The Stories

(Critical Survey of Literature for Students)

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...

(The entire section is 570 words.)