Gobancho Yugiriro (Evening mist Tower of the Fifth Town, a novel) (五番町夕霧楼)

"Gobancho Yugiriro" (A House in the Quarter) is a representative work of Tsutomu MIZUKAMI, based on arson of Kinkaku-ji Temple in 1950 and the author's experience. Set in Goban-cho (Kyoto City), a red-light district existed until the Anti-Prostitution Law was enforced in 1958, this is a blighted love story between a girl who came from Tango to feed her family and a young priest who was her childhood friend.

Story line

The story was set in around 1950, shortly after the end of the World War II, when Yuko, the daughter of a wood cutter in Tarudomari (樽泊), a poor village in Tango, was voluntarily sold to a red-light district Goban-cho Yugiri-ro in Nishijin, Kyoto to be a prostitute to support her poor father, mother with lung disease, and three younger sisters. Having a patron named Jinzo, a lusting old man who was a textile manufacturer in Nishijin, Yuko became one of the top-selling prostitutes in Goban-cho within a year. However, Yuko was in love with her childhood friend from the same village, Seijun, a young priest. Jinzo intended to make Yuko his mistress, so he informed a chief priest of Hokaku-ji Temple where Seijun lived in as a trainee that the young priest was visiting the red-light district. Around the same time, Yuko's failing health resulted in lung disease and she was hospitalized. Meanwhile, Seijun was disappointed with his training as a priest because high-ranked priests at his temple were playing around extravagantly with donations from the supporters of the temple. One day, Seijun quarreled with the chief priest, set fire to the temple out of disappointment and anger, was arrested, and committed suicide. Reading of the incident in the newspaper, Yuko escaped from the hospital to go back to her hometown in Yosa Island where she killed herself following her lover Seijun.

[Original Japanese]