Yoshida Ginjiroâ€™s craft obsessed him. From the moment he was apprenticed with old Watanabe, the shell of the venerable tortoise fascinated him. Hard and durable when cool, pliant and malleable after boiling in water, it could be cut with a saw, curled, bent, embossed, textured and polished. It could put to a thousand uses: armour for samurai, hair combs for women, boxes for the secretive, picture frames for the lonely, spoons and chopsticksâ€¦an endless list.
Having obtained a good position in his masterâ€™s workshop at the age of twenty-two, Ginjiro acquired a wife. Kaori was a potterâ€™s daughter. Although not particularly beautiful â€“ a little bony, in fact â€“ she had a pleasant face and, more importantly, she was sweet and tender and clever about managing the household. At first there was no love between them, but this was normal. They were kind to one another and, over time, they grew to care for each other very much, and learned to be attentive to each otherâ€™s comforts.
As Ginjiro attained proficiency as a craftsman, he began to focus his efforts on one object alone. His reputation as a maker of fine tortoise shell dildos spread through the town. He obtained commissions from a few noble families in the area to produce dildos of specific shapes and sizes, weights and styles. Sometimes, they even asked him to carve particular motifs into them â€“ secret signs of affection between lovers or family crests.
As the commissions became more specific and elaborate, Ginjiro felt the need to ensure the quality of his work. One day, with some hesitation, he brought home a prototype of a design he was working on.
After finishing their evening meal, Ginjiro cleared his throat awkwardly. â€œKaori, my dear, will you do me a favour? Iâ€™m concerned about my work and perhaps you couldâ€¦help?â€
His wife nodded demurely, still clearing the dishes. â€œOf course, Ginjiro.â€
He pulled his work satchel open and drew out his latest piece of work, carefully wrapped in a fine piece of silk. Kaori sat with her hands in her lap, full of expectation. He offered it to her and she took it in both hands with exaggerated reverence, after wiping them energetically on her apron.
She smiled, bobbed her head, and carefully drew the edges of the silk aside. The gleaming, patterned cylinder glinted in the lamplight. â€œOh, Ginjiro, itâ€™s beautiful.â€ She delicately turned it, protecting it from her fingers with the silk. â€œHow can I help?â€
â€œWellâ€¦â€ Ginjiro gave a little cough. â€œCould you give it a try and tell me what you think?â€
Kaori smiled, but there was something vague about the way she nodded. Casting her gaze back to the object, she nibbled at her lower lip. â€œCertainly, butâ€¦ how do I try it? What is it?â€
Suddenly Ginjiro felt like a fool. It had never occurred to him to tell her exactly what he made at the workshop. And, Kaori, having come from a poor family would have never set eyes on an object like this before. Only the wealthy could afford this sort of thing.
â€œItâ€™s a tool for pleasuring women.â€
Kaori stared at him for a moment, before holding the object up, turning it in her hand. Then she burst into laughter. â€œThis isâ€¦oh, my dearâ€¦like a daikon radish, only for rich people!â€
He waited a little impatiently for her to stop laughing. â€œYes, a daikon for rich people. Soâ€¦ will you give it a try and tell me how it feels?â€
Suppressing her giggles, she wrapped the piece back up and nodded. â€œNow?â€
â€œWell, if you wouldnâ€™t mind. Iâ€™d like to fix any problems with it tomorrow.â€
It then that Ginjiro realized that Kaori appeared confused. â€œIsâ€¦ is anything wrong, my dear?â€
â€œNo,â€ she whispered and got to her feet, still clutching the silk wrapped dildo in both hands. â€œIâ€™ll just try it in the bedroom â€“ alone â€“ if you donâ€™t mind.â€
â€œOh, yes, of course, by all means, my dear,â€ said Ginjiro. He hadnâ€™t imagined he would feel uncomfortable about this â€“ after all, these were his works of art â€“ but somehow, he did.
Gazing into the hearth fire, he waited with only the songs of amorous crickets outside for company. He closed his eyes and strained to hear any noise from the bedroom, but his wife was silent. After a while, Ginjiro grew bored and set himself to imagining a series of cricket figures embossed up the side of a large dildo. He became lost in the puzzle of how to produce an interlocking pattern of crickets.
Kaoriâ€™s footsteps broke his reveries. She quietly knelt down beside him, and handed over the wrapped dildo.
â€œWell?â€ he asked earnestly.
Kaori, whose cheeks were slightly flushed, pushed a wisp of hair off her forehead. â€œIt works,â€ she said.
Ginjiro nodded gravely. â€œButâ€¦â€ he searched for the exact answers he needed. â€œDoes it feel right? Does it cause any discomfort? Is itâ€¦pleasurable.â€
â€œOh, yes!â€ she said, nodding, a darker blush overtaking the pink on her flushed cheeks.
