Sunday, 11 October 2009

Saturday show went smooth

Was a smooth show despite the lag. I ran the dance HUD.
Here was my story:
Konnichiwa Dear Patrons.
It is my pleasure to tell the story of the Jirohei Cherry Tree.
Some time ago, there was a cherry tree beloved by the local people.
The tree was famous for its beauty,
and a man named Jirohei built a tea house next to it.
The tea house began as a tiny establishment,
but soon grew to be very popular with travelers to the nearby temple.
Jirohei, a humble man, told those who asked
that his success was the result of being next to such a fine cherry tree.
Jirohei was quite fond of the tree,
and cared for it to the best of his ability.
He protected the tree by keeping anyone
from tearing off branches or climbing on it.
The tree flourished under his watchful and caring eye,
as did his teahouse.
One fine spring morning,
when the tree was in full bloom,
a wandering samurai happened upon the tea house
and stopped to admire the cherry tree's blossoms.
The samurai was a tall, mean looking man,
and he scowled at Jirohei when he approached.
"You," said the samurai,
"Who is the owner of this tea house?"
"I am, sir," said Jirohei meekly.
"How may I serve you?"
The samurai gazed at the tree.
"This is magnificent,
how fortunate you are to have it growing right beside your establishment."
Jirohei nodded.
"Yes, if it weren't for this tree
my tea house would never be the success that it is."
"Give me a branch from it," said the samurai.
"It will make a fine present for my favorite geisha."
Jirohei shook his head.
"I'm very sorry, sir, but I cannot.
I am unable to give anyone a branch from the tree,

although I am often asked."
"I am not even permitted to take blossoms from the tree,
it was a condition that the temple priests gave
before I was permitted to build my tea house."
"Please forgive me, but as the old saying goes,
"Cut the plum tree for your vases, but not the cherry!"
"You misunderstand," snarled the samurai.
"I wasn't asking if you would give me a branch.
I was telling you to get me one.
If you don't get it,
I will take it by force."
"I apologize,
but I am unable to do as you ask," said Jirohai.
He humbly stood his ground,
just as determined in his way as any samurai.
The samurai regarded him for a moment,
and then drew his sword.
He took aim at the tree's finest branch.
Jirohei grabbed at the samurai's sleeve and begged,

"Please sir, do not harm the tree,
you may take my life instead if you wish."
"Fine," said the samurai,
and cut Jirohei's arm in an attempt to get him to step aside.
Jirohei let go, but ran for the tree and tried to block the samurai.
The samurai swung again and cut off the branch.
Jirohei was unable to dodge in time,
and slumped to the ground after he was struck.
The samurai realized that Jirohei was dead.
He fled from the area,
leaving the branch where it had fallen.
Jirohei's wife and servants found him lifeless
and still clinging to the tree.
Even with many strong arms,
it still took over an hour
before they were able to pry Jirohei's body away.
Jirohei's wife was so upset
that as soon as everyone had gone back into the teahouse to discuss what to do,
she hung herself from the cherry tree.
After that sad day, the tea house began to fail.
Customers became few and far between,
and even those that did come did not spend much.
The tree, also, began to wither and fade.
After nine months, it was only dead wood.
The tea house had to be closed around the same time.
Rumors began to circulate that ghosts had been spotted around the tree.
Many businesses, and even the temple,
began to suffer as customers began to fear going anywhere near the tree.
These rumors reached the samurai,
but he did not say a word to anyone except his father. Finally he decided to see for himself about the ghosts.
His father tried to stop him,
but he was still as headstrong as ever.
He armed himself and arrived at the tree late at night.
He settled in behind a stone lantern
and waited to see if the rumors of ghosts were true.
Midnight came, and the samurai was shocked to see
that the dead cherry tree burst into bloom.
Its appearance was exactly the same
as the day that Jirohei had been felled by his sword.
Enraged and terrified all at once,
the samurai leapt at the tree
and began hacking at it with his sword.
He heard what sounded like screaming
and begging for mercy,
but he kept hacking away.
An hour later, he was tired,
and sat down to wait for the sunlight
to show him the damage he had done to the tree.
At daybreak, as the light made the scene clearer,
his jaw dropped and he let out a howl.
His father lay behind the tree,
dead from many sword blows.
The samurai realized that his father
had come to try and stop his foolish errand,
and had been caught behind the tree
when he began his attack.
Heartbroken, the samurai went to the nearby temple
to atone for his crime,
which he did later that morning by taking his own life.
After that morning,
life in the area resumed much as it had before. Businesses began to prosper again,
as did the temple,
as people came to gaze curiously on the tree.
The rumors of ghosts faded over time,
and soon lived on only in the tale I've told you today.

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