Yosha Bunko
Nishigaki Bunko

Tokyo nichinichi shinbun
No. 9001 (Unnumbered)

Incident 1874?-09-13 (No seal)
Jilted shizoku runs amok

Story in brief

A 21-year-old shizoku named Yoshioka Ryotaro came to Hyogo prefecture from Tottori -- which, the story remarks, was the birthplace of the infamous Shirai Gonpachi -- and adds that Yoshioka was no inferior to Gonpachi when it came to women.

Coming to Kobe "last year", Yoshioka fell in love with a 28-year-old woman named Ofusa [Ofuki], the daughter of the owner of the restaurant Ozumagiku. After he had lavished all his money on her, she turned to another man, so he set out to kill her, prefering death to shame.

Yoshioka takes a sword from a shop without paying for it, and is chased to the restaurant, where he goes on a rampage, killing Ofusa and apparently her parents, and injuring others. He then ascends to the second floor, goes out on the roof, and tries to flee.

Several people pursue him, and leaving a trail of flood he climbs a fire watchtower. He is about disembowel himself when a friend from his home province comes and talks him out of it.

Yoshioka is executed on "the 13th day of the 9th month of last year" according to the story on the print. (WW)


"Shizoku" was a status created for former samurai who, when the domain they had been serving as a retainer became a prefecture, lost their entitlements and had to survive on their own. When disencranchised, thus losing what for many had been a birthright source of livelihood, such men recieved a small stipend to help set up a business or otherwise survive.

"last year"

There is no issue number on the banner and no source for the story, which is unsigned, has been not been found in Tonichi. But the Cherubs are Stage 2, which suggests that the print was published no earlier than October 1874. And Yoshioka is said to have been executed on "the 13th day of the 9th month of last year".

A few early Stage 2 prints have lag times of more than one year, so it is very possible that the print was published between October and December 1874 in reference to an incident that took place during the summer of 1873 -- justice would have been swift in such a case. But because lag times appear to sharply shrink from Stage 2, I am provisionally assuming that the print was published early in 1875 in reference to a 1874 incident.

If the manner in which the date of the story is declared at the end can be taken as a signature of the writer, then perhaps this story was written by Tentendō (Takabatake Ransen). For comparisons, see TNS-1036a Man nets thief and TNS-1054 Confessions of evil.

"Ofusa [Ofuki]"

The first mention of the woman's name is clearly "Ofusa" -- though the second mention is clearly "Ofuki", and the third and forth mentions also appear to be "Ofuki".

Takahashi 1986 transcribes only the first half of the story but gives "Ofusa" for both mentions in that half.

The descriptive blurbs in both Tsuchiya 1995 and Tsuchiya 2000 say "Ofusa". But the transcription of the text on Tsuchiya 2000 (and the same transcription in CCMA 2008) render all four mentions as "Ofuki". (WW)

Print information

Size oban
Series: Tokyo nichinichi shinbun
Issue: No issue number (TNS-9001)
Approval seal: No seal (Stage 2 cherubs)
Drawer: Keisai Yoshiiku
Writer: Unsigned
Carver: Watanabe Horiei
Publisher: Gusokuya (Ningyocho)
Image: Yosha Bunko

Principal sources

Yosha Bunko
Takahashi 1986
Tsuchiya 1995
Tsuchiya 2000
CCMA 2008