Samurai Vendetta (1959) - full transcript

Tange Tenzen and Nakayama Yasubei are honorable samurai living in an era of corrupt officials and treacherous clans. But after finding themselves in opposing clans and ensnared in a love triangle, only bloodshed can ensue! An epic tale of slashing swords, cutting betrayal, and bloody revenge, Samurai Vendetta is justly hailed as one of the best samurai films ever made!

A Daiei LTD Production

Samurai Vendetta
("Hakuoki")

Produced by Miura Nobuo

Production Design: Zaizen Sadao
Based on the original work by Gomi Kosuke
(serial in "Sankei Shinbun")
Screenplay by Ito Daisuké

Cinematography by Honda Shozo
Sound Recording: Kaihara Yukio
Lighting: Nakaoka Kenkon
Art Direction: Ota Sei'ichi
Music by Saito Ichiro

Color Techniques by Shirahasé Naoharu
Edited by Taniguchi Takashi
Sets: Miwa Yoshiki
Swordplay Choreography: Miyauchi Shohei
Traditional Japanese Music: Nakamoto Toshio
Assistant Director: Inoue Akira
Production Supervisor: Ozawa Hiroshi
Developed at Toyo Developing Studio

Cast

Ichikawa Raizo
Katsu Shintaro

Introducing Maki Chitosé
Mita Tokiko
Kitahara Yoshiro
Shimada Ryuzo

Chiba Toshio
Funaki Yoichi
Izawa Ichiro
Kagawa Ryosuké
Yamato Namiji
Kamo Ryoko
Hama Setsuko

Suga Fujio
Shimizu Gen
Azuma Ryonosuké
Arashi San'émon
Mizuhara Koichi
Mitsuoka Ryuzaburo
Nanbu Shozo
Araki Shinobu



Katsuragi Koichi
Shima Yasuhiko
Terashima Yusaku
Daté Saburo
Hara Seishiro
Ono'é Eigoro
Asano Suzuko
Sudo Tsuneko
Kongo Reiko

Takakura Ichiro
Godai Sentaro
Hamada Yuuji
Yokoyama Fumihiko
Fujikawa Jun
Tamaki Kazué
Kikuno Masayoshi
Oki Tokio
Toyama Kinshiro
Yasuda Yoshiro
Kasuga Kiyoshi
Sakurai Isamu

Shibata Soji
Hata Takashi
Osugi Jun
Kominami Akira
Mikami Tetsu
Kimura Gen
Minami Masao
Ideno Kenji
Matsukuni Yoshiki
Hon'ma Eiko
Kamiwaki Esuko
Higashiyama Kyoko

Directed by Mori Kazuo

I remember the first
time I met him.

I had to assist my uncle in his duel
with the Murakami brothers...

...and while I was running towards
Takata-no-baba...

...at the corner of the Ana-
hachiman Shrine...

This is an emergency!
Please excuse me!

I am much obliged.

That's not a good tasuki!

{\an8}"Tasuki:" A cord used to tuck up kimono
sleeves, and keep them out of the way.

My tasuki?

If you're not careful,
that tasuki will...



It's dangerous; if that tasuki
becomes untied...

"I hereby commit to writing, that on this day,
at half-past the bottom hour of the snake...

{\an8}"Half-past the bottom hour of the snake:" ~11:30 AM

"...at Takata-no-baba, the Itto-ryu and
Chishin-ryu schools will duel...

"...to determine which style is superior with
respect to the principles of the sword."

"This challenge is therefore issued
for this express purpose."

"It is my will as
a warrior to..."

Scum!

He's in danger. If that
tasuki unravels...

Is something
the matter?

I warned that man about his tasuki, but
it seems he did not understand me.

I am going to go check on him.
Meanwhile, continue on.

Follow through.

He's taking on the Murakami brothers.

You there, Sir Ronin.

Use this as your tasuki.

Your Lordship.

Your Lordship. What is it?

Your Lordship. What is it? We cannot risk
any mishaps during this important trip...

...so we turned back to
watch out for you.

You're right. You never know what
kind of calamity might befall us.

Those are the Murakami brothers; we're
of the same Chishin-ryu school.

Indeed they are.

Indeed they are. It is as you say, old man, we
might invite trouble by getting involved.

Let's go.

Let's go.
Yes.

Uncle. Uncle. A... Are
you alright?

Uncle. Uncle. A... Are
you alright? Yasubei.

I am Horibé Yahei of the Asano clan,
from Ako in Banshu Province.

It is an honor. I am Nakayama Yasubei,
a ronin of Shibata in Echigo.

And this is my uncle...

And this is my uncle... Oh, never mind the
formalities, we must tend to the injured.

Yes.

Yes.
Fortunately, my palanquin is available.

Please do not hesitate to use it.

Please do not hesitate to use it.
Uncle, are you alright?

Uncle, are you alright?

Hey, bring the palanquin.
Uncle, are you alright?

I know it's abrupt, but we have a man
who was mortally wounded...

...while fighting for the sake
of his samurai honor...

...and who wishes to commit seppuku
in front of your gate.

Please consider
our request.

How could we...

How could we...
Hold it.

You.

Tell me, whose residence
do you think this is?

I don't know.

I don't know. Huh? And yet you
still make such a request?

Indeed. Clearly, this is not the residence
of townsfolk or farmers.

So I assumed that it is the residence of a
samurai, and came to make my request.

And what if it is a samurai mansion?

And what if it is a samurai mansion? It's said
that samurai mutually support each other.

That is so. However, there is such a thing as
protocol when it comes to such requests.

I understand why you have come here,
but there are things we must know...

...before we can consider your request, such
as your affiliations, family name, and rank.

