[drama cd] xxxHOLiC – one hundred tales

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Yuuko Ichihara : Sayaka Ohara
Kimihiro Watanuki (& Bellboy) : Jun Fukuyama
Shizuka Doumeki (& Bartender) : Kazuya Nakai

01: 百物語 : Hyaku monogatari

TRACK 01: One Hundred Tales

BELLBOY: Welcome, Ichihara-sama.
YUUKO: It’s been awhile.
BELLBOY: Ten years, I believe.
YUUKO: That’s quite a long time. In exchange for that, I’ve brought along two youths with me.
BELLBOY: Welcome.

WATANUKI: This is my first time coming to such a fancy-looking hotel… I feel so out of place… I hope no one will think that I look too common or that I’m acting pompous…
DOUMEKI: They won’t.
WATANUKI: Damn it, Doumeki! Why are you the only one being so calm about this? [gasp] Have you done this before? Have you been here before?! You’re planning to impress me with your manipulative smooth talking, is that it?! That’s disgusting!
DOUMEKI: Calm down.
WATANUKI: I knew something was up the minute Yuuko-san said that she’d treat us sometime. She definitely has an ulterior motive.
YUUKO: Why, that’s rude. They do say that “One good turn deserves another,” you know.[1]
WATANUKI: So in other words, if you mess up when you’re being kind to someone, you’ve screwed them over for good?
YUUKO: It means that when people are nice to others, the favors they do come back to reward them over time.

[A door opens and the three of them walk inside.]

YUUKO: Once you realize that karma has its ways, that gives you incentive to treat your human relationships with care, don’t you agree?
WATANUKI: Yuuko-san just said something decent… What’s more surprising is finding out she was treating us like humans.
DOUMEKI: At least to me, anyway.
WATANUKI: What the heck!? She invited you too, so you’re in the same boat as me. [calms down] But, I guess I’m still happy. This is my first time in a hotel.
YUUKO: Just kidding! The truth is, I only wanted to come here for a drink!
WATANUKI: Ehhh?! You’re heading towards the bar!
YUUKO: I feel like having a cocktail today.
BARTENDER: Welcome. Please step this way.

[ALL walking.]

WATANUKI: [sigh] Here’s another place that looks expensive. She’s definitely bullying us. She’s definitely enjoying herself at our expense! I really don’t want to do this, but Doumeki and I will have to form an underage alliance of inexperienced persons and show her–
YUUKO: I’d like a dry martini.
DOUMEKI: I’d like whatever.
WATANUKI: He’s already made himself at home!
YUUKO: Is water enough for you, Watanuki?
WATANUKI: JUST WATER?! [gasp] I’m sorry for shouting.
BARTENDER: What’s important is that you are enjoying yourself. If you don’t like alcohol, would you prefer a Saratoga Cooler?
WATANUKI: Ah… okay, I’ll have that.
BARTENDER: Understood.

[The BARTENDER walks off.]

WATANUKI: Are you a regular customer here, Yuuko-san?
YUUKO: A regular customer, hmm? I suppose you can say that. I can’t come here often, though.
BARTENDER: Here you go.

[BARTENDER places all drinks.]

YUUKO: Let’s have a toast.
WATANUKI: Eh? To what?
YUUKO: Let’s see… To the bar that is ten years older.
TRIO: Cheers!

[ALL drinking.]

