Kourinden: Stage One: The Winter-Endure Flower

(In dojo)
(practicing Kendo)

Seiji: 'Twist your wrist more!'
'Kousuke! Pay attention to your side!'
'What? What is your waist doing!'
'Yukari! Your waist is too high!'
'Takaya, You hold (your hand) too high!'

Seiji: 'All right! Stop! We'll end here today!'

Students: 'Thank you very much!'
'It's over, it's over!'
'Hey, let's go to the Festival!'
'Seiji-sensei (teacher), goodbye!'

Seiji: 'It will be winter after the Fall Festival. Winter comes early in this town. I feel the radical change of seasons earlier than any of my companions who I shared life and death with. There is no question that time is passing by, just as it wants to bury those days into somewhere out of reach of memory. The current peaciful days. Normal daily lives. And it will repeat until eternity. Just like an everlasting labyrinth. The time passed without notice, and we then will decay in this labyrinth one day. This is the peace that I longed for so much during the days when we fought from dawn till dusk. Why? Why am I denying this peaciful current somewhere inside my heart? Why am I feeling even more afraid? What is happening (to me)?'

(Sound of a bell)
Seiji: 'Hm?'
'Does someone forget something?'
'Is there someone there?'
'Please come out from the hiding place!'

(Girl laughing)
Seiji: 'It's not someone who practices here?'
*Hm? kimono?*
*This is....?*
*Something like this has happened before!*
*My young sister? No, it's not!*
*But I have no other memory of a young child.*
*Dejavu? But it's too vivid to be so.*
*I don't understand!*
'This dojo is a sacred place! No trick is allowed here!'
*Why can't I see her figure? It can't be a ghost when the day is still bright*

Woman: 'REIKO! You shouldn't go inside without permission! You are such a wild girl. Whenever I take my eyes off of you, you're gone to some other place. Reiko! Come out!'

(Reiko laughing)
Woman: 'Listen! Say "I am sorry" to Seiji-oniichan.'

Seiji: 'Yes?'

Reiko: 'I'm sorry. It's so funny when you chased me in such a serious way.'

Woman: 'This girl is just....Where are you going?'

Reiko: 'Playing with the ball' (Mari- a string ball with bell inside that young girls play with in Japan)

Woman: 'I'm sorry that we disturbed you. She is such a tomboy! I thought that she might become more elegant if she learns the Japanese dance, but she likes running around better. Really! I have no idea whose traits she is taking with!'

Seiji: 'You are Youko-senpai, are you not?'(Senpai-the way to address a senior--usually between students. It sounds like that Youko was a student in the Date dojo before)

Youko: 'Oh! You remember me!'

Seiji: 'I can't forget about you. I always felt vexing when you teased me.'

Youko: 'Because it's so interesting! You got angry so easily when you're teased.'

Seiji: 'See, you sounded just like your daughter.'

Youko: 'Ah, you caught me!'

Seiji: 'When did you come back (to Sendai)? I heard that you were in Tokyo.'

Youko: 'It's about four years....ever since Reiko's father died.'

Seiji: 'I'm sorry! I shouldn't have asked!'

Youko: 'No, it's O.K. You didn't know about it? It was the teacher (Seiji's grandfather or mother) who named Reiko.'

Seiji: 'No, I didn't know.'

Youko: 'Reiko is going to dance in the offering(a ritual in a Shindo temple in the Festival) Isn't it great? It is so competitive!'

Seiji: '...Yes.'

Youko: 'I'm such a fond parent, am I not? Children are nice because they make you forget everything else. I would fight with anyone for Reiko. But everyday is like fighting between Reiko and I, too. Such pleasant fights!'

Seiji: '...fighting...'

Youko: 'It's winter already. Time's so fast, just in an instant. I want the teacher to see Reiko's dancing, too. Is the teacher in?'

Seiji: 'No. Grandfather and mother are both at the Shindo temple now since they are in charge of the Festival this year. I'm going to meet my mother now, care to join me?'

Youko: 'Oh! I'm so glad I can have a date with you!'

Seiji: 'That, that is not what I meant!'

Youko: 'You haven't change your reactions to this kind of teasing a bit! And it makes me just want to tease you more.'
'Reiko, let's go.'

Reiko: 'Yes.'

Seiji: 'They are mother and daughter.'

Youko: 'I heard that you were in Tokyo, too.'

Seiji: 'Yes.'

Youko: 'I'm surprised that you came back. I thought you were going to attend college there.'

Seiji: 'No.'

Youko: 'Did you feel lonely (there)? You are an unsociable person since old times.'

Seiji: 'I lived with someone else because of some personal business.'

Youko: 'A roommate? How nice! It must be fun, just like the going to the field trip with the school. I was in the dormitory during my undergraduate years, too. I wonder what they (my roommates) are doing right now. How much I miss them! You must feel the same, don't you? Do you keep contact with them?' (The field trip in Japanese high schools are almost always overnight.)

Seiji: 'No, they are not those kind of friends. It is over once we parted.'

Youko: 'Is that it? If I were you, I would like to see them no matter how old I became.'

Seiji: 'Our cases are different in the essence!'

Youko: 'I'm sorry. I intervened too much. But you look like that you're afraid to meet your friends.'

Seiji: *I am....afraid? About what?*

Youko: 'Oh, Reiko! Don't play the ball in such a place!'

Reiko: 'Mom, carry me! I'm tired.'

Youko: 'We're almost there.'

Seiji: 'The presentiment....I see. It will be another beginning of fighting with the evil when I see them again. If this is the case, I'd rather not meet them again. I don't want to fight anymore. Fighting for whom? For what? I never understand! There won't be any fighting if I don't meet them anymore. And there is no need to know the answer.'

Reiko: 'Aa'

Youko: 'Stop! Reiko!'

(Motorcycle approaching)
Youko: 'Reiko! REIKO!'

Seiji: 'WATCH OUT!!'

Youko: 'KYAAAAA!!!!'

Seiji: 'AAAA!!!'
(Seiji is hit by the motorcycle.)

Voice #1: 'Call the ambulance!'

Voice #2: 'You! Brace up! Brace up!'

Youko: 'Reiko! NO! REEIKOO!!'

Voice #3: 'Faster!'

(Seiji groans)
(Ambulance approaching)

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