And if we do so...?

And if we do so...?
Even then, we cannot permit it.

Then we shall withdraw our
request to use your gate.

Excuse me... follow!

Wait... Nagao.

Yes sir.

Excuse me, wait.

We respectfully ask that you
come inside the gate.

We can go inside?

We can go inside? Indeed.

We can go inside? Indeed. He said we
cannot do it outside the gate.

We can go inside? Indeed. He said we
cannot do it outside the gate. Correct.

It would be disrespectful to permit a samurai
to commit seppuku outside the gate.

We shall make the proper arrangements
within the walls.

Such are the instructions of the Tayu.

Such are the instructions of the Tayu.
"Ta... Tayu?" You mean, he's a chamberlain?

Correct. Chisaka Hyobu, Edo chamberlain
of the Yonezawa fief in Unshu Province.

This mansion belongs
to the Uesugi clan.

Yes.

Let us go.

Let us go.
Yes sir.

I am obliged.

I am much obliged.

By order of Chief Shogunate retainer
Okubo Kaganokami...

...I was assigned to inspect the offices
of various Shogunate vassals.

{\an8}"Map of the territories of vassals"

The duel occurred on the very
day of my departure.

Over the course of the next month, I heard,
everywhere I went, of the popularity...

...of the Horiuchi Itto-ryu school, as
exemplified by Nakayama Yusubei.

And also of the loss of face suffered
by my school, Chishin-ryu.

Eventually, after I had completed my
assignment and returned to Edo...

{\an8}"The Divine Chishin-ryu ('four worlds of the
whole mind') Sakaki Chishinsai Dojo"

The Murakami brothers and their students
died on the sword of Nakayama Yasubei.

But we have witnesses that saw you at
the very site while it was happening.

All three of us clearly
saw you there.

Why then, if you were there, did you
just watch the Murakamis die?

I did not watch them die. At
the time I passed by...

...the Murakami brothers, Nakatsugawa
Yuken, and others, were still alive.

But as I was on official,
Shogunate business...

...I judged that my orders did not
permit me to become involved.

Coward!

Coward! There's no excuse!

Coward! There's no excuse!
You were cowardly!

Then let me ask
you something.

You also witnessed the destruction
of the Murakami's entire school.

So why then did you all not retaliate
against Nakayama Yasubei?

Are you kidding? We're not
skilled enough for that.

And we have never been
in an actual swordfight.

I too have never
killed anyone.

Enough of this nonsense!

We are having this discussion because you
are a distinguished member of our dojo.

In order to avenge the Murakami
brothers and their students...

...and thereby restore the reputation
of the Chishin-ryu school...

...we have no option but to challenge
Nakayama Yasubei to a duel.

What have you
to say?

It would probably be futile.

It would probably be futile.
How dare you! Explain yourself.

After seeing what happened
to the Murakami brothers...

{\an8}Note: Tenzen is using an expression that
means "an undisciplined, inept mob."

...he is unlikely to be defeated
by a "murder of crows".

A murder of crows?!

A murder of crows?! Then what if you, Sir
Tangé, were to challenge him personally?

I will not do so. Now, if
you will excuse me.

You coward!

You coward! Shame on you!

You coward! Shame on you!
Have you no concern for your fellow students?

Have you no concern for your fellow students?

Have you no understanding of bushido?
Have you no concern for your fellow students?

Have you no understanding of bushido? Traitor!
Have you no concern for your fellow students?

Have you no understanding of bushido? Traitor!

Have you no understanding of bushido? Traitor!
And what if I were a traitor?

And what if I were a traitor?

This is what!
And what if I were a traitor?

"Tangé Tenzen"

{\an8}Note: Tangé's nameplate has been taken off the wall,
implying that he's been thrown out of the school.

"Tangé Tenzen"

"Nakayama Yasubei"

Sir Chishinsai's dismissal
of Tangé Tenzen...

...is a signal to us, the Itto-ryu
school, that he desires to...

...end the interminable state of hostility
that exists between our two schools.

In other words, by removing the central
figure of the Chishin-ryu school...

...he has diminished the
resolve of his students.

It is a pragmatic way to prevent
future incidents.

Knowing this to be the case, I too must
respond to his thoughtfulness in kind.

This the true, and only, reason why you
are being dismissed from our school.

I understand.

And I would have all of you
understand my intent.

There he is.

Here they come again.

Right now, he's the most
popular guy in all of Edo.

Even the Kabuki actors
are envious.

Be quiet! We must get
them out of here!

You can't do this!
You must leave!

You're a total heartthrob,
aren't you?

I hear you're getting marriage
proposals left and right.

I'm just a ronin, barely scrounging
enough work to feed myself.

How can I afford
a wife?

How are your employment
prospects?

Yes sir. I have received
two or three offers...

From Lord Matsudaira of the Saijo fief in Iyo,
the former master of my late uncle Sugeno.

Also, from the clan of Lord Nosé-Izumo,
the Shogunate master of firearms.

And also, from Chamberlain
Asano, of Ako in Banshu.

{\an8}Note: Asano will become the leader
of the famous 47 Ronin.

And...?

I am undecided about
all of them.

Actually, I have another offer for you;
they've been urging me to ask you.

As a matter of fact, they have
sent a messenger...

...and he is waiting in the
back, even as we speak.

The offer is from the chief retainer
of the Uesugi clan of Yonezawa.

Sir Chisaka Hyobu?

Sir Chisaka Hyobu? That's right. Your
visitor is Sir Nagao Ryunoshin...

...who has come here on
behalf of Sir Chisaka.

What an honor.

What an honor. Also with him is his
younger sister, Lady Chiharu.

