「山椒大夫 第3話 自由を求めて/The escape」
Anjyu became a different person after she and her brother had a terrible dream.
In the dream, the two were burnt for trying to escape from Snsho-dayu’s place.
But the buddhist statue protected them.
Anjyu didn’t talk much after the dream.
Her eyes looked far away as if she were thinking about the far future.
Zushio was very worried but Anjyu always said,
Seasons came and went.
The next spring, Zushio was really surprised when Anjyu suddenly asked Sansho-dayu’s assistant.
“May I please go and work in the mountains with my brother?
But collecting firewood is a man’s job.
I will let you do that with your brother.
But you must have short hair like a boy.”
“Of course, sir.
Please cut off my hair.”
With one swing of a knife, Anjyu’s long beautiful hair was chopped off.
The next day, Anjyu and Zushio went to the mountains together.
Anjyu climbed higher and higher up.
Zushio wondered why.
“Sister, we passed our working place.”
“You don’t have to worry, Zushio.”
Just follow me.”
At the top of the mountain, Anjyu said,
“Listen carefully, Zushio.
I have been planning this for a long time.
That’s why I was so quiet.”
Then, she pointed to the south.
“Do you see that road down there?
I heard it goes to a big city.
It’s time for you to go.
Meet someone to help you and find our father and mother.”
“But what about you?”
“I will stay.
Take this statue with you.
It will protect you.”
Anjyu handed the statue to her brother.
Zushio didn’t want to leave her.
But he understood that this was Anjyu’s wish.
She took a leaf from a tree and filled it with spring water.
“This is to celebrate your future.”
They both drank from it.
Zushio promised to meet her again and started to run as fast as he could.
Anjyu watched her brother until she could not see him any more.
A few hours later, Anjyu was nowhere to be seen.
Sansho-dayu was really angry.
He ordered his men to search everywhere.
Finally, by a quiet pond, they found a pair of sandals.
Those were Anjyu’s.