Nishigaki Bunko

Tokyo nichinichi shinbun
No. 1020
   1875-05-23 (No seal)
(Eiri shinbun No. 18, 1875-05-22)
Man kills family, self

Story in brief

Inami Tadayoshi, a shizoku of former Tsurumai domain in Chiba prefecture, when the domains were returned, moved to Hanyū in Bushū and started new life as a seller of household goods. He was 46, his wife Osaku was 38, and the couple had six children -- Oiso, Owasa, Otou, Osuhe, Ioji, and Otsuru. Osaku browbeat her good husband, and there was no end to their quarrels, and on the night of the 12th day of the 5th month of the Wood-Pig [1875], Inami suddenly took his sword and killed first wife Osaku, then the three children Osuhe, Ioji, and the sucking Otsuru. He then passed 120 yen to the three remaining daughters, explained why he had killed his wife and the three younter children, bid them to divide what was left of the funeral money three ways and go on with their lives -- and finally attempted to cut off his own head, to the dismay of neighbors, who were unable to stop him. (WW)

Story translation


Written by Tentendō Shujin

[Translated by William Wetherall]


shizoku (士族) were former retainers who, when their domains were nationalized, lost their positions and entitlements, in return for which they made shizoku -- a new social status for such former samurai -- and given and a severance stipend to help them start a new life.

Tsurumai domain (鶴舞藩), part of Kadzusa province (上総国), is now part of Ichihara city in Chiba prefecture.

Hanyūmachi (羽生町), then part of Bushū (武州), aka as Musashi province(武蔵国), is now Hanyū city in Saitama prefecture.

Wood-Pig reflects 乙亥 (itsugai, ki no toi), a sexagenary year corresponding, here, to 1875. The "wood" (乙 itsu, ki) is actually "yang wood" which follows "yin wood" (甲 kō, ki), the first two of the 10 heavenly stems (干 kan), while "pig" (亥 gai, toi) is the last of the 12 earthly branches (支) in the "stem-branch" (干支 kanshi) sexagenary system of naming years.