My daughter and Lady Chiharu
are tea-ceremony friends.

They are both students of the
Sohen-ryu school of tea.

They're old friends; they've participated together
in Lord Kira's tea parties together, and so on.

We're all connected in strange
ways, aren't we?

It has been a while
since we last met.

It is good to see you
in fine health.

This is my younger
sister, Chiharu.

It is a pleasure to make
your acquaintance.

Until that moment, my heart had never
leaped at the sight of a woman.

I've been surrounded by many women
since the Takata-no-baba duel.

But not one of them had
captured my heart.

Welcome home.

Miss Oshizu, it's you.

Miss Oshizu, it's you.
As you were not here, I let myself in.

As you were not here, I let myself in.

It's alright.
As you were not here, I let myself in.

It's alright.

It's alright. I came to receive the finished
products and to deliver materials.

I appreciate it.

{\an8}"Uzen-ya"

Move! Move! Make way!

Open up!

Young Miss.
Young Miss.

Look. Those samurai are having
another staring contest.

What will you do if they've been sent to discuss
marriage proposals with Nakayama-san?

You're driving me nuts.
Get yourself together!

It's a "Noble Dog"!

It's a "Noble Dog"!
It's a "Noble Dog"!

Don't go near the "Noble
Dog"! Hurry up and run!

"Tinker, Genpachi"

Please. Ahead of me.

No, don't mind me.
You go first.

Elders have precedence.
Please go first.

Well...

Well... Please...

Well... Please... I'm in no particular
hurry. Please go ahead.

Oh no, please,
you first.

It was a time when a dog had
more value than a person.

They were referred to as
"Noble Dogs" by edict...

...of the fifth generation Shogun Tsunayoshi,
based on his pity for all living things.

Needless to say, the killing
of birds, beasts, and fish...

...and even insects such as butterflies and
dragonflies, was strictly forbidden.

And in particular, when
it came to dogs...

...if anyone kicked them, stepped
on them, or was cruel to them...

...they would be sentenced
to hang by their legs.

Anyone who caused injury to
a dog would be beheaded.

And crucifiction awaited any offender who
killed or poisoned a dog, and so on.

{\an8}"Senshu-in" (Temple)

However, I would have never imagined
that such a calamity would befall me.

"Hut for the Noble Dog"

{\an8}"Shichimen-zan [Temple], Senshu-in"

Be careful, it's the
dog-hut patrol.

Oh. Nakayama-uji.

{\an8}"-uji:" More polite than "-san," similar to "-sama".

You... I saw you the other day when
I was running to Takata-no-baba.

Yes. Tangé Tenzen.

Yes. Tangé Tenzen.
How do you do...

You'll be in serious trouble if someone
sees you. Leave here immediately.

But...

But... You'll have no excuse with
that blood on your sword.

Let me deal with
this matter.

I cannot impose such
a burden on you.

I should handle this; I'm just
a ronin with nothing to lose.

I am grateful for your
kindness. Be well.

Go, quickly.

It appears to be a woman.
However, I am a monk.

Benkei decided to leave,
and not attack him...

...however, Ushiwaka insulted him, kicking
the handle of his Naginata as he passed.

"You are violent, and I will
teach you a lesson"...

...Benkei declared as he
picked up his Naginata.

Naginata in hand, he said,
"I will show you my skill."

Benkei aimed a killing blow at Ushiwaka,
but Ushiwaka was unruffled...

Look at that drunken loon.

Wait a minute, he's doing the sacred dance-
oblation to the god Shichimen.

How laudable
of him.

Shichimen was my late mother's
protector deity.

After she had my big
brother Ryunoshin...

...she prayed to him to have a daughter
next, and her wish was granted.

That's why she named me after
this temple, Senshu...

...so that I would continue receiving
the deity's blessings.

After Senshu Temple?

{\an8}Note: These logograms can be read as both
"Senshu" or, more commonly, "Chiharu."

Oh. That's why your
name is Chiharu.

Yes. Today is my mother's
memorial day.

I see. Does Tangé-dono
worship here too?

{\an8}"-dono:" Quite polite, similar to "-sama".

No, Tangé-sama is...

No, Tangé-sama is... Huh?

No, Tangé-sama is... Huh?...a
very close friend of the abbot.

Oh. They play Go together.

Oh. They play Go together.
Yes.

Oh. They play Go together.
Yes. I see.

Um... if you dropped in even for a short while,
my father and brother would be delighted.

Regarding the matter of
your employment...

...Sir Chisaka is constantly hounding
my brother, asking if you've decided.

Well, as to which offer
I will accept...

...the truth is, I've just made up my mind. I
will drop by and visit your brother soon.

But today, I have some
unfinished business.

You will be disposing
of the Noble Dog?

In an instant, my
heart was set.

Chiharu is my life. She is the one
and only woman I will ever love.

I will live for the sake of my love for her,
and die for the sake of thatlove.

And as for the offer of a position,
I decided to dedicate my life to it.

We have something to
discuss with you.

Concerning what?

We would like to see a demonstration
of the Horiuchi Itto-ryu style.

And who might
you all be?

We are the vengeance of
the Murakami brothers!

Nakayama-dono. I am most grateful
for the service you have done me.

Because of you, I was able
to avoid calamity.

I wanted to express my thanks,
and thus I followed after you.

Oh! Tangé.

Excuse me, Nakayama-uji.

I am indebted to Nakayama-uji.

If you will not depart, you
will have to face me first.

How bizarre. Strike
him down.

Retreat. If you attack,
you will see blood.

So you refuse
to listen.

So you have decided
about the position?

Yes sir. Regarding
that issue...

