August 2, 2011

Yoshiwara Hana Oboro [Chapter 1]

Originally posted @ on  July 28, 2011
[Free Talk:  This is a new series serialized in Asuka by Otonaka Sawaki. Except for the two main couple’s names that are mentioned in the official page, the rest of the names are guesswork based on the kanji. ]

A female high schooler looks surprised to see cherry blossoms petals floating around. Then, there is a parade of oiran-s [/courtesans], wearing 15-cm tall geta [/wooden clogs]. She wonders, “Is this reality? I have seen this scene on the television. If I remember, it is called ‘Oirandouchuu’ [/parade of courtesans]..” Title: Uncanny relationship formed by a quirk of fate. [<- It’s an idiom] The girl looks mesmerized at how gorgeous the courtesan is. “Is this.. a dream..?” She looks at her hand which is empty. Then, the leading courtesan of the parade tells her to move since she is blocking the road. She goes, ‘Huh?’ While a man pulls her up and asking if she didn’t hear what the oiran just said, the girl thinks that it seems real and could a dream be like this. The man says that he doesn’t know whose yujo [woman of pleasure/prostitutes; literally ‘play girl’] she is but she is wearing such strange clothes. The man pushes her hard from the back and tells her to go watch at that side. The girl loses her balance and hits the buckets that are on top of a well. Holding her head, the girl thinks that it is obviously a dream so how come it hurts. Some men ask if she is alright since she fell hard. Pinching her cheek really hard, the girl wonders, if this is really not a dream. Hitting her fist on her palm, she happily says that this is a shooting of a television drama, a period play. The man asks what ‘shooting’ is. They say that she is wearing strange clothes. Assuming that she is a yujo, they ask her what her name is. She tells them that she is Okazaki Hana. They say that they had never heard of her. They begin to wonder out loud if she is a hashitame [lowest form of yujo, a low-class prostitute; lowly maidservant] because her legs are exposed. They say that since she is young, she must be capable. “I know. In order to recruit customers, you block the road of Takizuki [滝月] tayuu [/highest ranked courtesans]. Pointing to himself, the man asks if she would let him be her customer. Another man says that it should be him. While the two are fussing about, Hana asks what they are talking about ‘customers’ and ‘yujo’. A man tells her that this place is Yoshiwara and just to be her customer, they are making a ruckus. Hana looks surprised by this. She learned from watching the television that Yoshiwara is Edo’s red light district. Hana looks aghast when she realizes that she is in the past, this is Edo era. To Hana’s surprise, a man grabs her arm and tells her to quickly bring her to a place where she receives her customers. Hana decides to quickly run away right now for things will be dangerous if this keeps up. She’ll just have to think of the details later on.

Seeing her getting ready to run away, the man shouts to the others that Hana wants all of them to go to her place. Hana is aghast as to why things turned out this way. Hana runs away and the men are running after her. While running, she wonders where she should go and what’s going on. Then, she decides to go into some small alleys to evade the men who were after her. Then, she overhears them saying that it is that side. She didn’t notice a rock at the side so she trips on it. Just when she is about to fall down, someone catches her. It is a beautiful long haired man. The man asks her if she is alright. She looks surprised to see him. Since the men are nearby and had seen her, she pushes him aside. She apologizes and tells him to let her through. The man says that it seems that she is also being chased. Pulling her to him, the man tells her that he’ll help her so come and cooperate [/coordinate] with him. Hana is surprised when the man suddenly pulls off her ribbon tie and kisses[?] her neck. The three men, who were chasing her, call out to Hana that they have found her and who is that guy. Blushing Hana pushes the long haired man away and shouts what he is doing. The long haired man quickly pulls her into his chest. He says, now, now, he really wanted to see her. Hana goes, “Huh!?” One of the men holds the long haired man’s shoulder and tells him to let go of that hashitame for they were first.. The long haired man quickly twists the man’s arm and tells him not to hinder them. While the man shouts that it hurts, the long haired man asks if they cannot see, this is precisely a ‘good time’. “It’s like this.. because you men are so boorish that you were dumped by this girl.” The men are shock for it is a gigolo [/attractive young man]. Then, a woman calls out to, “Umenosuke-koshi*” [*young nobleman]. While Hana wonders who that woman is calling, the long haired man mutters that she’s here again. The long haired man whispers to Hana that since he helped her, can she come and cooperate with him. Hana is shock for he turned out to be Umenosuke-koshi. The woman shouts at Umenosuke what is going on and who is that girl. The men say that it is Kukiku [駒菊]’s Murasaki [紫], a famous courtesan. Umenosuke has already let go of the man he held earlier. While the three men are mesmerized over Murasaki, Umenosuke holds Hana toward Murasaki and says that didn’t he tell Murasaki before, he already has a lover. Hana realizes that this is what he meant by cooperate. Umenosuke says, “I’m her mabu, *looks at Hana* right?” [*mabu = prostitute’s lover; lover] Aghast, Hana says that a mabu is..

