Much Remains Unknown

Part 8, The Samurai & The Geisha

Although Sunday was a highlight of Taka and my settling in Kansai, there have been many unrelated activities and discoveries as we move forward to learn about our new home. One of the pleasant discoveries I made while shopping was the fresh seafood markets down by the docks, near Masumi’s Fan Shop. The market offered many different fish, octopus or tako, squid and much more, and since my husband loves fresh seafood I delighted in thoughts of preparing fresh meals each evening, even sushi.

I had seen the seafood market when we first arrived, but the day’s catch had already been sold. When I finally went shopping I smiled as I examined the great selection.

The market was a delight but we’ve made many other discoveries, some I am fearful to discuss as I believe we stumbled upon places we should not have been. As I mentioned when we first began exploring this region, we purposely avoided the great Matsumo Castle. It was our intention to learn more about the Empress and the Shogun, of samurai clans and other factions, before we attempted to advance ourselves in this society. Much of that changed when my onesan invited me to perform and our entrance opened even wider when Empress Amiryu acknowledged me during the show.

However, there was an event preceding the geisha show on Sunday. It happened suddenly. Taka & I received a message that the resident samurai clan was preparing for an open tournament with others in the area, including a clan of ninja. For a moment we were somewhat surprised to hear that ninja would openly compete, but we decided that this would be a wonderful opportunity to observe the clans. So, swiftly we walked the distance to the dojo outside the great castle.

We’d visited the Castle’s tournament area before but had not seen an event.
We found a spot at the edge of where most of the spectators were, and we watched the competition.
Sanshiro Nagimoto, the Keibatsu Council, opened the tournament and introduced the clans who would be competing.
There were many matches as the day moved along, and Takamatsu studied the styles used by each warrior.
There were also many dangerous looking warriors, also there to observe.
There was much blood spilled and there were severe casualties. At the end of the day’s combat, a ninja, Rayoma Oanomochi was the winner of the tournament.
And yet, despite the brutal combat, there were geisha serving tea to the onlookers. Among the dignitaries, the Empress herself came to watch for a short time. And everywhere I looked I saw dangerous looking men and women, most of whom did not compete, and I wondered if I’d see these people again.

This was an event like no other we’d experienced. Throughout the event my husband did not speak but I could tell he was intently focused on each match, studying and analyzing. Of course, as soon as the event ended we left and walked to the great market for the New Years Show, but this group of people had opened my eyes to the things that might lay ahead.

There was one more extraordinary event that day. In the evening, after the Show, the Empress summoned Taka and myself to meet with her. This was a great honor for us and although I had met her in the past I wondered what she wanted to talk to us about. Our conversation was private of course, but it left both Taka and myself feeling that fate was ruling our lives.

How did we find our way to this region and what did our futures hold for us? In a single day we’d passed well beyone any of our previous goals, and we learned that much remains unknown.

by Yordie, wife of Takamatsu Soke
(click on “A Story” tab for full story)

About Yordie

I'm a blogger and photographer on WordPress. I'm also author of the sci-fi novel The Temporal Expeditions, and am working on book 2 of a planned trilogy.
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