Things seem to be going
very well today.

Chiharu-dono of the Nagaoka
family is here too.

Hers is yet another matter that
merits congratulations.

Huh?

Since her marriage has
been decided...

...and since she won't be able to casually
go about as she pleases after that...

...she's enjoying some frivolity
with Namino, as a last hurrah.

Who is to be her husband?

Who is to be her husband?
Oh? You didn't know?

Not at all.

Not at all.
Well you're not keeping up.

It's been the talk of the town
for a long time now.

And you have a considerable
connection to him as well.

It's Chishin-ryu's
Tangé Tenzen.

So you and Tangé-sama...?

Yeah, but you know, I go and pray
to Shichimen every month, right?

And Tangé-sama is there all the
time, playing Go with the abbot.

So one thing led to another,
and the two of us...

You'll incur divine wrath on yourself,
using Shichimen as a matchmaker!

Now, down to the business
of government...

Yes. Truly... I am
sorry to say...

Huh?

Huh? I want to continue enjoying
the carefree life of a ronin.

What?

Please forgive me for my continuous
and insolent lack of courtesy.

{\an8}Note: This Noh song, "Takasagoya,"
is sung in traditional weddings.

Oh from Takasago, raise the mast of the light
ship... raise the mast... of the light ship.

As the tide swells, let us set
sail along with the moon.

Beyond the waves looms
the Isle of Awaji...

...and far beyond the open
seas of Naruo...

...swiftly we sail, and
arrive at Sumino-é.

Though I had wished for a position
with the Uesugi clan...

...contrary to my will, I came to
serve the Asano clan instead.

Perhaps this is
my destiny.

Our target tonight is
Kira Kozukénosuke.

Who knew he was the father
of Lord Uesugi?

Really? Nakayama Yasubei
got adopted?

Yes, by Horibé-sama.

Really? Does Horibé have a daughter
who has come of age, perhaps?

He does have a daughter, but
I hear she's only 12 or 13.

Yes... I saw her with a group of
children at Takata-no-baba.

The oblation-offerings
have been prepared.

Hmm... was that a
cat? Or a dog?

No, the laws are so stringent, none
of our neighbors keep pets.

Then what
is that?

Perhaps an assistant of Inari, the
mansion's guardian deity.

{\an8}Note: Inari is depicted as a fox-deity.

A fox, huh?

I pray every day to Inari that you will
be returning as quickly as possible.

I can only be as fast
as my duties allow.

Let's see. My duty in Kyoto will take
me through to the third month...

...about the time of
the Hina festival.

By the time of the Hina festival,
I'll have earned enough...

...to send you some of Kyoto's famous
husband-and-wife Dairi Hina dolls.

No, I want you to come home as fast as
you can. Who cares about Hina dolls?

Oh. Please wait
a moment.

This is a Hina doll I made
when I was a child.

Please take it with you on your journey,
and think of it as me, Chiharu.

Chiharu.

Yes.

Chiharu...

My dear...

How did you spend your day?
How are you doing?

Did your duties go smoothly
and without impediment?

I, Chiharu, finally
finished this.

Does it look good
on me?

Starting tonight, I am going to
sleep in this from now on.

Do you like it?

My dear.

Chiharu is going
to go rest now.

Poor thing,
all alone.

Here, let me give you
dinner, as usual.

Chiharu will keep
you company.

Here. A broth of horsetail
shoots.

Oh, it's not to your liking?
Chiharu will take it away.

How about some pickled
fish this time?

I'm so glad.
You like it?

Oh yes. I've been so concerned with
the food, I forgot about saké.

But since this is the Sekku
festival, for girls...

...you'll have to drink white saké
to keep Chiharu company.

Oh, you're going to pour some for Chiharu
too? I'll gratefully keep you company.

My, one after another like this. I'll
get drunk if I have too much.

Oh, it's so good.

But if you're not going
to be drinking...

...it's truly boring.

My, I'm so drunk. What's
the matter with me?

Chiharu. What happened?

Hey.

Hey. Hmm?

Hey. Hmm? We shouldn't
be wasting any time.

If anyone in the mansion sees
us, there'll be trouble.

Let's just bring her out.

Let's just bring her out.
Alright.

My Lady!

My Lady! What happened?

My Lady! My Lady!
My Lady! My Lady!

They found out. Alright,
I better go and...

Wait. This should teach Tangé a lesson. Keep
the woman alive for our future enjoyment.

You did a good job. Here's
the promised payment.

I know about the sequence of events from
the courier. Did something else happen?

Yes. I couldn't explain it all in a letter
before you got back to Edo...

...so I wanted to tell you
everything in person.

Kajihei.

Kajihei.
Yes.

They bribed Mié to help them,
and then killed her.

But she confessed before she died, and
we have the names of the culprits.

You say there were five of them?

You say there were five of them?
Yes. They were all present...

...when you, My Lord, defended
Nakayama Yasubei-dono...

So they are all from the
Chishin-ryu school?

That is correct. They were injured
in their scuffle with you, My Lord.

One lost most of his fingers
when you struck his hand.

That would be Mita Shirogoro.

Another lost an eye when he got
cut from his forehead to cheek.

That was Iki Rentaro.

A third had the area from his
nose to upper lip sliced off.

I believe that was
Niki So'émon.

The next one had the side of his face sliced
off down to his jaw; he even lost an ear.

I'm certain that was Tomonari Mikinosuké.

And the last tripped, resulting
in his shin being gashed.

That was Totani Hyoma.

I see. So it was
those five.

Others were also hurt, but those five had
serious injuries they could not conceal.

They were exiled from the dojo, they lost their
positions, and they all became ronin.

