Yosha Bunko
Yosha Bunko

Tokyo nichinichi shinbun
No. 934
   1875-2-15 (no seal)
Boatman loses cool

Story translation (partial)

From intentions come feelings, feelings coalesced give rise to worldly desires, and from worldly desires come complaints. We name these [complaints] and call them illusions, and in illusions are born carnal passions. There are four carnal passions. . . .

There was a man called Hayakawa Itaro, who was the captain of a Gyotoku boat. He was acquainted with the women [prostitutes] at Ryugasakiya in New Yoshiwara . . . . One day during the first third of the second month of this year, as usual he came to have fun, but something happened, and he kicked [one of the girls] and inflicted wounds with a razor, then [cut] his own body and killed himself. . . .

Foot of Matsuchiyama

By Onkokudo Ryugin

[Translated by William Wetherall]


carnal passions (色情 shikijiyau, shikijō) or erotic feelings.

Gyotoku (行徳 Gyōtoku) was a town on the east bank of Edogawa in Higashi Katsushika county, now part of Ichikawa city in Chiba prefecture. It was formerly the site of the Gyotokku salt bed (行徳塩田 Gyōtoku enden), famous for its production of salt.

women [prostitutes] reflects 娼妓, usually read "shōgi" in Sino-Japanese, but glossed ぢよろう (jiyorou, jorō), usually written 女郎. The former term refers to a pleasure girl (遊女 yūjo, asobime), especially an officially recognized (licensed) prostitute (公娼 kōshō), who was also an entertainer. The latter term also means pleasure girl but could refer to any young woman.

Foot of Matsuchiyama (待乳山麓 Matsuchiyama fumoto). Matsuchiyama was a small hill west of the Sumida river within the territory of Honryuin (本竜院), in Asakusa, in present-day Taito ward in Tokyo. Honryuin is a branch of Asakusadera (浅草寺), the main temple in the area, which is formally called Sensoji (浅草寺). Shotengu (聖天宮), its principal hall, stands on top of the hill. The temple has close associations with the "flower and willow" (entertainer and courtesan) world. (Adapted from Kojien among other sources.)