Disclaimer: I do not own or take claim of this movie. So don't take it upon yourself to kill me.
June of 1872
Chapter I: Two Worlds
Mara Johnson watched the sun rise over the mountains of this new land that would become her home for the next year. She had read stories and listened to her father talk about the people and spiritual power of this country he called Japan.
The ship docked in the port of Yokohama. She stood along the deck and witnessed the mountains appear from behind clouds and fog. She could see that a wondrous city had been built around the harbor.
Soon they were off board the ship and walking into the harbor. The year was 1872. Mara Johnson was 15 years old, and was going to turn 16 in two months. Her birthday gift was this trip to Japan, and to join her father on an expedition into the countryside and also to the capital, Tokyo.
As the sun rose Mara removed her hat her blondish brown hair frizzled a bit from the removal of it. Her emerald green eyes caught sight of a pair of young Japanese ladies in their traditional clothing. Those set of eyes watched in content of how those women moved along the road.
"Come darling, do not stare. It is considered in polite," she heard a voice say from behind.
The pale skinned young lady turned to catch eye of a middle aged man in his early forties. He was dressed an aristocratic English man, and that man was her father.
"Dear father, do we actually get to see Tokyo?" she asked for the millionth time.
"Yes Mara; now stop pestering and head for the carriage over there."
The man and his young daughter made their way to the carriage when an older man followed them carrying their belongings.
"Sir Johnson, do you wish to for your cane?" he asked.
"Oh dear, how dreadful. I had forgotten it. Do hand it here," he replied.
The luxurious cane was brought to him, and the carriage sped away as soon as the door was shut.
Those same pair of emerald green eyes continued to take in every aspect of the harbor city and the countryside that soon followed.
Lord Katsumoto and his young son Nobutada made their way into Tokyo to meet with the dreadful council of the Emperor. Nobutada knew his father suffered so much to deal with those wannabe Europeans.
He never quite understood why his people so desperately wanted to be someone they were not. So many in the larger cities had changed their ways and had lost their honor in his opinion. The next thing he expected was that they would create a law to throw out people like himself and his father.
They finally reached the royal palace and were escorted to their rooms to wait to be summoned to the council. Nobutada finally decided to speak to his father.
"Father, why have we come? They care not to listen to our pleas to restore our traditions. They only care for money and power; greed is what drives them."
"Son, be patient. We have not come here to only give our voice and service to the emperor, but also reply to his request. A request I am most interested in servicing to," the elder man replied.
"What do you mean father?" he asked with curiosity.
"The emperor has requested that we both learn the language of a people they call 'the English," his father replied stoically.
Accepting his father's answer with no protest Nobutada left their room to take a stroll along the stream that ran along and through the noble palace. He needed to clear his mind of all thoughts, and remember that he was a samurai. Honor, courage, and duty came above all else.
As he continued to walk his mind wondered when he saw from a carriage emerge a man and a young woman that did not belong in this country.
"We have arrived at last father," Mara exclaimed with joy.
Her words went unnoticed as her father spoke the native language to one of the guards as he explained who they were. The guard and her father seemed so deep in conversation Mara decided to wonder off to the sound of water in the distance.
He watched her approach the stream. Her exotic beauty struck him like an arrow meeting its target. Her pale white skin, her light colored hair, and her piercing green eyes. Nobutada almost fell over a small Buddha statue when he backed away when she approached the water.
In her unusual clothing she came to the water and finally noticed Nobutada when she turned. At first she jumped a little to his presence. He looked like a noble warrior in his armor carrying his bow across his back.
No doubt his appearance had startled her first. Her eyes turned from fear to curiosity in a flash.
Mara saw the warrior from behind her, and he scared her at first. Soon her expression and fear went away when she looked into his deep brown eyes. Although his young face already had years of battles, his eyes still held the same innocence her eyes did. He didn't seem much older than her.
She approached him slowly with curiosity in hopes he might allow her to look deeper into his eyes. They never broke eye contact, but that was until she heard her father call out her name.
She broke their contact, and ran off to her father's call. She had hoped to see him again soon. She left with a small wave good bye before returning to her father.
The unusual woman had left so suddenly when a man called what seemed to be a name.
Nobutada attempted to say the name again with many failed attempts. Until finally he was able to basically say it, "Ma…ar….ar…a."
"How interesting this woman would be if I were to meet her again," he silently said to himself.
He left the stream and returned to his father. Once he arrived his father had told him it was time for them to meet with the council and meet with the emperor.