So they held a grudge, and...

So they held a grudge, and...
Yes.

Old man... how much of this has
become public knowledge?

Well... you see...

So it's quite
the news.

If I may, My Lord.

Of course the five won't
admit that they did it.

But...

...there are rumors of another man that Her
Ladyship spoke with, before the wedding.

What?

And that when you were not home,
My Lord, she would receive him.

They're saying she was
having an affair?

So if they're spreading that rumor, there
must be someone who witnessed it?

Yes. And they're saying it was not just
once, but twice, then three times...

...and that there can be
no doubt about it.

So who is it? Who is the man that Chiharu
was seeing from before the wedding?

Well... it's...

Well... it's...
Who is it?

Nakayama Yasubei-sama.

But why would Nakayama Yasubei have been
seeing Chiharu before the wedding?

Come to think of it, there was that stray
dog incident at Shichimenzan Temple.

So Chiharu knew Nakayama
Yasubei from that time.

Tangé-dono.

Nakayama-uji.

Nakayama-uji. My surname has been
changed. I am now Horibé Yasubei.

My apologies.

My apologies.
Oh no, as you are.

It has been a very long time since we
last met. How has your lady been?

Well, thankfully.

I have not seen Chiharu-dono
since the wedding.

I do miss her.

And you, Nakayama... no, Horibé-uji,
are you married yet?

Oh no, that will have to wait.
The girl is still only 13.

Is that so?

Well, if you would excuse me.

Well, if you would excuse me.
Excuse me.

Please give Chiharu-dono
my best regards.

Yes.

Excuse me. Goodbye.

Old man.

Old man.
Yes?

Yes?

I get it now.
Yes?

I get it now.

I get it now.
Huh?

The five villains hate both
Nakayama-uji and myself.

If Nakayama-uji and I were to fight, they would
be killing two birds with one stone.

It's a ploy to make us self-destruct.

It's a ploy to make us self-destruct.
Oh... indeed.

Old man. Have you heard of Momonji-ya?

Old man. Have you heard of Momonji-ya?
Momonji-ya?

Hey, Yasubei. Our groom-to-be.

Hey, Yasubei. Our groom-to-be.
Oh, I have just returned. Welcome home...

Sure, sure.

Well, it's just 10 days until
the imperial envoy arrives.

Yes.

Yes. The official advisor, Lord Kira,
is being deliberately unhelpful...

...and Lord Asano has no choice but to bow
like this and say "Please excuse me."

This is a very difficult time
for our lord; all I can do...

...is keep praying that the important duty
of entertaining the imperial envoy...

...will go smoothly, and
without a hitch.

That must have been stressful
for you too, Father.

As the old saying goes...

"Far from court,
far from care."

Whoops. I can't very well say such
a thing to our groom, can I?

You were always telling me about how
carefree it was to be a ronin...

...and who was the old man that
forcefully talked you out of it?

By the way...

...during your ronin days, you
were chased by all the girls.

I saw it with my
own eyes too.

However, rumor has
it that our groom...

...has an eye for an upstanding
Shogunate retainer's wife.

They're saying that you are having a secret,
adulterous relationship with her.

Huh?

Huh? It's an absurdity.
The jackasses!

Who said such a thing?

Who said such a thing?
I'm not telling, not telling.

Because if I told you, you'd
go and kill them.

Which vassal are they
talking about?

Which vassal are they
talking about? Ahem!

"I'm afraid our Yasubei will have a loving
wife who is the best in the world."

"He doesn't have any interest
in some other man's wife."

That's how I reproved them.

If only Oko here would come of age sooner,
I'd have you both married at once.

Otei.

Otei. Yes?

Otei. Yes? Why is Oko
so slow to grow?

Because, my dear...

Because, my dear... It's because
you're not raising her properly.

But that's something that
can't be... my dear...

What are you saying? You were
13 when we were wed.

You were already
a grown woman.

Dear...

Welcome home.

I am prepared for the
consequences.

Please punish me.

I have been waiting for
you to touch me...

...and thus I have wearily endured
life until this day.

If we were townsfolk or farmers, this
incident could be forgotten.

But such is not the case
for the samurai.

You are a married woman who
was violated by several men.

Such a woman can no longer
be called a man's wife.

I know that all
too well.

However, if we were
to separate...

...with the circumstances already
public knowledge...

...it would be tantamount to my
making you commit suicide.

I cannot let that happen.

But since the public believes you
have committed adultery...

...naturally, I will lose face as
a samurai if I do not kill you.

I cannot let that
happen either.

What wrong have you
done, anyway?

We have been ensnared
by their cowardly ploy.

One...

There is definitely one
way out of this, but...

...it is inevitable that we
will have to part ways.

Darling!

I am a woman whose body has
been thoroughly defiled.

I'm finished.

Chiharu.

Do not die, Chiharu. No matter what
happens, you mustn't die.

Because if you disobey
me and kill yourself...

...remember that you will not be my
wife again for seven lifetimes.

We have located the item that
you ordered us to acquire.

Well done. When
can I have it?

We can deliver it whenever
you wish.

Can you maintain secrecy?

This involves breaking the edict of
sympathy for living creatures.

If our involvement were to become
known, our lives would be forfeit.

So you see...

To celebrate the end of my assignment,
my father, Ryunoshin...

...along with our closest relatives,
wish to share some drinks.

And then?

And then? Chiharu, don't say anything
else. Just silently follow me.

Yes.

Not a big deal.

I've been enjoying the famous Tangé-Kyoto
cherry-blossoms of Edo...

...and it's a good excuse to indulge
in some bad singing.

News from the mountains, the
cherry blossoms bloom.