WATANUKI: This tastes great!
BARTENDER: Thank you.
YUUKO: Mm~ The taste in this one hasn’t changed.
BARTENDER: Yes. It’s sprinkled with a few drops of vermouth.
WATANUKI: Since the ceiling is so high, the echoes of voices are like pleasant background music. Everyone around here is all adults, too. It almost feels like another world.
YUUKO: [chuckles] What would you do if it really was another world?
YUUKO: You’d be able to accept anything and anyone in a world separate from your own, no matter what happens or when it takes place. That’s the sort of place a hotel is. It wouldn’t be strange if beings that aren’t human gathered here.
WATANUKI: Then… Then that means… E–EHHH?!!!
DOUMEKI: Be quiet.
WATANUKI: Yuuko-san… you’re just teasing me like usual, are you?
DOUMEKI: No. There are a lot of ghost stories that take place in hotels.
WATANUKI: Stop! It’s rude to say that here!
BARTENDER: I don’t mind.
DOUMEKI: Then I’ll keep talking.
WATANUKI: No, show some restraint!
DOUMEKI: My grandfather and his friend went to Izu for a summer trip in their youth.
WATANUKI: He’s already jumping into his story.
YUUKO: Oh, is this an exotic adventure tale? If we went by time periods, I’m guessing it’s similar to ‘Izu no Odoriko.’
DOUMEKI: Well, it was nothing as romantic as that. Because they were students, they didn’t decide on a place to stay. When they arrived there, they would simply ask the locals if there were any lodgings in the area, and stay the night in whichever was vacant. It’s like those backpacker stories that still happen even now.
YUUKO: Kakubou![2] Mantles! School uniforms! And whatever luggage they have, they carry in a furoshiki![3]
Oh, Taisho romance tales are so nice! How I admire them!
WATANUKI: Admire? You actually have emotions like that, Yuuko-san?
YUUKO: Of course! Well, go on.
DOUMEKI: And then… well, just as you’d expect in these kinds of situations, rain began to fall in the evening. They were unable to find any lodgings. While they were at a loss over what to do, they heard from someone that there was an old inn up ahead which they hurried to.
It was a large mansion that looked like a temple. Apparently, since this was before the Meiji restoration, it was used by the feudal lord in the area as a headquarters base for his troops. Yet surprisingly, the people in the inn were all very sociable to them.
Relieved, my grandfather and his friend entered their room, peeled off their wet clothes to dry, and took a bath. The food they were given was delicious, and I’ve heard many times from him that he had never before nor after tasted rice as good as what was served there. It was white rice that gave off a sweet smell. Both of them cleaned out an entire tub of it.
After eating their fill, they were about to head to bed… when his friend’s shoulders suddenly jumped. Seeing this, my grandfather turned and asked what was wrong. When his friend didn’t answer, he followed his friend’s gaze and he, too, froze.
In front of them was a full bowl of rice, with its top shaped like a dome. There was still steam rising from the warm rice.
At first my grandfather thought that perhaps the host had left it there so they could help themselves to it later. But… after thinking a bit about it, he realized that couldn’t be possible. In order to reach the front of the room, he would have had to pass by them. There’s no way they could have missed him.
It couldn’t have been left there when they were first served either, because my grandfather and his friend had never left the room. Yet, there was fresh steam coming off of the rice.

What’s more…

There were two chopsticks stuck inside the rice.[4]


WATANUKI: Th–Th–Th–Th–That’s it?
WATANUKI: That makes it even harder to settle down! [gasp at a realization] It truly is a story that’s hard to “settle” down. There’s no closure!![5]
YUUKO: All of the mysteries of the world are like that.

[WATANUKI trembles]

YUUKO: Oh~? Are you shaking, Watanuki?
DOUMEKI: No one expects it of him, but he is a scaredy-cat.
WATANUKI: What makes you so sure about that?!
YUUKO: Well, Doumeki-kun does know everything about you, Watanuki.
WATANUKI: What do you mean ‘yes’?! That’s gross! Besides, I wasn’t scared at all! [composes himself quickly] That’s it! I have a story of my own! Do you mind if I tell you one I experienced myself?
YUUKO: Go right ahead.
WATANUKI: Once, on a school field trip, we headed towards Hakone.
YUUKO: Hakone? No one but bicyclers and couples cheating on their spouses go there anymore.
WATANUKI: What assumptions did that image of yours come from?! That’s rude to the people living in Hakone!
DOUMEKI: And by bus, huh?
WATANUKI: Don’t comment on something I haven’t even said yet!! Besides, you normally go by bus to Hakone anyway!
YUUKO: Well, what happened? Go on.
WATANUKI: Geez, you were the one who interrupted me…
[coughs] It was really sunny and warm when we departed from home, but there were reports that typhoons were approaching. By the afternoon, the weather had turned for the worst. When we finally reached the lodgings where we’d spend the night, it was a very old and rustic Japanese-style inn.
YUUKO: [startled] Eh?!
WATANUKI: …I haven’t said anything yet.
YUUKO: Well, it was such a typical setup that I couldn’t help being surprised.
WATANUKI: You kept quiet and listened while Doumeki was talking!
YUUKO: That was that. This is this.
WATANUKI: Man, you’re making this hard for me to do… I’m moving on!
YUUKO: Okay, okay.
WATANUKI: So. We separated into groups and went to our rooms in that homely inn. The incident happened that night. The small room I was staying in was separated from the others and located in the northernmost part of the building. When I opened the window, I could see a steep slope of bamboo right behind it.
On that night, just when it approached midnight, I woke up from hearing a strange sound. It went tap tap tap. But there was nothing in particular in the room that could be making that sound, so at first I thought I was imagining things.
But after a short while, there was a thump thump thump and the noise grew a little louder. I knew right away that it wasn’t my imagination, and took a closer look at my surroundings. It turned out the sound was the rattling of my window.
I thought maybe the wind was blowing against the glass, but then the noise got even louder, and it sounded like someone was banging on the window with their hands. I knew it would be a bad thing if I opened the window, so I hid underneath the covers and pretended to ignore the sound. Gradually, it stopped. I thought that was pretty scary, but before I realized it, I’d fallen asleep.
But then… when I woke up the next morning and saw the window, a chill ran down my spine. There were hand imprints all over the glass. What’s more, it was that of a small child’s! But because my room was on the second floor and it had no balcony, there was no way someone could have been banging my window from the outside.
Feeling creeped out beyond belief, I told the okami[6] about what happened last night.
This is what she told me.
Around ten years ago, a young girl was lost in a typhoon. The last place she was spotted was in the bamboo grove that I saw behind the inn. On that day, she’d disappeared without a trace and no one knew where she was now, but… it’s possible that she’s still lost and looking for a home to return to.

