The synopses of 11 of Black’s narrations which appear here were prepared from several sources. They include my own synopses of five of Black’s stenographic books (sokkibon) – Eikoku Rondon gekijô miyage [Story from a London Theater], Iwade Ginkô chishio no tegata [The Bloodstained Handprint at the Iwade Bank], Kusaba no tsuyu [Dew by the Graveside], Minashigo [The Orphan], and Shachû no dokubari [The Poisoned Pin in the Coach]. The remaining synopses are from other sources which I have credited in each case. The synopses are listed in alphabetical order according to the most common Japanese-language titles. For the dates of publication or first narration, I have largely relied on the work of Morioka Heinz and Sasaki Miyoko.
Where a source of information is given as “Morioka and Sasaki”, the source is: Morioka Heinz and Sasaki Miyoko, ‘The Blue-Eyed Storyteller: Henry Black and his Rakugo Career’, Monumenta Nipponica Vol. XXXVIII, No. 2, Summer 1983. Where a source is given as Itô, this is:
Itô Hideo (1986), Meiji no Tantei Shôsetsu, Sôkôsha, Tokyo, pp.119-129.
Bara musume (The Rose Girl)
Eikoku no otoshibanashi (The Beer Drinking Contest)
Eikoku Rondon gekijô miyage (Story from a London Theatre)
Iwade Ginkô chishio no tegata (The Bloodstained Handprint at the Iwade Bank)
Kusaba no tsuyu (Dew by the Graveside)
Minashigo (The Orphan)
Nagare no akatsuki (Dawn at the River)
Setsunaru tsumi (The Pitiful Sin)
Shachû no dokubari (The Poisoned Pin in the Coach)
Tabakozuki (The Heavy Smoker)
Tsurugi no hawatari (The Sword’s Edge)