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  #1  
Old 06-04-2009, 04:30 PM
Ashikaga Ashikaga is offline
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Default Miyoshi Tomonori

Gather round my friends, for I have a story to tell. The story of a great man, born in this very village. A man called Ishimaru Kazuki…

Kazuki was born in 1553 here the small village of Nakamura, in Aki province on the Japanese island of Shikoku. The son of a farmer, he lived a simple life, working on the fields. But whenever he could, he dreamt of being a samurai. When he was nine, he walked to the nearest town, Itano, to the north. For 3 days he walked, sleeping by the roadside, lying under bushes undergrowth to shelter from the rain and to stop being seen by any ronin may have been travelling the same road. On the evening of the third day, in late September, as the rain fell in torrents from the dark sky, he reached the city gate. Following close behind a group of merchants, he entered the city. Never had he seen such a huge place. In his tiny farming villages, everyone lived in small one floor buildings. But here in the town, the buildings had up to 4 floors to them, and packed every bit of space. Even from the gate he could see the huge tower of the daimyo’s tower-mansion. That was his target. Walking along the streets in a daze, in a state of euphoria, he slowly made his way to the castle gate. The main road of the town travelled in a perfectly straight line from the town gate to the castle. On either side of the causeway were tall but bent Cherry Blossom trees, although this late in the year the pink blossom and green leaves had fallen from them. As he arrived, the evening guard withdrew to inside the walls, closing the heavy gate behind them.

Standing there in the rain, for a moment he thought that he had failed. Kazuki almost collapsed into a fit of tears. But no, he was stronger than that. Looking around, he noticed that the cherry blossom continued right up to the fall, with the closest being bent away from the wall after years of growing. Kazuki, realising the opportunity, climbed the tree. From the top of the tree, he could just reach the ledge of the wall. He climbed up onto a curved, tiled roof that ran all around the castle. He had heard stories of strange men, trained in the martial arts and stealth, assassins and spies. The ninja. His young mind, in its infinite imagination, took him into a top secret mission, Kazuki the greatest ninja to have ever lived. He was Jiraiya, the famous character of folklore. He was Kozuki Sasuke and he was the 13 year old Kumakawa, the “Teenage Ninja”.

Scampering along the roof, Kazuki leapt from there onto a tall thin rock. See, a child’s imagination can make them think they can do anything they want. In this case, Kazuki though he had amazing balance. He didn’t. He crashed from the rock into the perfectly raked gravel below of the expert Zen garden. He saw the shadows of people running from around the corner. He bolted off into the darkness, hiding in a small alcove. He could hear men talking from the garden,
“Aie! The daimyo will not be happy about this. He’ll want answers. Find whoever, or whatever did this.” Said one of the voices, a high-pitched, whiney voice. Kazuki reasoned that the man must be an official of the daimyo, not a warrior. Crouched down, our young protagonist crept along dark alleys, across dimly lit walkways and under the eaves of the buildings’ roofs. As he neared the main entrance of the castle, he heard the whiney voice again.
“Aie! What are you doing running about here? Just by looking at you, I know you must be one of the kitchen boys. Well then, it’s good that I found you. Here take this note to the cook. Well then, what are you waiting for? You know the way. Don’t you? Imbecile. Go in the side door, on the east side of the building. From there, go past the library, down the stairs and into the kitchen. Go on, go!” The man turned and left. The pompous fool. He looked ridiculous. He wore a kimono far too small for him, and obviously was wearing rouge. His sandals were too big and his balding hair was covered by a blatant wig. Kazuki tried not to giggle to himself as the man waltzed off, making a clip-clap noise with every step, his tiny kimono riding higher and higher.

Kazuki loped off into the night. He followed the man’s instructions as far as the library. Surely, what he was looking for was in here. The room was large, but dimly lit, and above all, empty. Kazuki had learnt a small amount of literacy form the Buddhist monks that lived near the village, just over the hills. He skimmed across the countless shelves. Then he found it. The scroll labelled:
このコードでは武士の
“The Code of the Samurai”. Tucking the scroll into his kimono, he set off home, climbing the low walls of the mansion, leaping into a dark street. He spent the night sleeping in the doorway of a bakery. At first light, he embarked on the long journey home.