[YUUKO keeps silent.]

WATANUKI: Huh? Was my story not scary to you, Yuuko-san? …Wait, she’s sleeping!
YUUKO: [wakes up] Huh? Is it over already? [yawns] The story was so long that I ended up falling asleep. May I have a refill?
BARTENDER: Understood.
WATANUKI: Geez, just when I thought she’d stopped teasing me… Doumeki! At least you were listening, right? …Hey, he’s not even here!
DOUMEKI: [walking up to them] The bathroom line was longer than I expected. [blinks] Hm? Watanuki, you’re done already?
WATANUKI: Neither of you were even listening?! Fine, forget it!
DOUMEKI: You sure give up easily.
WATANUKI: WHOSE fault is that?!
BARTENDER: Here you go, Ichihara-sama.
YUUKO: Thank you. [takes a sip] The two of you talked about travel destinations, was it? Then I will, too.
WATANUKI: Oh no… Yuuko-san’s stories are scary… Some spirits might appear again like when we did the Hyaku Monogatari at Doumeki’s temple.
YUUKO: [smiles] Should I tell one that tests out that idea of yours?
WATANUKI: No thank you.
DOUMEKI: Besides, I didn’t bring my bow.
WATANUKI: Well, it couldn’t be helped that time, but it’s not as if I needed you to save me…!
YUUKO: [claps] Okay, stop. Let’s leave your well-known mutual flirtations for another day.
WATANUKI: I am NOT flirting with him!
YUUKO: My story takes place at a hotel. It’s a very beautiful and majestic hotel. Both the building and its furniture are a blend of the Japanese and Western cultures. If you want a visual, it looks similar to the Rokumeikan.[7]
YUUKO: Yes. It even has a wonderful bar. The martini there is delicious.
WATANUKI: Would you happen to be talking about… this hotel…?
YUUKO: A woman was staying over in a corner room on the second floor. The bed was large and covered with silk sheets. She loved the hotel, so she was looking forward to her stay there. However, when she dove onto her bed, she rolled over to find a small memo on her pillow. Wondering what it was, and thinking it was a message from the hotel, she took a look. On it was written,
‘There is a ghost that is always haunting this room.’

[WATANUKI gasps.]

YUUKO: Thinking that it must be a prank, she immediately left it there. But it still bothered her. Wouldn’t it bother you, too? Still, since she was in her beloved hotel, she decided to fully enjoy herself there and went to the bathroom first.
There, she found that the bathtub was wet, as if someone had just used it. The cleaning maids couldn’t have left such a mess. After all, the hotel here is a wonderful place.

WATANUKI: I knew it!
YUUKO: The hotel just like this one here is a wonderful place.
WATANUKI: The part you revised makes it even more suspicious!
YUUKO: And yet… it was obvious that someone had used it. That girl became scared. She decided not to take a bath that night, but go to sleep instead… wearing her favorite light purple pajamas.
DOUMEKI: She didn’t wash her face?
WATANUKI: Keep quiet, you.
YUUKO: Yes, she didn’t.
Well, she climbed into bed and was prepared to go to sleep… but this time, she heard someone walking in the room.
Step step step.
Step step step.
It sounded soft, as if this person was wearing slippers. But there was no one in the room.
And then after that, there was a large creak.
A dent formed in the bedsheets, as if someone’s hands were pushing down on them, and she felt the presence of someone climbing into the bed.
WATANUKI: That’s definitely a ghost!
YUUKO: She thought so as well, and that made it even harder for her to move.
Then that entity who entered her bed made a loud scraping noise and touched her arm.

[WATANUKI gasps.]

YUUKO: Scared out of her wits, she escaped to the edge of the bed, but that thing also stepped back as if it was shocked.
But again, with a slow dragging sound, it approached her.
It seemed as if it was peering at her.

[A brief silence]

She tried to escape somehow, but that invisible thing grew closer and closer.
It touched her again, and this time… she could hear something shrill… yes, like a scream. As if it was running wild, that thing let out a strange cry as it ran about the room, and it rattled the doorknob as if it was trying to open it.
She had no idea what was going on, and could only sit there shaking in fear.

Just at that moment, her eyes fell on the memo.
When she looked more closely at it, she saw that it had another line.

‘There is a ghost that is always haunting this room.’

‘It wears purple pajamas.’

[A long silence. The clock rings.]

