むかしむかし, there was a young lady name Tokoyo who grew up with her father, who was a samurai. The two of them lived very happily, and the samurai raised her daughter well and taught her to be strong.
One fateful day, the samurai (who was the envy of many because of this skills) was framed into making the Emperor ill and weak, thus he was banished to a faraway island.
Tokoyo became miserable, because she loved her father so much. She was very determined to be reunited with the only family she had left, so she set out on a journey to find and rescue him.
First, she sold all of their possessions to a merchant to gain money for the journey. She journeyed long and far towards the coastline, where in the light of day, the faraway island can be seen very dimly.
She tried to persuade the fishermen to bring her to the island, but she was running low on money so they refused her. Still, she never gave up. That night, she found a small, old boat on the bay, and she set sail for the island.
It was a hard journey with the small boat, but it was nothing for the valiant Tokoyo. It was still dark when she arrived shore, and she spent all day looking for her father on that island, but failed.
Night came, and a very tired and sad Tokoyo decided to rest under a tree. After a few hours, she was awakened by the sound of a sobbing girl.
Tokoyo hid behind a bush, and saw a girl dressed in a white robe and a priest. They were standing on the edge of a cliff, and the priest was in the act of pushing the girl off of it.
Tokoyo came out from the bushes to rescue the girl. The priest paused and explained to Tokoyo what he was doing.
Apparently, an ancient serpent-dragon called Yofune-Nushi inhabited the seas around the island. Yofune-Nushi threatened to terrorize the people on the island and destroy the fishing industry (the island-people’s only source of income), unless they sacrifice a virgin girl to him every year. It was said that as long as they kept their end of the bargain, the dragon would leave the town alone.
Partially feeling that this was very unjust and partially feeling hopeless in saving her father, Tokoyo offered to take the girl’s place. She wore the girl’s white offering dress and jumped down from the cliff, diving into the ocean with a dagger in her teeth, much to the priest’s and the girl’s amazement.
Tokoyo dived deeper and deeper, until she found a cave. On the mouth of the cave was a small statue of the Emperor. Out of her anger towards the Emperor, she took the statue to destroy it, but then decided it would be better to take it up on the shore first, so she tied it to her belt.
Suddenly, Yofune-Nushi came out from the cave. He assumed that Tokoyo was the offering, so he attacked her. Tokoyo quickly put up her defenses and blocked the attack, then she plunged her dagger onto his eye.
Blinded, the dragon made his way back into the cave, but Tokoyo chased after him. Again, the dragon put up a fight, but the brave Tokoyo continued to attack him!
At last, when the vile Yofune-Nushi was killed, Tokoyo dragged him up on the shore, where she slumped on the sand weak and tired.
The priest and the girl ran towards her, and they couldn’t believe she beat the dragon. The priest carried Tokoyo back to the village, the the news of her heroism spread like wildfire.
The news reached the Emperor, who was now well and healthy. It was found that the dragon Yofune-Nushi cursed his statue under the ocean, and when Tokoyo killed the dragon and retrieved the statue, the curse was lifted.
Realizing that Tokoyo’s father was innocent, the Emperor released him from banishment and brought him back to Tokoyo. The Emperor regretted banishing his best samurai, so he gave Tokoyo and his father a huge sum of rewards and treasures.
Tokoyo was also given the privilege to serve at the palace as a samurai warrior alongside her father, and they lived happily ever after. ^^
Hope you enjoyed today’s story! Until next time, JapanLovers!