stories

When The Shogun Awoke - Chapter 1 - page 2

The hands were indeed those of an old man. They had stigmata and swollen veins. They looked like the hands of a dead man. They looked like the hands of an old man at least sixty years old.

"I'm sick and tired of this small Japan."

Again the woman started to sing. It's "Bandit Song", he thought. Searc hing though his memory he realized that the previous song was "Beggar's Journey" .But he did not know why he recognized those songs.
Once again he fixed his gaze on the army general's uniform hanging on the wall. He felt as if he could recall something. But all he could tell was that he had been asleep for a long time. With this increased knowledge of himself, he again took a look at the back of his hands.
"Ah, Mr. Shogun. You woke up early today," said a husky female voice behind his back, "I brought you a newspaper.
Looking back, he saw the door was open without his noticing. A middle-aged woman with glasses in a nurse's uniform was standing at the door. She had dark skin and high cheekbones. She tossed the newspaper on the tatami mat floor and beamed at Kinjiro.
"But Mr. Shogun, read your newspaper after you wash your face," she said in a flirtatious voice, nodding.
Sensing that he was being teased, Kinjiro nodded back to her. "Thank you very much for your help, Miss."
The woman left the room. Looking at the door now shut, he shook his head .
And he repeated in a low voice, "Thank you very much for your help, Miss."
He did not understand why an expression so appropriate for a retired old man had slipped out of his mouth. All he could make out was that the woman did not find such an expression unnatural, and that his name was Mr. Shogun.
"Mr. Shogun?" he mumbled to himself mopingly. "Me? A shogun? It can't be." Again he looked around. "Hm, I'd be dammed if a shogun lived in a dump like this." He picked up the newspaper.
It was dated March 20th, Taisho 11.
"So it's March, then. That explains why it's so cold," he mumbled to himself and stared fixedly at the black, sooty ceiling. "The 11th year of the Taisho Era?" He looked at the paper again. "Tttaisho? Taisho 11? What the hell is Taisho?"
He did not know which was the last year of the Meiji Era. But he could see immediately there had been a change in eras.