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Magistrate Ogyu was one of the two magistrates in Edo and had served in this position for thirty years. He also was Sano's superior, when Sano was a yoriki.

He was a thin, stoop-shouldered old man, who seemed lost in his voluminous silk robes. He had pale, spidery hands, a pinched face with drooping eye-lids and an age-spotted bald pate which looked like a diseased melon in flickering lamplight. Like many other members of the refined upper classes, never came directly to the point.

He stressed the importance of proper dress and appearance to Sano and reminded him what was expected from him, when Sano crossed the line of expected behavior. When Ogyu just had sentenced a man to death and his family to exile, he was as calm as could be. As he handled so many trials that he had grown inured to sights that would disturb others.

He inhabited one of the largest mansion in hibiya. A long, low building. Barred wooden lattices covered the windows. The roof’s projecting eaves cast deep shadows over the veranda. Its dark, brooding appearance seemed to Sano symbolic of the often harsh sentences pronounced inside.

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