Shinsengumi Hiyokuroku Wasurenagusa 6 – Yamanami Keisuke
CV: Midorikawa Hikaru
Track 1 – A Discovery
It was the first year of the Genji era . The city of Kyoto was filled with many different opinions and people were dying almost every day. The Imperial loyalists of Choshu, who believed in revering the emperor, expelling foreigners and overthrowing the shogunate, would strut through the city as if they owned it. They threatened, violated and murdered the unarmed residents of the city, threatening the peace considerably. Despite being reviled as murderers for killing those men, the Shinsengumi protected the peace in the city.
On the 8th of July, the Ikedaya Affair  took place. In order to prevent an unacceptable gathering of the Imperial loyalists, the Shinsengumi fought their way into the Ikedaya. However, as the general commander, I was guarding the headquarters that day. There was no way that I could leave the headquarters completely empty. It was a task that someone had to do. It was just around the time that I had grown tired of seeing the Imperial loyalists begging for their lives.
Kondo-san, Hijikata-kun and all the other men are skilled warriors. There was no need for me to make an appearance. The bloody atmosphere of the battlefield is a wonderful thing, but protecting the headquarters can be a positive thing on occasion. While I considered that, I waited for news of the events at the Ikedaya.
Late in the evening, the messenger arrived with some news. As a result of everyone’s efforts, we had succeeded in suppressing the Imperial loyalists. There was a second, unexpected piece of news. A woman had become caught up in the incident and lost both her parents during it. Several days later, it was announced that Kondo-san and the others had arranged for her to work at the headquarters as a maid.
You there! Your steps are too weak!
Don’t relax! Concentrate!
Don’t go easy on your opponent just because this is practice!
Remember that you can be killed mercilessly if you let your guard down.
Hold onto your sword tightly and concentrate on the enemy in front of you if you don’t want to end up like the other men who died!
You there! You’re treating this like a game!
Fight back with more spirit!
It looks like all the teams have finished.
Stop your practice!
Everyone who lost should practice their swings while making sure they do the basic techniques correctly! Don’t stop until I say so.
You’re the woman who was brought here by Saito-kun. What do you want?
As you can see, the men are busy training.
Some of them will get distracted with a woman here. Unless you have any business here, you should leave immediately.
Hmm? I don’t remember asking for tea and a hand towel. Were you waiting for the right opportunity to bring it here? It seems that you’re somewhat considerate. I just happened to be feeling thirsty. I’ll accept it. Go back to your quarters when you’ve left it here.
Oh? What is this? You haven’t ironed the corners of this cloth.
Look. The corner of this hand towel is wrinkled.
Didn’t you notice?
The way you’ve folded it… The crease looks terrible because it isn’t straight.
Why don’t you consider the feelings of the person using it?
Anyone would feel better if they were given a hand towel that was folded carefully and ironed well.
Paying attention to the small details like that is a maid’s job.
What are you going to do from now on if you can’t even iron properly?
I thought you might be a useful person, but it seems that I was greatly mistaken.
You got my hopes up for nothing.
Go and iron that hand towel again.
If you understand that, then leave.
My goodness. They’ve brought an odd person to the headquarters.
 The Genji era began on February 1st, 1864.
 The Ikedaya Affair was a raid launched by the Shinsengumi against rebels who opposed the Shinsengumi.
Track 2 – Our Duties
Yes. I’m sure this is the alcohol that was ordered.
Is this enough money?
I’ll call on you again if I need anything else.
What are you looking at? What business have you got at the main gate?
Did someone ask you to run an errand?
My goodness. You should have noticed sooner.
Isn’t accepting deliveries to the headquarters one of your jobs?
Apologising is an easy thing to do. Make sure this doesn’t happen again.
Get back to work immediately then.
Ah… Before you go, put this bottle of alcohol next to the box of equipment used for missions.
You don’t need to ask. This bottle contains alcohol.
I think you know this, but it’s not for drinking. It’s for medical use.
The wine merchant we always buy from gave it to us.
What? Who do you think I am?
The general commander of the Shinsengumi would never be responsible for treating injuries. Handling all the medical equipment is normally Yamazaki-kun’s responsibility, but he’s away from the headquarters on a mission right now. I’m just doing it in his place.
It’s fine if you understand, but don’t you think it’s only natural for you to notice things like this?
It’s your job to help the men in their daily lives. A maid who doesn’t even notice that we’ve run out of the alcohol for medical use is worthless.
This is a good opportunity for me to tell you something. You took Souji’s laundry to Nagakura-kun’s room three days ago, didn’t you? Souji wouldn’t stop complaining.
And two days ago, you broke five plates which had to be replaced.
What’s going on? Why do you keep making mistakes?
There were problems with the laundry because you didn’t look at the names embroidered on the clothes.