â€œIs there anything that, perhaps, would make it better,â€ asked Ginjiro gently. â€œPlease, Iâ€™d like to know.â€
His wife thought for a moment and said: â€œMy hand began to slip when I became tooâ€¦ wet. Some sort of ridges on the end would stop that.â€
â€œOkay. Ridges,â€ Ginjiro noted. â€œAnd, anything else?â€
â€œWell, I think it might be better if it curved a little. Like yours,â€ she said, smiling and giving him a sideways glance. â€œThen it would touch some of the pleasurable parts on the inside of me, like yours does.â€
It was Ginjiroâ€™s turn to colour. â€œCurvedâ€¦excellent. Anything else?â€ This was all very valuable information, Ginjiro realized. He pulled a piece of parchment out of his satchel and began writing down her comments with a stick of charcoal.
â€œWould it be possible to make the tip more lifelike? With a bit of a flare under the head?â€
â€œOh, does that matter? I didnâ€™t think women cared that much.â€
Kaori raised an eyebrow at her husband and grinned. â€œThat little bump is very important. I would miss it greatly if it wasnâ€™t there.â€
Even as Ginjiro scribbled down her remarks, he felt his own cock twitching to life. It had never occurred to him that she appreciated his member so much and in such detail. The thought made him very proud, and very horny.
Putting down his notes, he reached over and stroked her still glowing cheek. â€œWould you like to feel it now?â€ he said, smiling.
She got to her feet wordlessly, beaming, and pulled her husband into the bedroom.
* * *
The next day when he arrived home, Ginjiro was full of apprehension. Without even waiting until after dinner, he handed Kaori another silk-wrapped dildo and asked her to try it.
Again, she nodded and retreated to the bedroom. It was with considerable relief that Ginjiro heard soft gasps and moans emanating from the room. His corrections to the design had obviously improved it. Less than five minutes later she emerged from the bedroom, her face gleaming with sweat, her hair in total disarray. She hadnâ€™t even bothered to adjust her kimono.
â€œWell?â€ He smiled at her.
She returned his smile. â€œThatâ€¦ that was much, much better. All the adjustments you have made give great pleasure, Ginjiro. Great pleasure! Iâ€¦ohâ€¦Iâ€™m quiteâ€¦â€ She fell silent, busying herself with her hair and straightening her robe as best she could. It was clear she liked his newest piece of art.
Ginjiro was overcome with pride, but he wanted to make sure that there was nothing that would improve the dildo even further. â€œIs there anything that might make it better?â€
â€œOhâ€¦â€ Kaori thought, her eyes rising to the ceiling. â€œWell, I guess it could be a little more curved, just toward the end.â€
â€œMore curved! Excellent!â€
He packed the dildo back up in is satchel, but dinner would have to wait. Her enthusiasm was so erotic, her disarray so alluring. Ginjiro pulled Kaori down onto the tatami mat surrounding the hearth and made love to her right there.
* * *
As word spread of Ginjiroâ€™s dildos, buyers came from all over the prefecture. Master Watanabe was happy but perplexed. It was usually his body armour and helmets that made the most money. This unexpected new stream of revenue took him by surprise. With each new commission, Ginjiro brought his work home and had his wife test it out.
Her criticisms became more specific, requiring more notations, and they ceased to make love after each sampling. He was so busy and so eager to make the adjustments; Ginjiro rushed back to the workshop to make the changes the very same evening. Then, by the time he returned home, he was too tired to make love to his wife.
As the dildo business heated up, Ginjiro and Kaori chilled towards each other; their exchanges were courteous, cursory and, as no child came, the ice began to set.
When Ginjiro brought home a dildo, Kaori wouldnâ€™t even try it. She held it up, hefted the weight, looked at the outline and said: â€œToo long, too light, and not enough texture!â€ She returned it to his outstretched palm with a smack and turned her attention to domestic chores.
* * *
One day, while Ginjiro was polishing one of his larger pieces, a young apprentice rushed into his workroom.
â€œMaster Yoshida, come quickly! A great lady has come from Edo. A very, very beautiful lady â€“ asking for you! By name! You should see her palanquin and the retinue that accompanies her. Iâ€¦I think she might be the Empress.â€ The last sentence was delivered in a conspiratorial whisper.
Ginjiro put down his work and, dusting himself off and removing his work apron, walked into the main workshop. One glance at the visitor cleared things up. She wasnâ€™t the Empress. She was, however, a very rich and celebrated Geisha.