The cherry blossoms are blooming
in the mountains.

Those are Usu-zakura blossoms
from Mount Kurama.

Broken branches placed on
the road will guide you.

Led to the mountain, you will see
the blossoms along the way.

You come under trees...

...gaze at the blossoms.

If you find a house...

...with cherry blossoms,
you may enter.

Noble or commoner, relative
or stranger, you may enter.

Such is the custom
in the spring.

Take that.

Son-in-law... What happened?

The mystery is
now solved.

What mystery?

What mystery?
Yes.

There are those among
you, I believe...

...who have heard allegations about
unacceptable behavior by Chiharu.

But in truth, taking advantage
of my absence...

...the bedroom of my wife has
indeed been invaded.

Insolence! Chiharu would never
do anything immoral!

As for the true culprit, he has
just now been revealed.

Please see for
yourselves.

Oh. Oh!

Oh. Oh! Oh.

Oh. Oh! Oh. It's a fox. It's
an old and venerable fox.

So it was a fox who
was responsible.

It was all the doing of a shape-
shifting monster.

Until this happened, on this very night,
I was very much concerned.

However, even if this clears
Chiharu-dono...

...and even if this monster was
a shape-shifter, it's still a fox.

We can't harm a living creature, violating
the imperial prohibition...

...and yet avoid the Shogunate's
punishment.

We've got a serious problem.

We've got a serious problem.
Tangé-uji, what are you going to do?

If this event becomes
public knowledge...

...then rumors will spread that
Chiharu has been unfaithful.

Fortunately, all of us
are close relatives.

If we are to protect
Chiharu's honor...

...tonight's event must be kept to
ourselves, close to our chests.

Yes, yes, what other
way is there?

We can avoid bringing shame upon my
daughter, and it will help Tangé too.

It is sufficient that her relatives
believe in her innocence.

As to the fox-slaying incident,
it's a secret. A secret.

Indeed.

Tangé-dono, that was
superbly done.

Truly yours is the finest example
of Chishin-ryu swordsmanship.

It was two or three days later,
a day I will never forget...

It was the 14th day of the 3rd month of
the 14th year of the Genroku period.

Together we left the house
early in the morning...

...and visited my mother's grave
at Shichimen-sama's.

This will be the last time that we walk
together as husband and wife.

We are going to the Nagao
household now.

You will be returning to your
original home today.

Had you been sent back with your honor
sullied by immorality and adultery...

...you would have had
to kill yourself.

This, in turn, would give credit to rumors
that Horibé was your lover.

I have erased the stain
of immorality, but...

...there is something that cannot
be erased, no matter what.

And that is your defilement by
those Chishin-ryu bastards.

You are not guilty, so I will
not have you punished.

But I cannot allow myself
to hold your body.

My reason, my mind, permits
it, but my body cannot.

We have to part.

I do love you. This is
because I love you.

And once we separate,
what then will you do?

I will request to be relieved of my official
duties, and once I am free...

...I am going to kill those
five bastards.

What is it, Chiharu?

It's so early. You're
here by yourself?

No... um...

Where's Tangé-uji?

He's with Father
right now.

You're crying. What's
going on?

What? You cannot tell me the
reason, no matter what?

Yes.

Yes. Chiharu knows the reason
why you're leaving her, I hope?

She knows.

She knows.
Fine. Then I'll ask Chiharu.

Chiharu will not
tell you either.

No, she will definitely
not tell you.

This is a matter between husband and wife,
and only between husband and wife.

That's unacceptable.

How can a samurai take back his daughter
without knowing the reason?

But Chiharu is also aware of this.

But Chiharu is also aware of this.
Hold it.

Let me ask you something. Unfortunately,
I wasn't present at the fox-incident...

...but no one suspects Chiharu of immorality
and adultery anymore, is that not correct?

Not in the slightest.

Not in the slightest. And will you attest there
is nothing shady about Chiharu in any way?

Absolutely. Otherwise, I myself
would have punished her.

It is because there is nothing of the kind,
that I would have you take her back.

This is absurd.

This is absurd. But Chiharu knows about it.

This is absurd. But Chiharu knows about it.
She might, but I don't. So it's unacceptable.

In other words, it's a vicious circle;
it can't be explained by words.

If not by words, then perhaps
with swords.

If that is what you desire,
I will gladly comply.

That is what I desire!

Big Brother.

Big Brother.
Move.

Move.

No.
Move.

No.

No.
Will you defy your big brother?

Darling.

Darling.
Don't come near me.

It... It is as you have
desired...

Let that arm be
my payment.

Please take Chiharu...

...back into your care.

Hey, hey. Where do you
think you're going?

The imperial envoy and his entourage
will soon be arriving.

You must use a different route.

You must use a different route.
Yes. Sorry about that.

Come on.

Wait. Is someone injured?

Yes.

Yes. I would be forsaking my duty if I were to
let blood defile the imperial envoy's path.

I will have to investigate.

I will have to investigate.
Yes.

What is his name and status?

What is his name and status? Tangé Tanzen,
of the clan of Lord Tozawa Ise-no-kami.

Wait. I am the chamberlain of the
Uesugi clan, Chisaka Hyobu.

Excuse me.

Excuse me.
Yes sir.

Is it Tangé-uji, the relative of Nagao
Ryunoshin of the Uesugi clan?

It is indeed.

Everyone, everyone gather!
We have a major incident!

Have you gone mad?

Have you gone mad?
We are within the palace walls!

On the very day I was returned
to my original home...

...and my husband Tenzen lost his
arm because of my brother...

...in the "hall of pines" of the Shogun's
palace, Lord Asano of the Ako fief...

