The Curse of the Samurai kabuto

by Dr. Pelham Mead, Ed.D.

ACT TWELVE- THE SPIRIT OF TAIRA NO MASAKADO
SCENE- EXT. NIGHT- 940 JAPAN.
The curse of Masakado.
A number of warriors—including Masakado’s ally Fujiwara no Hidesato and some
his own relatives—were commissioned by the government to take his head. They
caught up with Masakado’s army in Shimosa province on the fourteenth day of
the second month of 940 CE. They attacked during a night ambush and quickly

defeated the rebels. Masakado’s men were outnumbered ten to one. Masakado
was beheaded, betrayed by his friends and family. The head was brought back to
Kyoto to be displayed in the east market as a message to would-be rebels.
Strangely, Taira no Masakado’s head did not decompose. Many months after it
was first displayed in the east market, it still looked as fresh as the day it was
severed. The eyes had grown fiercer, and the mouth twisted up into a hideous
grimace. Night after night the head would call out,
“Where is my murdered body!?
Come here! Reattach my head and let me fight once again!” And then things got
really strange.
One night the head began to glow. It flew off into the sky, across the country,
towards Shimosa. The head eventually grew tired and landed to rest in a fishing
village called Shibazaki (which would one day grow into the city of Edo). The
villagers who found the head cleaned it and buried it. A shrine was erected over
the grave and named Kubizuka—the mound of the head. Masakado was
honored and worshipped by the peasants as a true warrior, a symbol of justice
who stood in heroic defiance of a corrupt and lazy nobility. He was seen as an
underdog who was repeatedly betrayed and eventually murdered by those he
should have been able to trust. Despite his deification and popularity among the
lower classes, his ghost was not appeased. A few years after his head was
buried, the ghost of a samurai began to be seen in the neighborhood of his
shrine.
FADE IN:
EMPEROR SUZAKU
Hidesato I want you and your relatives to go to
the northern provinces and kill Tiara No
Masakado. He has become a threat to the
Empire and declared himself Emperor.

Hideri watashi wa anata to anata no oya
relative ga kita no shū ni iki, tiara no sei-mon o
koroshite hoshīdesu. Kare wa teikoku ni taisuru
kyōi to nari, jibun jishin o kōtei to sengen
shimashita.
HIDESATO, SAMURAI
I will do as you command Emperor. I will
assemble an Army and march north within the
week.

HIDESATO, SAMURAI (CONT’D)
We will humble Masakado for killing his Uncle
and other Governors of the northern provinces.
I am friendly with Masakado’s mistress Kikyo
and she has revealed to me the secret of
telling which of the kagemusha, Masakado
fake doubles, is really Masakado. In the light of
day he will be the only Samurai with a shadow.

Kōtei ni meijite yaru yo. 1-Shūkan inai ni guntai
o hensei shite kita e kōshin shimasu.
Watashitachi wa kare no oji to hokubu no shū
no ta no chiji o koroshita koto ni taishite
kenkyona Masakado o shimasu. Watashi wa
Masakado no aijin no kikyō ni shitashimi,
kanojo wa watashi ni kagemushadearu
Masakado no feikudaburu ga dore ga
Masakadodearu ka o tsutaeru himitsu o
akiraka ni shimashita. Ni~Tsu no hikari de, kare
wa kage o motsu yuiitsu no only ni narimasu.
EMPEROR SUZAKU
Go quickly and make no delay.
ی د í ة ج  ؤ ) h ح ح ë ی 0 / آ ê ?
Sugu ni iki, okureru koto wa arimasen.
So that day Hidesato assembled an Army in the name of the Emperor to go to
the northern provinces and find Tiara No Masakado.
One week later
TIARA NO MASAKADO, SAMURAI
I had a dream from the great Michizane and he
asked me to stand up and fight the Emperor
and his armies, and I promised to do that on
behalf of all the farmers and Samurai of the
north.

More to be continued from movie script.

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