Not all the men have their names embroidered in the same places.
I know it takes a while to check, but you should get used to it quickly.
So what about the plates?
You put them on the wrong shelf and the partition fell out.
It’s an old one, so there’s a trick to it.
Well, I suppose it couldn’t be helped if there was no one around to teach you.
But don’t you think you’ve made too many mistakes?
In that case, I’m going to train you carefully from now on. Make sure you’re prepared.
I don’t think you’ll be much good as a maid even if I do train you though.
But I suppose it’s better than doing nothing.
At least you gave the right response.
Anyway, hurry up and put that bottle away.
Even you can do odd jobs like that, can’t you?
Don’t do something like falling over and dropping the bottle.
Oh, it’s you. Come in.
What are you doing here? You haven’t come to tell me you broke that bottle, have you?
Is there anything else you can help with?
What happened to your own work?
Then you can just work as if you’re trying to finish tomorrow’s work today.
Even if you haven’t got anything to do, it’d be impossible for you to help me.
If you don’t understand, then I’ll tell you why. Now I’m going to visit the rooms of men who have complained that Saitou-kun’s training is too strict and motivate them.
Deserting the Shinsengumi is against its regulations and punished by seppuku . Things will be harder for us if any of the men run away.
After that, I have to deal with the complaints I’ve received.
When hunting down the remnants the other day, Harada-kun went on a rampage and destroyed the entrances of several houses.
I need to hear what the owners have to say and deal with that.
Then I’ll have to help the other men train.
The old account books also need to be sorted out.
You think it sounds like hard work?
Of course it is! It’s my job to make sure that the Shinsengumi runs smoothly.
There’s no way that it’d be easy. There’s nothing for a maid to help with.
So you can go and find your own work to do by yourself.
You said that you haven’t got anything to do, but there’s plenty if you look for it.
Have you swept the garden?
Then go and clean the garden. If you sweep until there’s not a single leaf left, then today will be over before you know it.
If you understand that, then go away. I’ll check just how clean the garden is later.
Put all your effort into sweeping it.
I’ll wait and see how long you last.
 Seppuku is a form of ritual suicide that was originally reserved for samurai. It was used voluntarily for samurai to die with honour instead of being captured by enemies or as a punishment for samurai who had committed serious offences or done something to bring shame upon themselves.
Track 3 – Guidance
So this is where you were.
Yes. There’s something I want to ask you.
You were the one drying the laundry in the garden, weren’t you?
There’s some dirt on this haori . Didn’t it drag along the floor when you hung it out to dry?
Why didn’t you notice? The men will be a laughing-stock if they wear things like this!
My goodness. Wash this haori again. You’re as useless as always.
Hey. Have you already finished cleaning the floor?
Hmm… So you’ve finished this half here.
The corners are still dirty. This isn’t finished at all.
It seems that it would be worth teaching you.
I’ll show you how to clean.
Let me borrow a rice-bran bag.
See. This part is still dirty.
Look at the floor carefully when you clean so you don’t leave any dirt behind.
Hey. Where’s the cut straw? Give it to me.
Be quiet! If you have time to be apologising, then get off me right now.
Why did I end up getting knocked over by you?
What’s the matter with your clothes? Are you trying to tempt me?
Your skin is showing.
Why are you covering it up? You knocked over a man while dressed like that. You should have understood what might have happened.
Don’t cover it up.
I see. You’re useless as a maid, but I think you’ll help me take my mind off things.
You should be glad. I’m going to keep you company.
It’s no good. Your slender arms are no match for a man.
I like seeing a woman with an unwilling expression on her face.
You’re going to keep resisting? How interesting.
The door is open. Someone will find you if your voice is too loud.
You should’ve noticed that before I told you.
You don’t like it? You look as if you’re about to cry.
It’s as if you’re being tempted. Do you want me to keep going?
Your skin is turning red. Even though you don’t like this…
What does that mean?
Try and look even more dissatisfied. That’s the kind of expression I want to see.
That’s right. Hold your voice back so no one hears it.
You want me to touch you here too, don’t you?
Open your mouth.
You’re still going to resist?
It’s an order. Hold it by yourself.
You’re not going to listen to my order?
Hurry up and do it.
You should have just done it obediently from the start.
You understand, don’t you?
Didn’t I tell you not to make a sound?
Relax. Don’t you desire it now?
You’re so obedient. The way you resisted at first doesn’t seem real.
If you want more, then you should try and beg for it.
I can hear you out now.
You still can’t accept it?
In that case…
It wouldn’t be strange for someone to pass by here now, would it?
Things were just getting interesting though…
Well, it was a good way to pass the time. I’ll continue this another time.
I’ve got some more work to do, you see.
You should tidy up your kimono and get back to work.
 The haori is a traditional Japanese jacket which is worn on top of kimono.
