Warriors of Old Japan & Other Stories by Yei Theodora Ozaki
Author of the Japanese fairy book, illustrated by Shusui Okakura and other Japanese artists. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston and New York 1909.
Your purchase of this 82 page eBook includes as a bonus, all of the illustrations printed within the book as individual jpg images. In total there are 21 jpg image files.
I. Hachiro Tametomo, the Archer
II. Gen Sanmi Yorimasa, the Knight
III. The Story of Yoshitsune
IV. The Story of Benkei
V. The Goblin of Oyeyama
VI. Kidomaru the Robber, Raiko the Brave, and the Goblin Spider
VII. The Story of the Pots of Plum, Cherry, and Pine
VIII. Shiragiku, or White Chrysanthemum
IX. The Princess of the Bowl
X. The Story of Lazy Taro
Long, long ago there lived in Japan a man named Hachiro Tametomo, who became famous as the most skilful archer in the whole of the realm at that time. Hachiro means “the eighth,” and he was so called because he was the eighth son of his father, General Tameyoshi of the house of Minamoto. Yoshitomo, who afterwards became such a great figure in Japanese history, was his elder brother. Tametomo was therefore uncle to the Shogun Yoritomo and the hero Yoshitsune, of whom you will soon read. He belonged to an illustrious family indeed.
As a child Hachiro gave promise of being a very strong man, and as he grew older this promise was more than fulfilled. He early showed a love of archery, and his left arm being four inches longer than his right, there was no one who could bend the bow better or send the arrow farther than he could. By nature Hachiro was a rough, wild boy who did not know what fear was, and he loved to challenge his elder brothers to fight. He ever a grew wilder as he grew older, till at last he acted so rudely and wilfully, respecting and obeying no one set over him, that even his own father found him unmanageable.
Now it happened when Hachiro was thirteen years old that a learned man, named Fujiwara-no-Shinsei, came to the Palace of the Emperor one day to give a lecture on a certain book. During the lecture he said that there could not be found in the whole of Japan a warrior whose skill in archery could match that of Kiyomori, the chief of the Taira clan, or of Yorimasa, the Minamoto knight. These two knights, though belonging to two different clans, were the best archers throughout the land. Now Hachiro, when he heard these words, laughed aloud in scorn, and said, so that every one might hear him, that Fujiwara-no-Shinsei was right about Yorimasa, but to call their enemy, that coward of a Kiyomori, a clever archer, only showed what a foolish and ignorant man Fujiwara-no-Shinsei was.