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Japanese Beauty and the Beast
Once upon a time there was a young girl in her teen years, named Yuki. She lived in Nagoya, Japan back when there was Samurais, castles and dungeons. She knew the youngest sensei in Judo in her time, Tamotsuo. Unfortunately, Yuki cannot learn Judo, because girls are forbidden to practice this type of martial arts. It was truly a waste not to let Yuki learn Judo; she had all the perfect qualities: determination, courage, and concentration.
One day, Tamotsuo decided to go against the law, and teach Yuki Judo. He knew all of the terrible risks in teaching her, but he knew that to be a good sensei he had to have courage. So every day they practiced Judo secretly after curfew. Everything was going to plan, until Haru, Yuki’s admirer, decided there was something up with Yuki lately.
Why was she so tired all the time and why did she not pay any attention to him? Haru was the best looking man in the whole village, and even though Tamotsuo was the best at Judo, he proclaimed that he could beat him any day. Tamotsuo had too much pride to listen to Haru, besides, teaching Yuki always helped get through his stupidity.
One night, Haru got bored and decided to sneak out past curfew. He walked past the Judo practice areas, and caught Tamotsuo teaching Yuki how to fight. He finally knew why she seemed so interested in Tamotsuo and not him. He had to put a stop to this absurdity. He went straight to Emperor Akihito; he definitely had something to say about the matter.
Yuki and Tamotsuo were still practicing Judo when Emperor Akihito, his samurai bodyguards, and Haru came to take him away. He was banished to the worst place known at that time, the Hida Mountains. How do you get there? You have to trek across the wide and ferocious Kizo River. Of course all what Haru could do was smile in glory for he had won. Now surely Yuki would love him with no one else better to go to. However, Yuki was heartbroken and missed Tamotsuo.
The only thing she could think of was to sneak across the river and find him, of course he could be anywhere by now. Arriving at the river, Yuki saw how cold and uninviting the river was; it wound through the mountains not allowing anyone to get through. The only way to reach Tamotsuo was to cross through the river. It was cold and icy, she needed warmth right away. Suddenly, this huge castle seemed to pop up out of nowhere, once she crossed the river. This was her only hope for shelter and food.
She walked and found Tamotsuo locked in a dungeon, deep inside the castle. She cried, and Tamotsuo tried to get her to leave him and escape before…. He appeared to Yuki out of nowhere, scaring her out of her mind. He was a normal human, but he had an extremely ugly and disfigured face. All she could do was stand and stare. The beast took her by the arm and led her to another dungeon. Finally, her courage sprung back up.
She tried to get Tamotsuo free by letting him keep her instead. He looked at her and agreed to let him go, but she would have to stay. He locked her up and sent poor Tamotsuo on his way back to the village. Sure she was scared, but remembered that she had courage and pulled herself together. She needed warmth, obviously and food, so she had to talk to the terrifying beast again.
“Dozo, please let me out of this dungeon”, she pleaded, and the beast had mercy on her. He let her dine with him and he taught her about the castle and who he was.
“My name is Tatsuo and my father banished me here. He loves to banish people, and when I dishonored him by being selfish and mean, he simply banished me. I am lonely, so I imprisoned Tamotsuo, and then you came. You seemed nice and not as judgmental. Obviously, you decided that I may not be the scariest freak in the world.” Tatsuo turned away ashamed and sent her to her new bedroom.
Tamotsuo arrived at the village and told them about the beast and quietly died shortly after. The coldness of the river, and weary trek, kept him from warmth and wore his poor body down. Haru stepped into action immediately; his beloved Yuki had to be saved from this wretched beast that killed a Judo master.
As Yuki bonded and learned more about Tatsuo, she didn’t see his horrifying features anymore, she was slowly falling in love with him. He tried his hardest to comfort her and even danced with her out in the moonlight. Unfortunately all good things come to an end sooner or later.
Haru and some of the villagers arrived at the gigantic mansion and broke down the doors. They had guns ready to shoot down the beast. Tatsuo was out on the balcony, thinking about Yuki, when Haru burst in. They looked at each other; Haru acted first and shot him. Yuki heard the gun shot and ran out to help Tatsuo; he was on the balcony bloody and beaten. Running past Haru she quietly knelt beside him and burst out weeping.
Haru tried to make her stop and tell her that she was safe now but, a bright light burst from Tatsuo and he turned into the most beautiful man in Japan. He chuckled and tossed Haru out the mansion doors, and told him to never to come back again. Yuki and Tatsuo magically arrived at the emperor’s palace, and it suddenly hit Yuki; Emperor Akihito was Tatsou’s father and he was cursed as well as banished. He had to have a girl fall in love with him for who he was.
Yuki became part of the royal family. She made the emperor think hard about the law that girls can’t be taught Judo and he changed it so that all the girls in Japan could learn Judo. Many things changed because of Yuki’s courage. Yuki and Tatsuo lived happily ever after.