Track 4 – A Journey Together
Four months after the Ikedaya Affair, the Shinsengumi who had been despised as an organisation of murderers, were now well-known as a symbol of dignity. The missions received from the shogunate suddenly increased and the Shinsengumi was in the midst of becoming a powerful organisation.
One day, a meeting involving the captains of every troop was held. The recruitment efforts Heisuke had made during his time in Edo had been a success and many new troops joined the Shinsengumi. As a result of this, we had outgrown the current headquarters and wished to transfer to another location. That was the subject of discussion.
Several locations had been suggested, however, the most likely option was Nishi-Honganji . Its large size and location were given as the official reasons, yet it was clear to anyone that there was another reason for moving to a new headquarters.
Nishi-Honganji had a close relationship with the Imperial Loyalist Party, who believed that power should be handed over from the shogunate to the emperor. If the Shinsengumi were to accept Nishi-Honganji as its headquarters, it would be taking away the foundations of the Imperial Loyalist Party.
I alone was against this. The Shinsengumi is an organisation run by the shogunate, however, it also held the belief that the emperor was to be revered. Attacking the Choshu  who wished to overthrow the shogunate made sense, but I couldn’t agree with taking away the foundations of the Imperial Loyalist Party.
However, not long after that, it was formally agreed that the new Shinsengumi headquarters would be at Nishi-Honganji. The present Shinsengumi is in the process of changing.
Oh, it’s you.
Hey, wait! Why did you just try to walk past quickly?
You can’t even bow or greet me?
Are you concerned about not having finished clearing the garden yesterday? Or did you just break another plate?
You were running away because you were ashamed of something, weren’t you?
If it’s nothing, then you should be more confident.
If you have time to be afraid of me, then why don’t you focus on something else?
Have you finished your daytime jobs?
In that case, you should go out shopping. We’ve run out of account books, so you’ll need to go and buy some more. I want to get some more ink too. You’ll also need to buy some hanshi . The paper at Kuronakaya is the smoothest for writing on, so get the account books and hanshi there. I prefer the colour of the ink sold at Romatsudo, so make sure you buy it there.
I’d like you to buy some string to bind the old account books together. Compare the string sold at Rokudaya and Kashizakaya to see which one is strongest. Do you understand?
What? You can’t remember that much at once? Is there something wrong with your head?
Buy the account books and hanshi at Kuronakaya. Get the ink at Romatsudo. Find the string at Rokudaya or Kashizakaya. You know where those shops are, don’t you?
You don’t even know that, despite being raised in Kyoto?
Well, you might never have had to buy hanshi or ink before, but an organisation such as the Shinsengumi has many different things that it needs to buy. A maid like you will often be asked to go out and buy things. From now on, you should familiarise yourself with as many shops as possible.
When you go out into the city, you need to remember all the names of the shops that you pass by. Understand?
We’ll just have put up with it today. I’ll go with you. I’ll only accompany you once, understand? You’ll have to go out again and again, so make your mind work hard enough to remember everything in one go. Let’s go. Come with me.
Kuronakaya and Kashizakaya are in this street. The shops aren’t that big, but they have everything we need. The men often shop at Komone, that shop on the right. You should remember that as they might send you there.
Hmm? That stall is selling some nishiki-e .
Ah. This is the first time I’ve seen that stall. There might be something interesting there.
Could you show me that painting?
Hmm… This appears to be by an unknown artist, yet the composition is impressive. It really draws you in.
I picked it up to take a closer look precisely because I like it. Well, I suppose you can’t understand the value of nishiki-e.
Have a look. The nishiki-e at this stall portray many different landscapes and are all of great interest to me. I feel as if I’ve been transported to the places in the paintings when I look at them.
They’re so impressive that I’d like to visit those places one day.
Oh? You would like to go too? So these nishiki-e can even move someone like you, who doesn’t know much about art.
Come on, let’s not have any more distractions.
Put that painting back. Hurry up.
I’m not going to buy anything. That’s not why I came here today.
I’ll come and look at the nishiki-e by myself another time.
That shop over there is Kuronakaya. Go and get the account books and hanshi there.
Did you get them? Give them to me then.
Be quiet! Give them to me without making a fuss.
You don’t know what the people around us might say if the general commander of the Shinsengumi let a woman carry the shopping. You should know that much!
It’s so heavy! Were you planning on doing the rest of the shopping while carrying this around? You might be stronger than I thought, or you might just be thoughtless. It’s probably the latter.
I said that it’s fine. If you insist upon carrying the shopping, then do it when no one is looking.
Don’t be so concerned about it. That makes it seem as if I’m a terrifying man most of the time. Come on, let’s go to the next shop.
Hmm? It’s quite noisy over there.
Ah, they’re calling out for passers-by to come into their shop.
It seems that it’s a new tea shop.
