「南総里見八犬伝 第一話 「八つの玉」/Eight crystal balls」
八つの玉/Eight crystal balls
I am going to tell you a story from the Muromachi period.
At that time, Satomi Yoshizane was the leader of Awa province.
Today, that area is part of Chiba Prefecture.
Yoshizane had one daughter and one son.
His 16-year-old daughter, Fuse-hime, was beautiful like a flower.
“My dear, Fuse-hime.
I’m so glad you have grown into a beautiful woman.
You were weak when you were small.
One day, a mysterious old man saw you and said,
‘This child was born under an unfortunate star.’
So he gave you a special charm to protect you.
That’s your crystal ball necklace.
Then you suddenly became healthy.
8 of the balls on your necklace have Chinese characters on them.
They are ‘Jin, Gi, Rei, Chi, Chu, Shin, Kou, and Tei.
The characters show 8 important characteristics of a person.”
The father was thinking this was the last time to talk to his daughter.
He was about to go to battle and he thought he would die.
“Is that Yatsufusa?”
Yatsufusa was Fuse-hime’s pet dog.
Yoshizane was surprised.
The dog had something in his mouth.
“What is that?”
It was that head of Yoshizane’s enemy.
Yatsufusa had killed the enemy leader and brought it back to Yoshizane.
Then he remembered something.
“Yesterday, I told Yatsufusa if you are a good dog, kill my enemy for me.
If you succeed, I will give you Fuse-hime.
He really did it.”
The mother of Fuse-hime cried and cried.
Finally, Fusehime said,
“You must keep your promise, father.
I will go with Yatsufusa.”
Yatsufusa put Fuse-hime on his back and disappeared.
One year later, Yoshizane was in the mountains looking for Fusehime.
Then, he heard 2 shots.
Yoshizane ran toward the sound and found a young samurai.
“Is that you, Daisuke?”
Daisuke had been Fuse-hime’s fiance.
”I shot the dog but the bullet hit Fuse-hime, too.
I must kill myself.”
She is still breathing.”
Fuse-hime opened her eyes.
“Father, even if I died, my spirit will always protect Satomi family.”
With that, Fuse-hime took her last breath.
Then, her neckless broke apart and the 8 crystal balls flew away in 8 directions.