Last edited by Ashikaga; 06-15-2009 at 01:26 PM. Reason: Edit
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  #2  
Old 06-05-2009, 05:45 PM
Ashikaga Ashikaga is offline
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Default Re: Miyoshi Tomonori

He left the city the same way he had entered. He felt big and strong. He marched past the guards at the gate proudly, even though the rest of the world was clueless to his actions. This would be a day he would always remember. He knew it was wrong to steal, but he figured it had to be done. About 2 miles outside of the city, a cart driven by an old farmer trundled past. The wagon was filled with hay, and the man on front seemed oblivious to the world. He gently clicked at the two large, white oxen pulling it along. He lightly tapped each ones back with a long, thin bamboo stick. Kazuki doubted the oxen even felt it. As the cart carried along its way, Kazuki reasoned with himself. He had been up most of the night, and had been travelling for a long time. His legs were tired and no harm would be done by hitching a ride with the old man. Kazuki jogged after the slow-moving cart and leapt into a pile of loose hay near the back. The whole cart bounced as Kazuki hit the deck heavily. The old man turned his head, looking to see what had happened. Seeing nothing, as Kazuki was safely buried in the hay, he turned his head back to the road in front of him, muttering under his breath about the state of the roads and the good old days. As he laid there, Kazuki’s mind began to drift, gazing at the clear autumn sky. His eyes began to feel heavy, and he drifted into sleep.

Kazuki slept all day and all night until the next morning. Sitting up in the hay, the man still staring ahead, he realised he had to get off. Sliding off the back of the cart, Kazuki tripped and fell into the dirt. Dusting himself off, he realised he didn’t have the scroll. Patting over himself, he was sure he’d lost it. Looking at the cart, by now about 200 yards away, he saw the tip of the scroll poking out of the hay. Sprinting after the wagon, he grabbed the scroll. This jolted it, and the old man span his upper body round, glaring at the young boy behind him. Seeing the scroll, the old man figured Kazuki must have stolen it from him. Stopping the oxen, he jumped down off the cart and walked towards Kazuki. A very short man, with a long, silver beard and yellow clothes. He had bright, bushy eyebrows and almost no hair on his head. Pointing his bamboo stick at Kazuki, he barked out something incomprehensible. Kazuki looked at him, confused and stunned by the confrontation. Looking behind him, he saw the empty bottles of sake. As his eyes moved back to rest on the man, the man whipped out with his stick, hitting Kazuki squarely on the head. In quite a bit of pain, Kazuki ran, clutching the scroll and his swollen head. The old man pursued him, cracking out with the bamboo. Being very drunk however, he swayed all across the road, before finally crashing face first in the dirt. Kazuki stopped and ran to check if he was okay. As the dust settled, he heard a slight wheezing-cum-purring noise. The old man was fast asleep. Silently, Kazuki walked away, heading down the last stretch of road to his village.

For the next few years, life carried on as normal for Kazuki. He continued to help his parents on the farm, pray at the local Shinto shrine and live healthily. He studied the Code of the Samurai, learning it off by heart, and applying it to his everyday life. He had made himself a shinai, hacking thin bamboo from a nearby bamboo forest, and with it practiced kihon-kenjutsu. Over the years, he became better and better with the sword. He often practiced against a Zen priest, trained in swordsmanship, from the Buddhist temple near to Itano. Working on the farms and excerising daily helped him grow into a strong adolescent. Slim, but muscular, his frame was perfect for sword-fighting.

One day, while working in the fields, he noticed a new family moving into the village, in the old manor house, now out-dated and small compared to the new types found in the cities, but still the largest building in the village.
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Last edited by Ashikaga; 06-15-2009 at 01:26 PM.
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