Gusokuya edition
Yosha Bunko

Tokyo nichinichi shinbun
No. 824
   1874-10-14 (1874-11+)
Beautiful robber-rapist

Story translation (partial)

He had been seized and bound in Tochigi prefecture, Yashu province in times past, for armed robbery. His name was Kinnosuke, this year he was only 18, and he was born in the same locality. By day he was gentle, obdient, and honest, and moreover he was a beautiful lad who could have been taken for a girl. But at night, with the madness of a wild horse in his heart, he broke into monied homes and took their valuables. One night he snuck into a lodging where a number of song princesses, who had been traveling from station to station making money, had put up for the night. He grabbed an older geisha and was about to rape her but she got away. The house women, startled awake, protected the girls, and he was forced to leave empty handed. Kinnosuke was later arrested and jailed. Other inmates, following older jailhouse customs, took a board to his butt, but jailers, under orders to discourage such practices, stopped them.

Sumida, Westbank
Onkokudo Ryugin

[Translated by William Wetherall]


The story is full of Sino-Japanese words that have been glossed in Japanese, both to clarify their meanings and to specify how the story was meant to be recited.

song princesses reflects 芸妓, which is "geigi" in Sino-Japanese but is here glossed with furigana reading "utahime" in Japanese.

geisha also reflects 芸妓, here glossed "geisha" -- a more general word for entertainer.

women and girls are written 婦人 and 處子 (処女), which would be read "fujin" and "shojo" except that, here, they are marked to be pronounced "onna" and "musume". The girls are qualified as 新造, read "shinzō" in Sino-Japanese and meaning a "newly constructed" entertainer, referring to a girl in her mid-teens who has just passed into the professional ranks after years of training. Here the term is glossed "toshiwaka" or "young in years" -- as distinguished from the older 年増 (toshima) or "toshikasa" (年嵩) woman Kinnosuke attempted to rape (強姦 gōkan).