Episode 3: Forgery scam
A male artist is killed in the streets of Edo and an erotic painting is found among his personal effects. Shogoro ignores the case and marvels at the quality of the painting. On the other hand, why is it that Ryoji seems to be leading an unusually good life everyday?
At that moment, Okiku is visiting Nakamura Mondo to discuss her friend, Oshizu’s matter. Oshizu’s husband, Heikichi, was a skillful artist of the Ino school but he quit the school because he disliked its conventionalism. He has been without a job since then, taking to the bottle and behaving violently towards Oshizu.
But witnessing the deterioration of Oshizu’s health, Heikichi decides to work seriously. He starts working for Tsuruya Chuzaemon, the ukiyoe publisher. Tsuruya is a publisher in Edo who makes a lot of money from selling paintings of performers by the popular and mysterious Shuraku.
Meanwhile, at the Minami-machi Magistrate’s Office, it is decided that there will be a crackdown on erotic paintings by the direct orders of Kirino Hanbe, a deputy judge and police official. Tsuruya is also to be investigated. In a rare move, Shogoro volunteers for the role because the work concerns his favourite performer’s paintings but he doesn’t find Tsuruya suspicious.
Heikichi isn’t having an easy time working at Tsuruya and gradually finds himself feeling suffocated as he is not able to draw the paintings that he wants. Oshizu senses this and with her encouragement and support, Heikichi quits Tsuruya but is killed shortly after that. Next to his dead body, an erotic painting is …
At the same time, the magistrate’s office receives an anonymous tip off that a lending library called Haruya is dealing with erotic paintings and raids the place. Haruya claims he has no recollection but after being brutally tortured at Kirino’s instructions, he is compelled to admit that he made Heikichi as well as the artist who had been murdered earlier on draw erotic paintings, and also confesses to murdering both of them.
However, Ryoji, who has been earning extra income drawing erotic paintings at Haruya, declares to Shogoro that there wasn’t a man like Heikichi drawing such paintings. He guesses that after Heikichi drew the paintings as the fake Shuraku, he was murdered and framed as the artist of the erotic paintings. Tsuruya has hooked up with Kirino and they have planned to make large profits even after Shuraku’s death with a fake Shuraku.
At that moment, Oshizu appeals to Tsuruya, testifying that her husband didn’t draw erotic paintings but she is killed by Tsuruya’s henchman, Sakuma. The assassins begin their “job” to avenge Heikichi and Oshizu. Mondo takes on Sakuma and Genta kills Tsuruya’s clerk, Gosuke. Pretending to be a new painter, Ryoji visits Tsuruya and stabs him in the neck while Shogoro slays Kirino as he emerges from the magistrate’s office.
Fukikoshi Mitsuru as Heikichi
Shimizu Misa as Oshizu
Nishida Ken as Tsuruya Chuzaemon
Taniguchi Takashi as Kirino Hanbe
Ine Kenji as Sakuma
Honjomaru Hiroshi as Gosuke
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