Last Updated on January 7, 2021, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 570
The First Story. Seijr, a handsome, gallant young man disowned by his wealthy father for his profligacies, apprentices himself to a shopkeeper and proves hardworking and reliable. When Onatsu, his master’s younger sister, falls in love with him, he, after some reluctance, at last fully returns her affection. As an apprentice, he is far from an eligible suitor, and so the lovers are forced to elope. Seven hundred gold pieces disappear at the same time. When the lovers are discovered, Seijr, condemned for theft as well as for seduction, is executed. The gold is later found where it was mislaid. Onatsu goes mad for a time. Later, she enters a nunnery.
The Second Story. Osen, a country woman, is married happily to a cooper. When Chzaemon, the yeast maker, is planning to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of his father’s death, Osen offers to help in the preparations. While she is arranging sweetmeats, Chzaemon accidentally drops a bowl on her head, disarranging her hair. Chzaemon’s suspicious, jealous wife accuses Osen of adultery. Because she is unjustly accused, Osen impulsively decides to revenge herself on the wife by truly making love to Chzaemon, although she cares nothing for him. When her husband, the cooper, discovers the lovers, Osen commits suicide and Chzaemon is executed.
The Third Story. Osan’s husband goes to Edo on business. Her maid, Rin, is in love with Moemon, a clerk. Moemon, however, feels coldly toward Rin and only reluctantly agrees to visit her bed. Together, Rin and Osan decide to punish him, and Osan takes Rin’s place in the bed. The trick has other results, however, when Osan and Moemon find themselves hopelessly in love. After pretending to commit suicide together, they hide in a faraway village for a time. Eventually, they are discovered and executed.
The Fourth Story . Oshichi, an innocent young woman, is taken by her mother to find refuge in a temple after their house burns down. There she meets and falls in love with Onogawa Kichisabur, a young samurai. When Oshichi and her mother return to their home, the lovers are not able to meet in secret. Oshichi, remembering...
(The entire section contains 570 words.)
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