The sound of the shamisen filled the air, exquisite and refined. The streets, filled with people, were bathed in the red light of the lanterns hanging from the roofs. The red light district of Kyoto was the site of many okiya – geisha houses. It is here that many powerful men of the empire came to entertain their desire for music, dance, refined discussion, and of course – the company of beautiful geisha.
“Tonight is the night” thought Natsuko as she was fixing up the knot of her hair. She had been preparing for this. The owner of the geisha house had been bribed to make Natsuko known as one of her newest and most prized apprentices. She had played the shamisen and had performed a dance before the patrons of the geisha house and she knew she had impressed them. The object of her interest had taken the bait.
“Tonight is the night” she thought again as she was finishing her make up with measured and delicate strokes of the brush. Her brown eyes were made prominent by the feint rouge she added. The flowers were fixed in her hair and she knew she was almost ready. He had contacted the owner and had requested Natsuko’s company for the night. She would play the shamisen for him, sing songs and appease his ego until he forgets all safety and caution.
“Tonight is the night” was in her mind as the she played out her entire plan for the last time. Her kimono was prepared and tightened. The white chrysanthemums, adorning the kimono, stood out sharply on a black background, creating the feeling of beauty and innocence she needed to project in order to do what she had to do. The blade was hidden in her shamisen and just as a second precaution she had poisoned one of the pins in her hair. If the situation demanded it, she would use them to deadly effect. The special coating numbed pain, he wouldn’t even feel it.
“Tonight, I will end him” was on her mind, as she stepped into the room and her eyes fell on the man she was thinking of.