DOUMEKI: I get it.
YUUKO: Lalala~ Watanuki is left in the dark.
WATANUKI: Ehhh…. So… what does that mean? The ghost was..?
YUUKO: It’s bad form to explain a ghost story after you’ve said it. Right, Doumeki-kun?
WATANUKI: Why are you two understanding each other?!
YUUKO: We should get going. The bill, please.
BARTENDER: Very well. Please wait a bit.
DOUMEKI: Thank you for the treat.
YUUKO: Did you two have fun?
WATANUKI: Yeah… it was more normal than I’d thought it would be.
YUUKO: I wonder if we can come back here again. The martini here is the most delicious ever.
BARTENDER: You will, if the fates allow time and people to meet again.
YUUKO: [chuckles] That’s true.
WATANUKI: Eh? What do you mean by…?
YUUKO: Everything is paid with a price of equal value. What we spend here… is “time.”
YUUKO: Yes. In exchange for the cocktail, we paid an amount of the current “time” we live in.
DOUMEKI: Like Taro Urashima[8] or Rip Van Winkle, is it?
WATANUKI: Wait, those stories… aren’t they the ones where, if we go back, tons of years have passed and everyone we know has died and…?!
YUUKO: But we had fun, so that doesn’t matter, right?
WATANUKI: Ehhh, but there’s Himawari-chan, and then Himawari-chan, and Himawari-chan is…?!
YUUKO: Just kidding~. It was a lie. A lie.

[YUUKO gets up from her seat to leave. WATANUKI stands there looking at her.]

BARTENDER: Thank you very much.
WATANUKI: It was a lie? [relieved laugh] Oh, okay… [sighs]

[ALL walk out.]

BELLBOY: Shall I send for a car?
YUUKO: Thank you, but no. We’ll walk back.
BELLBOY: Very well. Please take care.
YUUKO: Good night.
WATANUKI: Good night!

[ALL begin walking.]

WATANUKI: Huh? But when we first arrived, we had to ride a lot of taxis to get here.
YUUKO: That is one of fate’s quirks.
YUUKO: Don’t you think the bartender looked a bit like Doumeki-kun?
DOUMEKI: The bellboy looked exactly like Watanuki. But a more calmer version.
WATANUKI: Eh? You think so?
YUUKO: They say that there may be three people in the world who look exactly like you… In other words, that may mean that there are three different worlds you can live in.
DOUMEKI: Parallel universes, is it?
YUUKO: Yes. The membrane that separates worlds is unexpectedly thin.
WATANUKI: I don’t have any idea what you two are talking about.

[WATANUKI pauses as he takes in his surroundings.]

WATANUKI: …Hm? H–Huh? This place is… the usual intersection…?
DOUMEKI: Well, my house is that way. Thank you for tonight.
YUUKO: Good night, Doumeki-kun.
DOUMEKI: Good night.

[DOUMEKI walks off.]

WATANUKI: Huh? Eh? But… [a slow gasp] Could that hotel be…?
YUUKO: Relax. Only five minutes have passed.
WATANUKI: Five minutes?! But we stayed there for a full 3-4 hours!
YUUKO: How strange.
WATANUKI: Don’t just say that!! Then… Then what did I really pay?!
YUUKO: [smiles] Not telling~!
WATANUKI: EHHHH?! Wait a second!! Hey, please tell me!!! Instead of paying, it feels more like I’m the one who received something!!!

[1] 情けは人の為ならず (Nasake wa hito no tame narazu) = literal translation is “Good deeds are not just for other people.”
[2] 角帽 (kakubou) = A square academic cap that Japanese university students formerly wore.
[3] 風呂敷 (furoshiki) = An oversized square cloth that the Japanese use to wrap, store, or transport items.
[4] The Japanese superstition is that it is bad luck to pierce your chopsticks into a full bowl of rice. Chopsticks are only stuck in rice when that rice is placed in front of a funeral altar.
[5] 落ち着かない (ochitsukanai) vs オチつかない (ochi tsukanai) = Both are read the same, but the former means that the speaker can’t calm down, while the latter means something will never reach a conclusion. Watanuki made a dorky pun.
[6] 女将 (okami) = The inn’s proprietress
[7] 鹿鳴館 (Rokumeikan) = Picture taken from (ttp://www.geocities.com/ninodamachi/ie32.htm).
[8] Taro Urashima is a Japanese folktale about a fisherman who saves a turtle. In return for his kindness, the turtle takes him down into the ocean depths to the Coral Palace, where he is treated like royalty. Only a few days he passes there in tranquility and luxury, but he grows homesick and asks to be returned to his hometown. The princess gives him a box and agrees to his request, only on the condition that he never opens the box. When Urashima Taro arrives on land, he is shocked to find out that more than hundreds of years have passed. Everyone he knows has died. Struck with grief, he opens the box, only to turn old and die. The box had contained his true age.

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