Another era

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic

The small village of Kotohira is experiencing many murders, and no one knows who the killer is. Junko and her best friend, Urumi, are increasingly afraid to walk around town.

April 14, 1836, Edo period, Shikoku region, Kagawa prefecture, Kotohira city, Japan. This is the place where Junko Takeda lives. She was born on 20 February 1815 in Hokuto, Yamanashi Prefecture, Kai Province. The young woman is 1.61m tall, 54kg, has a beautiful face that attracts most men, a very pale complexion, hazel coloured eyes with small touches of green, she had a rather luscious body for her origins. Junko was for some, just an object of desire. The young woman lives alone, her parents died last year...
 
The 21 year old woman goes to the Kabuki theatre*, she enjoys this kind of event very much. She used to go with her friend, Urumi Ichiban born on April 17, 1816 in Kotohira. Urumi met Junko when Junko arrived in the region. The two girls sat down to watch a performance of the Jiraiya Goketsu Monogatari (The Legend of the Gallant Jiraiya). The play lasted for a while, both girlfriends were very satisfied, they knew the story of Jiraiya by heart! The two young women came out of the kabuki, they were talking to each other. 
 
Five men were talking not far from the girls, one of the men whispered to the others, "It's been weeks since anyone has seen Nobusuke... That's strange, folks, he had plans here too... ". One of the other men replied, "It's true that he wanted to open a small restaurant with his savings... "It's too weird, besides the samurai of the village, they found the body of Sasuke Nekotobi in a field, apparently there is no trace of beating... But it's strange, this man was young... ". Junko could hear the men's conversation. She starts talking to Urumi about it, who thinks that there might be a murderer roaming the area... "Junko-chan*, it's weird, there's also that man, Akira Watanabe, last month who was found in the forest, he was a man who was close to the police and had a lot of money... "Urumi-chan, the thief doesn't warn when he comes to steal, death applies the same principle," Junko replied. Urumi left her friend because she had to join her mother, Haru Ichiban. 
 
Two days later another man died, Suigetsu Yamashima, this time it was clearly murder, the man was 1.92 meters tall, 120 kg of muscle, a force of nature, the whole village was shocked. He was one of the town's blacksmiths, a well-known man, everyone wondered how a man of that size could be murdered... Junko arrived at the heart of the village, as her house, isolated, is located between the end of the town and the beginning of the forest. She saw everyone talking. Urumi saw her friend in the distance, she went to join her. They greet each other and Urumi says, "Junko, there's been another death... I think the murderer is still lurking around our village, the samurai still can't find the person who could do this... ". Junko thought and said, "Urumi-chan, I'm afraid that this murderer will come after us at some point. I feel like he's eliminating the strong and powerful from what people are saying... It's very worrying, this whole situation... ". 
 
The two young women go to a small restaurant that serves small traditional dishes. They order yakitori for 100 mon. A man looks in the direction of the beautiful Junko, he moves towards her and her friend. The man stands in front of the two young women, greets them, and says "I am Eikichi Mori, 27 years old, free as a bird and Japan's future top police chief, what is your name? ". Urumi and Junko introduced themselves to the police chief... The latter was very fond of very pretty women, but that did not prevent him from being very good at his job... Mori-dono*, returned to his table, this man had to report to the Daïmyô* of the province. The day passed, the two friends went home... 
 

The next day, on April 17th, two other bodies are found on the public place, according to the investigators it would be Sankuro Yoshikawa, the butcher of the village and Sakura Iwatsuki, a prostitute of the village, native of Honshû*, the two had no chance to get out of it... There was blood everywhere in the city, it seemed to come from the forest... Junko went out of her house, to join the city centre and her friend. The girl notices the crowd and thinks that there must be a new murder, without suspecting that it is a double homicide... She finally sees Urumi and her mother, and goes to meet them. "Mrs. Ichiban, Urumi-chan, I understand from the sight of all this crowd that there has been another murder... ". "Junko, there was not one, but two murders... It's horrible and for once in the lot there's a woman... "said Mrs. Ichiban. Junko thought and said, "A woman... But it was all men in the first place... We can all be attacked now... ". 

Eikichi-dono continued his investigation, questioning everyone he could... He asked himself many questions... He was a very intelligent man, he made his assistant, Akihito Matsuhide, take a lot of notes... Junko also asked Urumi questions and vice versa... The two young women didn't really want to walk around Kotohira after dark... The two young women go to the gardens of the city to walk around... They chat while watching the sun, so as not to be surprised by the night... "Junko, do you think this samurai will find the murderer or murderers of these people? "Urumi asked her friend. Junko answered immediately, "I hope so, I'd like to feel a little safer. I don't really want to go back to my home region, Shikoku, it would remind me too much of my childhood with my parents there. I really don't want to... ". Urumi added, "I understand Junko-chan, it's getting late, we should go back... ". The two girls got up and headed towards the centre of the village, separating near the "Ichiraku" restaurant, as usual. The night has fallen, a great cry is heard, the samurai rush outside in the light of the moon they distinguish a decapitated body... It is that of Hanabi Uchu, another prostitute of the city... The poor woman's blood this time formed the word "love" in Japanese... The police chief noticed that there was a second body further on towards the "Ichiraku" restaurant, that of one of his men, Jin Murasaki, an excellent swordsman... Eikichi Mori wondered how a man of this calibre could have succumbed as well...