...attacked Lord Kira Kozukénosuke, the father
of the current Lord of the Uesugi clan...

...whose family my family, the Nagao,
has served for generations.

And since that day, Tenzen
was never seen again.

My dear.

Chiharu-dono.

I asked around at the Shichimen temple,
but no one there has seen him either.

His whereabouts are completely
unknown.

Horibé-sama said that he was visiting
comrades to promote the revival...

...of the Asano Clan, with Lord Asano's
brother Daigaku as the new lord.

He said he was next
going to Kamigata.

Even one year later, as our plot to avenge
ourselves upon Kira proceeded...

...I still had no idea at all where
Tangé Tenzen was.

Then, at Maebara Isuke's rice shop, which
we were using to spy on Kira's mansion...

{\an8}"RICE" (Rice Shop Gohei)

The lady who is Kira's tea-ceremony
partner just came out the mansion.

What?

What? I had Emoshichi keep watch for
people involved in the world of tea...

...because they might provide
useful information.

I'm going to follow her.

I'm going to follow her.
Yeah.

Wait, this isn't good. I'm wearing
a tea-ceremony outfit.

I'll be conspicuous. Hey.
Somebody else go.

Yeah, I'll do it.

"Rice Shop"

Welcome home.

{\an8}"Shiho'an Sohen-ryu School of Tea"

Our Namino and Lady Chiharu
are tea-ceremony friends.

They are both students of the
Sohen-ryu school of tea.

They're old friends; they've participated together
in Lord Kira's tea parties together, and so on.

Um... it's urgent. From
the chief retainer.

From Sir Chisaka Hyobu?

From Sir Chisaka Hyobu?
Yes.

Tenzen is still alive.

Tenzen is still alive.
Oh... where is he now?

I figured he's too good a man to let die.
I sent him to the mineral hot springs...

...of Shirabu Takayu outside of Yonezawa,
so that he could recover from his wound.

I thank you
so much.

The reason why I asked you here,
is to ask you to go and fetch him.

What?

I know he feels indebted to me, but
I don't want to impose upon him.

What do you want
him to do?

I have written down
the essentials.

I've hired men to guard
the Kira mansion...

...but they're hungry for money,
and I cannot be sure of them.

So in other words, you would have
Tangé supervise these men?

That's right. To keep a leash on them,
he can do whatever it takes...

...whether it's killing them, reducing
their numbers, whatever.

Needless to say, I will reward
him handsomely.

He won't take a reward.

He won't take a reward.
He will get the reward upfront.

Among these men, there are five that
can definitely be disposed of.

That's right, five men.

Five men. Do you
understand?

There are five
of them...

I needn't tell you their names,
you know who they are.

Surely this is enough to entice
Tangé back to Edo.

"To Sir Tangé Tenzen"

Old man.

Old man.
Yes.

My life was spared, and yet I now am going
to go and kill... or perhaps be killed?

Ours is a twisted world
of warring titans.

Yes.

Here I teetered on the brink of
death for some months...

I feel wistful about leaving
these hot springs.

Where do you think
Tangé went?

Who cares. He's vanished,
that's what matters.

He better not show himself either,
because this time, I'll...

There's still Horibé.

Are the Ako guys planning
revenge or not?

Maybe Sir Chisaka's hunch
is wrong, after all.

Hey, Uesugi men.

Sir Chisaka Hyobu
has passed away.

What?

I see. Without Sir Chisaka, we no longer
have access to the Kira mansion.

Now that that's over with, the question
is how can I make a living?

Please, my dear. You needn't
worry about such things.

I'll gladly take
care of you.

That will not happen.

Who cut my arm
off, and why?

It is not that it was cut
off. I let him cut it off.

My arm was the price I paid
to return you to their care.

You are now a woman
of the Nagao clan.

No, no. I stood up to my brother
and ran away. Ever since then...

...I've been making a living all by myself.
The Nagao clan and I are no longer...

Enough. Make no mistake
about this.

I did not come back because you came
to fetch me. I returned to repay...

...Sir Chisaka for his kindness;
you should know that by now.

I have always
known it.

If so, then don't be
so presumptuous.

How could you offer to support
the husband who left you?

Kajihei!

Yeah.

Yeah. Remember this. From this day on,
this woman is not allowed to visit me.

But sir, we no longer have access
to the Kira mansion.

No, I shall get them. I will get those
five bastards, no matter what.

However, old man. I have to pay
my debt to the deceased...

...who arranged it so that I could
pursue my vendetta.

So, to repay Sir Chisaka, you will ally
yourself with the Kira faction...

...and oppose the
men of Ako?

That's right, I will use the broken
body that he saved from death.

Until I can repay him
for his favor.

I can talk
the talk...

...but talk can't
kill anyone.

How far can I go with
only one arm?

Since Chiharu has returned to her home,
she must no longer be Tangé's wife.

So what? What of it?

Though nothing has been
formalized yet...

...I have a woman to whom
I am effectively betrothed.

What do I want
with Chiharu?

I went together with chief retainer
Oishi and had a look...

...and Kira's new mansion
is starting to take shape.

Yes. They're planning on moving from the
Uesugi mansion sometime this month.

Well, this is what the chief retainer
says to do. Otaka...

Yes.

Yes. Is the tea master having a year-end
tea party by any chance?

It is as you say.

It is as you say. Will Kira have the
tea party at his adopted son's...

...or will it be held at
his new mansion?

You are right. How absent-
minded of me.

He will have the party at his own tea
room, which he's very proud of.

He will most certainly
do that.

Then, on that day, they will
most likely leave Uesugi...

...make preparations at the mansion,
and spend the night there.

That will be the night...

