He didn't have to say a word.
He didn't have to say a word. Even from two cho away, even in the fading light of dusk, Sakamoto Ryouma stuck out like a sore thumb. Everything about him screamed, "Hey, over here, look at me!" Strange clothes, strange hair, strange speech. Glasses and a cowboy hat like some shining icon of the West. Dark, dark skin. English like the men in black suits at Yokohama. English like his father. Nothing could shift attention from him. Not the prostitutes drawing men away into the depths of Shimabara with the promise of kisses for a price. Not the vendors shouting out the prices and qualities of their wares in an attempt to reel in a few more straggling, last-minute customers.
Ichimura Tatsunosuke chanted a mantra of, "that's the reason why," as he stared down the bustling dirt street, the last rays of the sun slipping past the rooftops of Kyoto.
cho - Japanese unit of measurement; approximately 358 feet