The night passes... The next morning, everyone is talking about these two new murders. One man said to another, "We've already had seven people killed in less than a week... It's still a lot for a village like ours... ". The second man said, "Moshi, it's awful, this monster is attacking men and now also women, what kind of animal can do that? ". Eikichi-dono had come up with a plan to try to catch this monster... The "Kotohira monster" as travellers are beginning to say in the region...

Urumi was now going out accompanied by two guards that her father, Hanzo Ichiban, had assigned to watch her. They went to look for Junko at her home... But Junko was not in her sublime family home, inherited from her parents... Urumi and her chaperones returned to the city centre, where they found Junko in her most beautiful purple kimono. Urumi warns her friend that there is a curfew from that day on... After that, the girls continue their daily walk and return home after two hours of walking, so as not to be thrown in jail... It has been dark for an hour and a half, a man is outside despite the curfew...

The man hears a tiny noise, he turns around and sees no one... The noise starts again and the man hears a sword coming out of its scabbard, he has just enough time to dodge a sword blow. A fight with a knife begins, the man notices that his opponent is smaller than him, about 1.60 metres, about 50 kilos... The small opponent is tough, an inexplicable brute force... The man's hat fell off during the fight, the attacker could see his victim's face, it was Eikichi Mori-dono! The killer tried to escape by throwing makibishis* behind him but unfortunately for him and fortunately for Eikichi-dono, he had getas* at his feet. Suddenly, during the chase, the policeman whistled and the other samurai emerged from several hiding places in the village. The criminal was about to turn his sword on himself but two policemen had time to subdue the masked individual.

The police chief called out, "Let's see who is hiding under the name of the 'Kotohira Monster' now... ". He removed the mask from the face of the horrible individual, and he saw to his amazement that it was a woman, a woman he had already spoken with, Junko Takeda... The policemen locked her up. The whole region knew the identity of the murderer now. 

Five days after his arrest, Junko was to be handed over to the judge. The hearing began and the judge asked the young woman to introduce herself.

The young woman stood up and began to speak and said, "I am Junko Takeda, of the Takeda clan from Kai province, a descendant of the prestigious Minamoto clan born in Hokuto, Yamanashi prefecture, Kai province. My father was Itachi Takeda, he was a bit of a... He abused sake a bit, he was violent with my mother, he beat her most of the time... At home it was a nightmare. My mother, Izanagiko Takeda, a woman, I would define as fragile, beaten almost every day by my father. When I was thirteen years old, my father started to touch me, he started with my chest at first and then he took me by force, I knew that this was not right, my mother knew it but she said nothing. I had a huge resentment towards my father but even more towards my mother who did not know how to protect me from this alcoholic and perverted father. And unfortunately all these men wanted to take advantage of me, like my father. 

The judge said to Junko, "If I understand the message between the lines correctly, Miss Takeda, you have transferred all your hatred for two people onto others who supposedly wanted to take advantage of you, is that right? ".

The defendant replied, "Those men were perverts, they thought I was a prostitute, an easy girl... I am not that kind of person... Men have always abused me, I had to defend myself... ". 

The judge was looking at his notes, then he glared at Junko and said, "We found poison hidden in your house, our police officers were able to connect the deaths of your first victims with the deaths of your own parents... And for your nine crimes, Junko Takeda of the Takeda clan of Kai province, I sentence you to be beheaded in two days. ".

Two days later the young Junko Takeda was beheaded, in the public square before the tearful eyes of her best friend Urumi Ichiban and the rest of the village. Urumi was torn between hatred and love for her criminal friend...

 

 

 


Kabuki = an epic form of traditional Japanese theatre. 
-chan = suffixes of intensity between close friend.
-dono = intensity suffixes for an important person.
Daimyo = senior provincial governor.
Honshû = the main island of Japan.
Makibishi = tools with several points, used to injure pursuers.
Getas = traditional wooden shoes between flip-flops and clogs.


Submitted: May 24, 2021

© Copyright 2021 MrGuyguy. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Ann Sepino

Interesting and very detailed story! I love how you gave out so much information regarding the characters, especially the victims. Reading this genuinely feels like poring over a case file. I also appreciate the work bank you added at the end. It helps people become more familiar with different cultures. :)

Tue, May 25th, 2021 12:19pm

Author
Reply

Hi Ann,

Thank you for your comment. I've been thinking that some people are not too familiar with certain cultures and I'm doing some research to be as consistent as possible with the historical reality of the places where my characters live, even though they are from a work of fiction.

This story is also special, I wanted to take the reader by surprise, as in my other stories it happens differently. For your information, I love news stories, cold cases too, and it's true that this is felt in my stories... Thank you, I will try to continue this work for you! I see, it's true that when you don't know certain cultures, having details can help!

I invite you to read, if you haven't already done so, to read my other stories.
Thank you again, God bless you!

Tue, May 25th, 2021 6:12am

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