Gusokuya edition
Yosha Bunko
Gusokuya edition
Ono Collection
Tsujibun edition
Yosha Bunko

Tokyo nichinichi shinbun
No. 926a
   1875-2-6 (no seal)
Bride surprises thieves

Story translation

Into the place of certain tatami matter of Akuma village in Chichibu district, one night, armed robbers pushed in and tied up everyone in the house, and as they were pressing him to produce his treasure [money], the daughter-in-law of the family, who was sleeping on the second floor, shuddering and trembling, crawled out onto the eaves to look, and she stumbled over the rocks that had been put there to hold down the roof of the warehouse. Following the thud of her body falling to the ground in a heap the rocks came tumbling down with a rumble, and the armed robbers thought someone was on the roof and was throwing stones. They abandoned the swords they had trust into the tatami, and their furoshiki bundles, and escaped somewhere. The daughter-in-law, though she had lost consciousness, revived, and everyone in the house too was uninjured and escaped calamity.

By Tentendo Shujin

[Translated by William Wetherall]


Akuma village (阿熊村 Akumamura) was since integrated into what is now Chichibu city in Saitama prefecture.

daughter-in-law reflects 嫁 (yome) -- someone's bride, but through the eyes of a parent or the head of a household, a woman who has married into the family as the wife of a son.

furoshiki bundles (風呂舗包 furoshikidzutsumi, furoshikizutsumi) are bundles of objects wrapped in square or rectangular cloths of various sizes. Familiar on streets until recently, furoshiki have been all but replaced by briefcases, backpacks, and assorted shopping bags. They are quickly disappearing even at engagement and wedding ceremonies, where they still might be used to wrap and present gifts.

Furoshiki come in all sizes, some large enough to carry or store sleeping futon. Robbers used medium sized furoshiki, made of a fairly course cloth, to carry away loot.

escaped calamity reflects 災厄を免れたり -- glossed "saiyaku o nogaretari" but also readable as "saiyaku o manugaretari" (were spared calamity). Either phrase expresses the notion that life is at the mercy of powers which determine its fortunes. Today, many popular magazines provide information about risks of calamity (厄 yaku) associated with dates of birth. Some people, most from habit, a few out of religious conviction, still resort to various rituals of exorcism (厄払い yakubarai) to rid themselves of such risk.