Once long ago, in southern Japan, in the town of Kumamoto, there lived a young samurai, who had a great devotion to the sport of fishing.
About one hundred years ago, in the old capital of Kyoto, there lived a young man named Taira Shunko. At the time this story opens he was about twenty years of age,
In the good old days of long, long, ago, there lived in the city of Osaka a rich merchant. Fortune had smiled upon his enterprises, and his business prospered tenfold,
In the old capital of Kyoto, not far from the Imperial Palace, there lived a samurai named Matsuo with his wife O Chiyo, and their little son Kotaro, eight years of age.
In a certain village in the province of Yamato in Japan, close by the hill of Tsubo, there lived a blind man named Sawaichi and his wife, O Sato.
Urasato and Tokijiro are lovers. The child, Midori, is born of this liaison. Tokijiro is a samurai in the service of a Daimyo, and has charge of his lord's treasure department.
Many years ago, long before the present prosaic era, there lived in Yedo a young man named Toshika. His family belonged to the aristocratic rank of the hatamoto samurai,
"Felt within themselves the sacred passion of the second life. Hope the best, but hold the Present fatal daughter of the Past. Love will conquer at the last."