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March 19th, 2004

Takeshi Akitsugu

Akitsugu sat under the roof's overhang and lsitened to it rain. The droplets misted his face and crested haori. It smelled of wet decay, what with the fall leaves strewn accross the ground in their brown and scarlet sheet. Takeshi Akitsugu watched the raindrops sprinkle onto the withered leaves, joining together with the puddles and streams which sat and stagnated and reeked of autumn.
His name, Akitsugu, contained the character for "autumn" - the symbols of tree and fire. Though the trees looked ablaze in the lights at night; but during the cloudy pale days, those burning leaves were drenched and drowning. Why didn't the kanji imply that as well?
Why was he even given the name? His father had chosen it on a snowy evening while he still was blind. He always claimed that he was the snow on the green winter bamboo, Akitsugu remembered, dropping his head on his bent knees.
Why didn't brother or sister remember father the way Akitsugu did? They had both been young at the time of his death, but still..Still, they did not see him for who he was..
Only a young man himself, Takeshi Yukio had been the sole heir to the family. And those playing political shadow games had wanted him just as they planned to make him. Father had other plans. And he paid dearly for it with the loss of sight among other scars. Most would have given up hope or given in. Yukio hadn't but his name was smeared with ruin and his life soon cut short. All that remained were the three children his wife had given him before she too was killed.
"I can't let this continue on," Akitsugu muttered. "Those who destoryed my family and spread coruption amongst the houses will finally be faced with their crimes. And as no one else will do it, I will."
His imooto (younger sister) Ayame-chan was still only a girl in her teens, and his otouto(younger brother) Hayashi-kun was too preoccupied with the work of settling down with wife and children. Akitsugu did not have such constraints. The teacher of the Takeshi family was naught when the name was tainted with dishonor.
Akitsugu fingered the seppuku blade at his sash. It had not been unsheathed since..since..well, that was over ten years ago. Ten years at least that his father had..
Akitsugu cringed. Father, you'd endured so much and yet you never lost your will or heart. I wish to carry those on and see and end to this madness. Once and for all. Even if it means death.
A bird startled a thin branch in the pine above his head.
And the pines are crying, again - just as they did for Master Shoin.

Akitsugu stood. He shook the wrinkles from his black haori and smiled upon the family crests. Yes, for family. His firey brown eyes passed over to the roji garden with its melting leaves and warm wet puddles. His face almost lit up with its beauty. He inhaled a deep breath and let the wind tangle his short silvery hair. "I too am 29 this year," he told the pine trees. If I fall, will you remember to weep for me?


This is what my manga-to-be is about: Yukio and his wife Keiko along with the three children and their experiences.
Each cover has the theme of a precious stone and its properties as well as an aspect of Japanese traditional culture. Akitsugu-kun is my favorite - *huggles*
I am now inspired to draw stuff with this...maybe I shall go do it now^^

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