Once Upon A Time In Nagasaki

Ten years had passed since Lord Ieyasu had become the Shogun. The foreign ships continued to trade at our port city. Their priests spread the new faith in the street. And my best friend, Suzu, had gotten baptized by them.

“I’m going to the Promised Land. The ship is leaving tonight,” she said.

I warned her against it. But she got angry with me.

So I went to Lord Haruka, the son of our domain’s Lord, and I reported the matter. “We have been investigating,” he said, “how the converted get lured away, thinking they would enter the new land. Then, they get sold as slaves in Luzon.”

He promised to help Suzu.

But I could not wait. So, that night, I went to the port and found the ship. Inside, I found a room packed with women and children. Suzu stood among them. I took her arm and dragged her toward the exit. But once we reached the deck, a priest stood barring our way with his men surrounding us. Then, from a distance, I saw the light from a lantern approaching. Lord Haruka had arrived with his men.

“By the law,” he roared, “we’re boarding your ship for an inspection!”

The foreigners raised their weapons and rushed against the wall of samurais. Katanas clashed in unison. Lord Haruka blocked a strike, then flicked his blade, cutting down a man twice his size. I grasped Suzu and ran out of there.

By morning, everyone had heard of the incident.

The priest was led before the public. One word from Lord Haruka, “Off with his head,” and the calamity ended. The report reached the government in Edo, and soon after, an edict was issued banning Christianity in Japan.

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