Shaking in anger, Murasaki mutters that she cannot forgive. Hana freaks out when Murasaki is about to attack her. Murasaki calls her a witch and shouts for her get away from Umenosuke. Umenosuke grabs Muraki’s wrist and tells her to stop. He seriously tells her that he hates noisy [/quarrelsome] women. Murasaki shouts what’s good about that girl when she is Kukiku’s Murasaki. Hugging Hana, Umenosuke says that he doesn’t know what’s good about Kukiku’s Murasaki but compared to this meek girl, she is better than Murasaki. Murasaki looks surprised and mutters, “Wha..” Umenosuke and Hana quietly look at her. Bursting into tears, Murasaki calls him an idiot and tells him to go die. Hana feels sorry for Murasaki who had already left. She turns to Umenosuke and is about to tell him something but Umenosuke pushes her into him again. He tells the other men to quickly leave, and why are they still looking at them. The three men were aghast that Umenosuke had dumped Murasaki, unbelievable, and no wonder he is a gigolo. Later on, at a temple, the two are sitting by the steps. Hana is looking at the side while Umenosuke is looking at her. He asks if she is called ‘Hana’. Hana looks at him and tensely as what is it. Umenosuke smiles and says that it is nothing. He thanks her for being such a huge help to him. He explains that he obviously met that woman once and he didn’t even go to her room, yet she would come and stick around him. “It is too troublesome to death but later on, I can be more relaxed.” Hana says that she doesn’t understand a bit what he is saying, and if he has to say it, it isn’t necessary to say it up to that extent. She tells him that she doesn’t feel happy about making a girl cry. Noticing that Umenosuke is staring at her, Hana asks what it is. He asks if she is saying that he is a ‘good man’. Hana angrily exclaims how can that be, and is his brain wired up wrong. He sighs and tells her to for get it, whichever is okay. Hana angrily says that it isn’t okay. Holding up her ribbon tie, Umenosuke asks if she isn’t a prostitute nor an entertainer, why she is strangely dressed up like that. “Where do you come from?” While he looks at the ribbon and thinks that he rarely sees such a thing, Hana touches her collar and wonders when he took it. Hana says that before asking her where she is from, is it Heisei [current era of Japan] right now. Umenosuke asks what that is. Umenosuke is puzzled why she is aghast. Hana tries to recall what had happened earlier. Flashback: Some hour ago, she is still in the normal world. She is going home together with her friends. Crossing the street, they were talking about buying some ice cream. Then, a flower shaped pendant, used as a strap on her bag, fell on the ground. Hana goes back to pick it up. Hana picked it up and it seemed to sparkle. Then, her friends were screaming for her name and pointing at the side. Puzzle, Hana looked at the side to see a car running straight at her. Hana held the pendant tight. The pendant seems to be shining and she closed her eyes. End flashback.

Umenosuke is surprised when Hana is standing up and screaming in shock. He holds her back to stop her from fainting over, and asks her what’s up. Hana thinks that she had remembered and after that, there is a light and everything is white. Then, when she opened her eyes, she was already there at the Oirandouchuu. She wonders what’s with that light and she should be holding the pendant tightly, so where is it. [<- Since when she looked at her hand then, it is already gone.] Hana quickly turns around but Umenosuke holds her shoulder and asks where she is going. Hana tells him that she is going to find something because it seems that she had dropped it. She believes that pendant has something to do with that light so if she got it back, she can go back to her own world, and... Umenosuke tells her to leave it be since it is going to be night soon, thus, she will get in trouble again. Hana tells him that even so, she has to find it because it is her mother’s memento. Umenosuke looks surprise but he tells her that she can do whatever she wants since he also has some place that he has to go. Hana bids him goodbye. While Umenosuke is still worried if she will be alright, Hana turns around and tells him that even if she thinks that it isn’t good to make a girl cry but thank you for saving her a while ago. Umenosuke looks surprised by this as he watches Hana runs off. He sighs and says that she is such a strange girl and, he also have to go to the NEXT place. Peeking out from the alley, Hana looks at the main street and thinks that there are a lot more people there, compared in the daytime. She wonders how to look for it and she cannot endure what happened in the daytime. To her shock, a couple more men recognize her as the one who caused a ruckus during the day. They ask her if she is recruiting customers on the streets again, so why not take them in. She thinks that it is here again and these guys are nastier than the ones during the day. The two men mutter that a lot of guys chased after her in the day and she is quite young. Hana tells them that this isn’t her intention, so go find someone else. To her surprise, one of the men grabs her collar and hits her on the wall. He tells her that he is going to give her money and yet how come a hashitame like her would choose customers based on appearance. The man tries to pull her away. While Hana resists, she thinks that this is bad, really bad, and she didn’t except that things will suddenly.. To her horror, the other men draws out his sword and point it to her. He tells her if she won’t listen, then don’t blame him for being impolite.