Something smells good, but I wonder what it is? You look as if you’re about to drool.
We still have some shopping left to do. We don’t have time to be going to a tea shop.
Well, I admit that it’s an enticing scent, but just look at the shop. All the seats are full.
Hmm? You have a gift?
What? My charming partner? You mean her?
Tch. You’re useless at encouraging customers to come in. I have no interest in that kind of small talk. Find another customer.
What on earth made him use a line like that?
There’s no way that you and I look like a couple.
You shouldn’t take that man’s small talk seriously. Someone who can’t even do their job properly shouldn’t be talking about love. What an awful thing to hear!
Anyway, I’d rather not be forced to commit seppuku because of you.
I was just warning you. Don’t apologise for no reason.
I told you not to apologise. I’ve had enough of you saying sorry.
Just hurry up and walk faster. We haven’t even been to half of the shops on our list.
My goodness! It’s troublesome how slow you are.
The sun has started to go down. We’ll pass by that lake on our way back. It’ll be a little faster.
Ah… There’s no one around here. We’ll be out on the street again soon enough though.
Handing over the bags to you again would just be an annoyance. I’ll keep carrying them.
It’s muddy down by our feet though. It must be because of the rain we had the other day.
Hey. Make sure you don’t slip and fall. You’ll be in a pitiful state if you get covered in mud.
Why are you walking like that? You look as clumsy as a puppet.
Can’t you pass by here without falling unless you walk like that?
It’s a good thing there’s no one else here. I wouldn’t want anyone else to know that I was walking around with such a ridiculous woman.
Hey! Look at your feet carefully. Don’t step on that frog.
This is the first time I’ve seen such a foolish woman. You didn’t fall in the mud, but you fell in the lake instead?!
It’s unbelievable! It’s a good thing I didn’t let you carry the shopping.
Come on, take my hand.
You’re soaking wet. What a terrible state you’re in.
I haven’t laughed this much in a long time. Are you a genius at playing the fool?
There are waterweeds on top of your head. The dirt on your cheeks looks like someone scribbled all over your face.
Wipe it off quickly.
What is it? You’re that unhappy about me laughing at you?
It’s quite cheeky of you to talk back to me. I’d usually tell you off for answering back, but I’ll forgive you just this once.
I was angry today, but now I feel much better.
Let’s go. Go home and take a bath. It’d be no good if you caught a cold.
You certainly do fall over quite often though.
Remembering the sight of it still makes me laugh.
 Nishi-Honganji is a temple in Kyoto which the Shinsengumi made into their headquarters.
 The Choshu was a powerful clan which was attempting to overthrow the shogunate.
 Hanshi is a type of rice paper used for traditional ink drawings and calligraphy.
 Nishiki-e is a type of multi-coloured woodblock printing. It was invented in the 1760s, and before this time most prints had been in black and white or coloured by hand.
Track 5 – Concealment
Hey, you! Let me hide in your room for a while!
You can stop cleaning for now!
Alright! Your room is that way, isn’t it? Let’s go!
Listen carefully. Don’t tell Itou-kun that I’m here.
I told him about the nishiki-e we saw in the city the other day and since then he’s been coming to my room to show me his collection every day.
To tell the truth, I find it incredibly annoying. He also asked me to show him around the city at the same time. I don’t want to spend the day with him when we’re not even friends.
No… It’s not as if he’s counting on me. He just started talking to me because we happened to have the same interests.
Of course. As the general commander of the Shinsengumi, I also act as an advisor to the other men. It’s only natural for them to rely on me. However, Itou-kun only talks to me as a result of his interests. I don’t have time to entertain someone like that.
I’m prepared to talk about work, but personal things are a different matter.
Do you understand? I’ll be staying here for a while then. You can go back to work.
What is it? The cord attached to my sword?
Ah… It seems to be broken. This cord is called a sageo . It ensures that the sheath doesn’t come away from the belt.
You didn’t know its name?
Never mind. Just remember it from now on.
You’re going to fix it? No, there’s no need for you to do that.
It would be quicker to buy a new one. Just throw it away.
Your hands look quite rough. Is the skin cracked?
Hey. Why are you hiding them?
Don’t hide them away. Show me your hands.
Why are you embarrassed? That’s what happens when you’re doing kitchen work.
If you had perfect hands without a single flaw, then I wouldn’t think you were taking your work seriously. Aren’t your hands proof that you’re working hard?
Then there’s no need to hide them, is there?
Why do you have such a slovenly expression on your face?
It wasn’t a compliment. You’re still an inexperienced maid.
Get back to your work. I’ll go back to my room when I find the right opportunity.
Go on. Make sure you work hard.
 A sageo is a cord which keeps a sword attached to the obi (sash/belt). Sageo are available in many different materials and patterns. They can also be tied in several different styles of knots.