Sei and her two souls. A tale of depression and duality.

In a place called Koyo lived a man, Chokan, whose youngest daughter, Sei, was very beautiful, and the pride of her father. She had a handsome neighbour named Ochu, and Chokan used to joke that they would make a fine married couple. The two young people, however, took this chaffing seriously, and thought of themselves as engaged, being in love with each other. The father, however, intended to give Sei in marriage to another young man, Hinryo, and tragedy could not be avoided.

In indignation Ochu left the place by boat, and after several days’ journey, found one evening, to his astonishment, that Sei was on the same boat. Overjoyed, they went to the country of Shoku where they married and later had two children. Sei, however, could not forget her native place, and feeling she had deserted her father, wondered what he was thinking of her, and so they returned.

When they arrived, Ochu left Sei at the port and went to the father’s house to apologise for taking his daughter away from home, and to beg him for forgiveness.

“What is the meaning of this?” exclaimed the father. “Who is this woman you are talking about?”.

“It is Sei”, replied Ochu.

“Nonsense!”, said Chokan. “After you left Sei became ill and was in bed for several years. That’s not Sei at all!”.  

Ochu went back to the boat and brought Sei to her father’s house. Being told of this, the Sei lying in bed, when the Sei came from the boat, arose from her bed and went toward her, and the two became one.

Chokan said that after Ochu had left, his daughter never spoke, and lay there as if in a stupor. The soul must have gone from the body. Sei said that she had not known that her body was in the house. When she felt Ochu’s love, and saw him go, she had followed him as in a dream, but after that had remembered nothing.

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