Then, an older man shouts that is enough and they are a hundred years early to think of drawing a sword at Yoshiwara. The older man tells the two men that just now, he knows that a couple of police [/guards? protecting prostitutes from being forced; I learn that from Gintama =P] will be coming so if they do not want to be caught, they should be more sincere. The two men quickly retreat. The older man says that lately it is unfair. He sighs and asks if this is okay. Hana is still in a state of shock that a sword was drawn and pointed at her. The older man tells her that it is dangerous there so why don’t she quickly go back to her store. He offers to escort her. Hana says that she doesn’t have a store and frankly speaking, she has nothing to do with this kind of thing. The older man says is that so, then, how about going to his house, for if this goes on, she is going to sleep in the streets. She tells him not to take the trouble for she is looking for something. Then, her stomach growls loudly. She feels very embarrassed but she still tries to explain. The older man laughs and says that there is rice to eat at his house. He tells her that even if she is looking for something, she is wearing something too eye-catching, so what can she do. He offers for her to go to his house to change her clothes. Hana follows the man and thinks that this is a big help but.. At the house where the older man led her, Hana notices a woman talking with man on the upper floor, and some women in bars. [<- prostitutes] Aghast, Hana turns around and says that in the end, she still.. The older man holds her shoulder and asks what she is going to do if she met that kind of incident again. He assures her that it isn’t scary inside, but rather, it is safer there than outside. The older man leads her to a room to wait. Hana is really suspicious and wonders if it is really alright because that man makes her feel uneasy. Hana opens the door to see some people quarreling. A man, together with another man, shouts at someone as an idiot. “I’ve already told you to receive the customers!” A black haired girl is helping an ill-looking long haired girl. The black haired girl shouts for them to wait, for her sister isn’t feeling well and it is cruel to force her. The man grabs the black haired girl and tells her to be the replacement. The black haired girl shouts for him to let her go. The sister tells the man to stop. Black haired girl tells her sister Akari [明里] that she can’t, or else she’ll die. Akari protest to Natsuki [菜津] that she is alright and tells the man to let Natsuki go. [*I have a feeling that Natsuki is a guy but I’ll use ‘she’ for now.] While Natsuki protects his sister, the man tries to grab them and exclaims that either one is okay. To their surprise, the man got hit by a cushion pillow.

Holding another pillow, Hana shouts for them to stop and can’t they see that she [Akari] doesn’t want to go. The two men ask who she is. The older man tells the two men that he picked her up just now and brought her there. This surprises Hana. With malicious eyes, the older man asks them who would come and change her [Hana] clothes and make her receive the guests. The two men call the older man, ‘boss’ = [樓長; I cannot find the term but it is literally ‘floor head’ so..]. The boss says that it has been such a long time since they have a high quality commodity so he wonders how much he is going to sell her. This angers Hana for all the men there are.. Then, one of the men tries to grab Natsuki again to come with him. Thinking that they should quit kidding around, Hana angrily kicks the back of the boss and sends him rolling away on the floor. Hana takes Akari’s hand and tells her that they are going to escape. Natsuki and Akari are surprised but they won’t budge. Hana tells them to hurry but one of the men grabs her and pushes her on the floor. While Natsuki helps Hana up and calls her stupid, the boss angrily shouts for his men to quickly put those three in the punishment room. Natsuki seems scared upon hearing it while the other two girls look tense. Then, a man enters the room and says that this is such a lively way of greeting customers. Hana looks surprised at the man. The boss welcomes the man and apologizes for making him see such an embarrassing sight. The long haired customer says that he is looking for an outstanding yujo but, there are a lot of good women here, that his eyes are dazzled. “It will be too troublesome to choose.” He takes a small bag and holds it upside down for the kobans [/gold coins] to fall all over the floor. It made the boss look really happy. The long haired man says that he is going to buy all of them. Hana thinks that it is the man she met in the daytime. Of course, it is none other than Umenosuke. Blurb: “Bought the ‘girl/s’!! has resolved the crisis, or will it bring a lot more crisis!?”

Scans by 不良漢化.

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