Samurai Descent by Takashi Atoda

October 7, 2011

The man was of Samurai descent. Of course having Samurai blood means very little these days, but according to the man’s grandmother, the family was proud of a three-hundred year lineage which could be traced back to the Battle of Sekigahara. It was during this battle that their Samurai forefather was awarded the order of merit.

 “You too must become a fine gentleman. Don’t let your family down,” he was often told.

But lately, things weren’t going as planned. After barely scraping through university and becoming an office worker, the man soon acquired a taste for gambling and took to spending every day at the races. It was only a matter of time before he lost his job.

“I just need one outside bet to come through and everything will be fine,” he said bravely.

But this too failed to come to fruition. Scraping together enough money to get by was difficult enough; financing bets was out of the question. All he could do was wander the racecourse in search of bets dropped by other gamblers. There were the odd few who were careless enough to throw away coupons whilst busily placing bets. Walking around in search of these became the man’s livelihood.

“Just one lying around, any old bet will do,” he muttered under his breath. But they were extremely hard to find. The most he could hope for, after a full day of relentless wandering, was one or two bets with almost non-existent returns. It was a miserable way of life for a man of Samurai descent. That old samurai must be turning in his grave, thought the man.

Then one day an outside bet came through and the man enjoyed long-awaited drinks with a friend. He was staggering around with a smile on his face when a strange-looking figure appeared out of nowhere.  

“Come aboard my time machine,” offered the mysterious figure.

 The man wasn’t sure if it was real or a dream, but boarded the machine and placed his request. “Take me to Sekigahara, where my family legend was born!” he commanded.

The surroundings began to change and before long the wasteland of Sekigahara unfolded before his eyes. Red flames billowed here and there and muddy corpses lay wasted on the ground. Somehow the man had made his way to the famous battle scene.

 A Samurai figure could be seen turning over corpses one by one before checking their faces.

So that must be my ancestor, thought the man.

“Just one lying around, the head of any old general will do,” muttered the Samurai under his breath.


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