That will be the night... I see.

That will be the night... I see. That night
will be our one-in-a-million chance.

Indeed. Indeed.

If only there was a way we could find
out when the exact day will be...

...our vengeance will be as
good as accomplished.

I have discovered that the master of
ceremonies at Kira's tea party...

...is going to be Shiho-an
Yamada Sohen himself.

How do you know that?

How do you know that?
Horibé, do you have contacts?

Yes. I have a few people
that can be called that.

Alright, I'm next.

Take that!

Hey. Tangé's alive,
and he's back.

What?

He's putting on a 5-mon
street show in Ueno.

{\an8}"Mon:" The smallest monetary
unit, akin to a penny.

It's a lousy 5-mon per challenger,
but it adds up to a day's wages.

You must be tired.

Old man.

Old man. Yeah.

Old man. Yeah. Chiharu was
here, wasn't she?

Old man. Yeah. Chiharu was
here, wasn't she? Yes. Um...

I know it well... Chiharu's scent.

What did she want?

What did she want? She said that Master
Shiho-an will be preparing...

...for the year-end tea
party at Lord Kira's.

As to the day and time,
they're uncertain.

But that will probably be the best time for
the Ako samurai to launch an attack.

I see.

Therefore, if a person associated with Asano
attempts to confirm the schedule...

If such a person approaches Chiharu-sama
to learn what she knows...

...then indeed we could infer that they
will indeed attack on that day.

Understood. So I must get rid of the bastards
before that. Is that what you're saying?

Old man. They will come
to get me first.

Yeah?

I didn't think my 5-mon plan would
yield results this quickly.

Today, I saw the bastard Mita
Shirogoro in the crowd.

He will most likely gather the rest of them,
and come after me in the next few days.

Will they come, or
will they not?

They'll come.

If the woman reveals to us the tea party
schedule, our troubles are over.

But if by some chance she suspects
our plan, we'll have to kill her.

But that won't be easy...

Otaka, it's a gruesome task.

But you're the only one who knows
anything about the world of tea.

Hmm... we all have
to make sacrifices.

Alright. Let's decide who'll
be going with you.

If anyone gets black, he'll
be going with Otaka.

Uh... wait.

How about this.
This task...

Can you put me, and me alone
in charge of this task?

No matter what, I cannotlet
anyone else kill Chiharu.

If she must killed,
then I will do it.

To kill Chiharu would be tantamount
to killing my own attachments.

As I valorously departed
to the land of death...

...I would be severing my attachments
to this world.

Is your teacher home?

No, Master Sohen sent for
her, and she just left.

When is she coming home?

When is she coming home? I don't know. But
she was going to visit Shichimen Temple first.

You see? That's Tangé
for sure, isn't it?

But he's only
got one arm.

I dunno, that's
the weird part.

I was waiting for you.

I was waiting for you.
T... Tangé!

T... Tangé!

I was going to cut you to ribbons...
T... Tangé!

...but I won't sully my sword on scum that
are no better than dogs and beasts.

This is how you beasts
will be treated!

Tangé!

That'll teach you.

That'll teach you.
Ey ho, ey ho, ey ho...

Ey ho, ey ho, ey ho...

Stop.

Oh! Dear!

Not good. I'm worried about those
two guys; I can't relax.

Yeah. Haven't heard a peep from Totani
either; he's worried about them too.

What happened?

What happened?

What happened? I plugged Tangé, but
I don't know if the wound was mortal.

Niki's neck was smashed;
he died instantly.

Shirogoro's still breathing, but
it's just a matter of time...

"I don't know. But she said she was going
to pay a visit to Shichimen Temple first."

It was already dusk
when she left...

I can't imagine she'd be visiting
the grave at night.

That can only mean...

Maybe Tangé Tenzen
is at the temple.

Alright, let us do what is chivalrous,
and lend a helping hand.

Two of the men sent by the Uesugi
to aid us have been killed.

We must avenge our comrades. We
must kill Tangé no matter what!

Agreed!

Agreed! Agreed, without reservation!

Agreed! Agreed, without reservation! We
are grateful for your deep kindness.

If you say that you've been sent by Chiharu
of Nagao, they will accommodate you.

Whatever is lacking in the writing, old
man, you'll have to convey in words.

I understand. I'll
take care of it.

Perhaps, if the doctor will be delayed,
you could also get some medicine.

You are so kind.

Please endure just
a little longer.

I have asked Doctor
Kyorindo to come.

Dear...

Dear...

Hmm?

Thank you so much.
Thank you so much.

For what?

I too have kept this with
me at all times.

You have forgiven me?

Like I told you repeatedly,
you were not at fault.

Did you think that I was just saying
words I did not mean?

I'm so sorry. Even if
I were to die now...

...I will have no
more regrets.

Who is it?

Who is it?

It's been a while.

You've come.

Tangé, I'll give you
your last rites.

We'd like to challenge you to a fair fight,
but look at the pathetic shape you're in.

So you would challenge
me to a fair fight?

Sure. If you think you can fight
us with one arm and one leg.

Fine.

There's not enough room
here. Let us go outside.

Dear!

Tangé-dono! I, Nakayama Yasubei,
will now repay the debt I owe you.

Nakayama-sama.
Nakayama-sama!

Nakayama-sama.

The year-end tea party is tomorrow,
the 14th, at night.

I am much obliged.

Dear.

Oh from Takasago, raise the mast of
the light ship... raise the mast...

As the tide swells, let us set
sail along with the moon.

Beyond the waves looms
the Isle of Awaji...

...and far beyond the open
seas of Naruo...

...swiftly we sail and
arrive at Sumino'é.

The End

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