Ancient Tales and Folk-Lore of Japan, page 70
by Richard Gordon Smith

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71

Master, I am wounded unto death. In less than half-an-hour our enemies will have conquered us, for we have but few men left. Your Highness is unwounded, and can in disguise escape when the end comes. Give me quick your armour, and let me pretend that I am your Highness. I will show our enemies how a prince can die.'

Changing clothes hastily, and donning the prince's armour, Murakami, bleeding badly from his wounds, and already more dead than alive with weakness from the loss of blood, regained the wall, and struggling up the last steps he reached a point where he could see and be seen by the whole of the enemy.

'I am Prince Morinaga!' shouted he. 'Fate is against me, though I am in the right. Sooner or later Heaven's punishment will come down on you. Until then my curses upon you, and take a lesson as to how a prince can die, emulating it, if you dare, when your time comes!'

With this Murakami Yoshiteru drew his short sword across his abdomen, and, seizing his quivering entrails, he flung them into the midst of his enemies, his dead body falling directly afterwards.

His head was taken to the Regent in Kioto as the head of Prince Morinaga, who escaped to plot in the future.

20. O Tokoyo Sees the Girl About to be Thrown Over Cliff

XVII A STORY OF OKI ISLANDS

THE Oki Islands, some forty-five miles from the mainland of Hoki Province, were for centuries the scene of strife, of sorrow, and of banishment; but to-day they are fairly prosperous and highly peaceful. Fish, octopus, and cuttlefish form the main exports. They are a weird, wild, and rocky group, difficult of access, and few indeed are the Europeans who have visited them. I know of only two--the late Lafcadio Hearn and Mr. Anderson (who was there to collect animals for the Duke of Bedford). I myself sent Oto, my Japanese hunter, who was glad to return.

In the Middle Ages--that is, from about the year 1000 A.D.--there was much fighting over the islands by various chieftains, and many persons were sent thith

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