Shin Seifu Kouryou Hassaku 新政府綱領八策 (literally the New Government Eight Point Programme). We will see more of it in Episode 48.
- The English version corresponding to each point of the “Eight Point Plan at Sea” shown above, was taken from the Samurai Archives Wiki (here). The NHK official overseas English-subbed TV broadcast used the same wordings. This translated version, however, has slightly different meanings and implications (in some parts) from the original terms written by Ryōma. As a big fan of the Samurai Archives, I have also tried to stay as close to their version as possible, but where I felt it departs from the Japanese meaning, I have added my own interpretation in italics below it.
- The Yūgao Maru was the Tosa Han’s ship. I thought it would be pretty cool if we could actually see what the boat looked like, on which the real Eight Point Plan was formulated. There are many ships with the same name in the years after, but I believe this is the actual steam sailship where the course of history was changed - picture.
- Hantei - the residence of a Daimyō set up in another Han. It provides boarding for retainers travelling or working in a foreign Han.
- Kataginu - more info here
- “Hakke yoi!” is the phrase shouted by a sumo referee during a bout, specifically when the action has stalled and the wrestlers have reached a stand-off. It means, “Put some spirit into it!” The majority of sumo scholars agree that the original form should have been, “Hakke (or hakki) Yo-Yo”. Hakke (or hakki) is combination of “hatsu” (to generate) and “ki (or ke)” (energy). Each “yo” in Yo-Yo is the same Chinese character or kanji for “higher” or “up”. Thus the meaning of “Hakki Yo-Yo” is very similar to “gambare, gambare” or “try harder”.
“Nokotta” literally means “it’s not over yet”. In this match, Mutsh is acting as the sumo referee or Gyōji.
- Saa さあ is local Kagoshima dialect, meaning “sama”
Timeline for this Episode:
- To be updated
[Kyōto Prefecture, Kyōto City]
Keiō Year 3 (1867)
Satsuma Han and Tosa Han joined forces and entered into the Satsu-Do Alliance (Satsudo Meiyaku)
The meeting was held in a place called Sanbongi, a bustling district frequented by Bakumatsu patriots.
[Sanshi Sui Meisho (Rai Sanyo School)]
The houses there still retain much of the ambience of those times.
[Site of the Yoshida-ya / place where the Satsu-Do Alliance was formed]
The Sanbongi restaurant, Yoshidaya was the place of the Satsu-Do Alliance. It was said that Ryōma was present at the meeting too.
Wooden tablet* drawing of the Yūgao (Maru) Warship (from the archives of Niida Jinja shrine, Kōchi City)
At that time, Ryōma was looking towards the birth of a new era. The Eight Point Plan he devised on board the Tosa Han ship…
Eight Point Programme of the New Government, written by Sakamoto Ryōma (from the archives of the National Diet Library)
…was later adopted into the “New Government Eight Point Programme”, which laid out the way forward for Japan
In the framework of the new Government drawn up by Ryōma, a total of 8 proposals were put forth, defining the Parliamentary system and other areas.
To be able to create a new nation afresh, Ryōma sought to avoid all wars and a peaceful handover of the country’s political power.
[Site of the Yoshida-ya (where the Satsu-Do Alliance was formed)]
5 min walk from “Jingū-Marutamachi” station of the Keihan Ōtō Line.
- An Ema (絵馬) is a votive wooden tablet painted with pictures and offered to a shrine in prayer for future good luck or after one’s wish comes true - 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 Japanese subtitles on the episode. Many thanks for that, without which this would not have been possible!!
A big hug also to Anthippi Fiamou from Greece for her draft subs translations. They were a great reference for me, and I’m very grateful to her for the time and effort she spent to help!