|About the Book|
Finally available, a high quality book of the original classic edition of Tales of Old Japan. This is a new and freshly published edition of this culturally important work by Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford, which is now, at last, again available toMoreFinally available, a high quality book of the original classic edition of Tales of Old Japan. This is a new and freshly published edition of this culturally important work by Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford, which is now, at last, again available to you.Enjoy this classic work today. These selected paragraphs distill the contents and give you a quick look inside Tales of Old Japan:Having said so much by way of preface, I beg my readers to fancy themselves wafted away to the shores of the Bay of Yedo-a fair, smiling landscape: gentle slopes, crested by a dark fringe of pines and firs, lead down to the sea- the quaint eaves of many a temple and holy shrine peep out here and there from the groves- the bay itself is studded with picturesque fisher-craft, the torches of which shine by night like glow-worms among the outlying forts- far away to the west loom the goblin-haunted heights of Oyama, and beyond the twin hills of the Hakone Pass-Fuji-Yama, the Peerless Mountain, solitary and grand, stands in the centre of the plain, from which it sprang vomiting flames twenty-one centuries ago.1 For a hundred and sixty years the huge mountain has been at peace, but the frequent earthquakes still tell of hidden fires, and none can say when the red-hot stones and ashes may once more fall like rain over five provinces....So Oishi Kuranosuke and his forty-six companions began to lay their plans of vengeance against Kotsuke no Suke- but the latter was so well guarded by a body of men lent to him by a daimio called Uyesugi Sama, whose daughter he had married, that they saw that the only way of attaining their end would be to throw their enemy off his guard....Further it was arranged that a drum, beaten at the order of Kuranosuke, should be the signal for the simultaneous attack- and that if any one slew Kotsuke no Suke and cut off his head he should blow a shrill whistle, as a signal to his comrades, who would hurry to the spot, and, having identified the head, carry it off to the temple called Sengakuji, and lay it as an offering before the tomb of their dead lord....The two men felt convinced that this was no other than Kotsuke no Suke, and they asked him his name, but he gave no answer, so they gave the signal whistle, and all their comrades collected together at the call- then Oishi Kuranosuke, bringing a lantern, scanned the old mans features, and it was indeed Kotsuke no Suke- and if further proof were wanting, he still bore a scar on his forehead where their master, Asano Takumi no Kami, had wounded him during the affray in the castle....At about seven in the morning they came opposite to the palace of Matsudaira Mutsu no Kami, the Prince of Sendai, and the Prince, hearing of it, sent for one of his councillors and said: The retainers of Takumi no Kami have slain their lords enemy, and are passing this way- I cannot sufficiently admire their devotion, so, as they must be tired and hungry after their nights work, do you go and invite them to come in here, and set some gruel and a cup of wine before them.