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Edo Town Go Club

From Kidō, March 1977

Edo Town Go Club

Written and drawn by Tani Ikuo

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Thief: Damn. There’s nothing good anywhere at all, is there? In this house… [This low class speech, but not particularly vulgar. “Chi-” in the text is only translated as “Damn” to indicate the level of disappointment.]

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Thief: They couldn’t miss getting hit by the wave of bad [economic] times, I guess. Here, too…

FX: Rattle, rattle. [Indicating that the cupboard is empty.]

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Voice Offstage: Oh, Oh, Oh!

Thief: Huh?!

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Voice Offstage: This scoundrel—! I know what he’s looking for, I do!! [Low class but not vulgar, speaking with vehemence. “Scoundrel” might be too literate a word here, but English offers little else: “rascal,” “villain” or “knave” are just as literate, and “bastard” is too strong.]

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Voice Offstage: This thief like a cat— He thinks no one notices and just calmly goes about his business.

FX: Thud! [Thief jumps backwards, startled, and makes a thud in landing.]

[Note: Sign on the wall says: “Be Careful of Fire”; this is the kitchen area.]

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Thief: Meow, Meow! [Thief makes cat noise to hide the sound of the thud.]

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Voice Offstage: Nooo good, No good, No good! I’m not getting fooled by that trick, idiot. [Note: “trick” is the translation of “te” in the text. “Te” actually means “hand” as well as “a move” in go. And colloquially “te” is used when someone is “trying to pull a fast one,” or tricking somebody. That is, there is a double meaning here that is amusing.]

Thief: Whoops!

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Voice Offstage: The man who does that always makes people feel safe, then sneaks up to try something! You scoundrel!

Voice Offstage: For me, those tricks have caused me too much suffering—! A man works hard trying his best, finally builds something up, something to hold on to, and you… Come barging inside with dirty feet… [All of this is colloquial speech with double meanings. It is hard to translate and convey the nuances.]

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Voice Offstage: Scoundrel—

Thief: I—I understand master. I’m giving it all back, I tell you.

FX: Clang, clang. [Sound of pottery and metal being dumped out.]

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Voice Offstage: Oh!? Oh!? It’s no good to try to run away! I’ve got you, I say, I’ve got you. [More double meanings: “runaway” in this case means that stones are trying to escape; “I’ve got you” actually is the translation of “atari” in the text. So the voice is actually saying, “Atari, atari.” In Japanese, “atari” is used colloquially when someone “hits the mark” as in archery or when a baseball player gets a hit.]

Thief: Yikes!

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Thief: Oof!

FX: Bang! [Sound of thief hitting the eaves of the roof as he jumps out the window.]

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Thief: Oh no, no, no!?

[Note: the signs in the night (御用 = Goyō) say “Open for Business,” but the phrase is also used in the sense of “You are under arrest.”]

Voice Offstage: A death march, I tell you. Shitchō.

[Note: Another double meaning. 死調 = Shichō = Death form; this is almost a homonym for “shitcho,” which is the word in go for “ladder.” By the way, that is why the voice kept saying “atari, atari” before. He was playing atari repeatedly against his dream opponent’s stones.]

Voice Offstage: Snort, snort. Idiot. What happened—! I was about to win by resignation— Yawn, yawn.

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