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Courtesan

From Kidō, June 1975

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Edo Town Go Club

Written and drawn by Tani Ikuo

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Courtesan: Is it you, sir, who have selected me~~~? [The language she uses is the formal and flowery kind common in historical dramas, such as “wachiki” for “me” rather than “watakushi,” “watashi” or even “atashi,” which is a word that women use. No one uses words like this in real life. The drawn out ending of the sentence indicates that she is politely gushing as she speaks.]

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Brother of working man: Wow! Sh-sh-she came, older brother! It’s the Mistress of Go! [The word used for mistress in “Mistress of Go” is “tayū,” which means a prostitute of the highest level. However, it is also associated with kabuki.]

Working man: A faaaantasically beautiful courtesan!

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Courtesan: I think you know how it is~~~ [Again, her polite and flowery words trail off.]

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Courtesan: If you want to spend the night with me~~~

First, you must defeat me in a game of go~~~

Working man: Heh, heh, heh. I-I-I understand, ah, haaaa~~~ [The working man is flustered and starts talking in the courtesan’s flowery way. Naturally it reads incongruously amusing.]

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Brother of working man: Older brother, ha-hang tough. You just have to!

Working man: Of course! It’s the moment of truth, where I can go to heaven or fall into hell. [The man says “seto-giwa,” which actually means “on the threshold of the Inland Sea.” This is an idiom that is equivalent to “Custer’s last stand.” This kind of colorful language is one of the most enjoyable parts of these cartoons.] Even if I die, I’m not gonna lose! Yup, yup. [The man is steeling himself for the battle.]

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Courtesan: With that…

…I’ll go~~~

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Working man: Oh, oh!

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FX: Click! [Sound of stone forcefully played on the board]

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FX: Click! [Sound of stone forcefully played on the board]

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FX: Click! [Sound of stone forcefully played on the board]

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FX: Click! [Sound of stone forcefully played on the board]

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FX: Click! [Sound of stone forcefully played on the board]

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Brother of working man: Oh! Older brother! That big group of stones can be captured! Those!

You did it!

Working man: Quit, quit bothering me… There, there, there… I can’t get nervous… Ah, ah, ah, ah…

FX: Wobble, wobble [FX of man getting rattled]

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Working man [imagining courtesan in his mind]: Hee, hee

Courtesan: Well then, it is my loss~~~

You are free to do whatever you desire~~~

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FX: Swoop! [FX of man rushing in to kill the group]

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FX: Click! [FX of decisively played stone on the board]

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Working man: Oh no!! A snap-back!

Brother of working man: Wha-what a shame…

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Brother of working man: Older brother, what have you been doing!

Aren’t you going to the go club today?

FX: Zoooonk [FX of man reclining in stunned silence]

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