Ginjiro bowed low. â€œI am he, and very honoured to welcome you to our humble workshop.â€
This interchange was made more difficult by the fact that the geisha, who was far superior in status to Ginjiro, bowed almost as low as he did, which forced him to bow lower still. It took some time before each of them felt that the formalities were adequate.
â€œYou, Yoshido-sama, are a man who knows about women! I was lucky enough to be loaned an object that, I believe, you made. I would like to commission a similar piece.â€
Ginjiro bowed again, deeply complimented. â€œI hope my work might be worthy of your attention, Lady.â€
â€œOh, I know it will,â€ said the geisha. She edged a little closer to him and added in a low voice. â€œBut I would like a little change to the design, if you donâ€™t mind.â€
â€œIt would be my pleasure to attend to your requirements. What would you liked changed?â€
The geishaâ€™s eyes, bright and sharp, slid from left to right and back again. â€œMight we speak in private?â€™
Ginjiro led the geisha into his workroom and closed the shoji screens behind them. It was not usual for a woman of rank to be alone with a simple craftsman, but the request for confidential discussions had become so common with his work, he took it in his stride. â€œPlease feel free to speak frankly, Honoured Lady.â€
â€œWell,â€ she whispered, leaning towards him. â€œIâ€™d like you to make it a little bigger.â€
He gave a reserved nod. â€œCould you indicate how much bigger you would like it? In length and in girth?â€
The geisha considered for a moment. â€œThe length is actually fine, but could you make it thicker?â€ Her delicate hands fluttered upwards and gracefully touched thumb to thumb and forefinger to forefinger, indicating a girth that was a little larger than the thickness of a normally sized manâ€™s penis. â€œLike this.â€
Ginjiro recorded the diameter with a piece of thread, marking the width with a knot.
â€œThat should not be a problem, Honoured Lady. Are there any other changes you require?â€
Her eyes flitted over the chaos of his workshop: wooden models of his most popular pieces, his tools, his boiling vat. She walked over to his workbench and slid her fingertip over an embossed tortoise shell plaque that hung above it. â€œThese bumps are nice. Could those be added along the length?â€
He closed his eyes for a moment, thinking about how to execute the change. The piece would need to embossed while flat and then curled â€“ carefully â€“ then softened again and worked. The difficulty would be in effecting a neat join while leaving the embossing intact. â€œI think so,â€ he said honestly. â€œIt might be possible. Iâ€™ll have to do some experimenting.â€
She gave him something more enthusiastic than her earlier formalized geisha smile. â€œI am confident that you, master of these objects of pleasure, can do anything. Anything!â€
She pushed the screens aside and stepped out into the main workshop. â€œMake me ten!â€ she called as she walked out onto the street and boarded her palanquin.
* * *
It took three days and five prototypes to coax the tortoise shell into doing what he wanted. He ate at the workshop and slept there too. When finally he arrived home with his newest creation, Kaori nodded grimly and handed him a bowl of miso soup.
He didnâ€™t touch his bowl. â€œCould you take a look at something, my dear?â€
She rolled her eyes and sighed. â€œLetâ€™s see it, then.â€
With enormous pride, Ginjiro pulled out his masterpiece. He unwrapped it himself and held it out for her but she didnâ€™t reach for it.
â€œIâ€™m sure it will be fine,â€ she snapped. â€œTheyâ€™re all fine.â€
â€œBut this one is special, Kaori. This is a specific commission from a very famous geisha from Edo. It has to be perfect. If this oneâ€™s a success, weâ€™ll be rich, my dear. Rich!â€
Kaori looked down, wiping her hands on her apron and mumbled, â€œI donâ€™t want to be rich, Ginjiro. I just want a husband.â€
Nonetheless, she took the dildo and weighed it in her hand, holding it up to the light. The head was slightly deformed, itâ€™s length a little exaggerated. The cleft was deep all the way to the flared edge of the crown. Along the shaft, deeply embossed dolphins cavorted in flowing waves. She returned it to him after a moment. â€œYou are right, Ginjiro. This is special. Itâ€™s the best piece ever. Iâ€™m sure your customer will be very happy with it.â€
â€œCould you try it please, Kaori. Just this once. This is the most important piece Iâ€™ve ever made. And if the geisha likes it,â€ Ginjiro pressed the dildo back against Kaoriâ€™s chest, â€œI could leave Watanabeâ€™s and start my own workshop.â€ His wifeâ€™s expression softened under the onslaught of his petitions. â€œPlease, my dear. It would be such a favour to me.â€
Kaori walked into the bedroom and pulled the shoji screens closed. Sitting, Ginjiro sipped at his bowl of cooling soup, hoping to hear sounds of pleasure coming from the room behind him.
â€œGinjiro?â€ called his wife, softly.
â€œYes, my dear?â€
â€œCan you bring me a little sesame oil? Itâ€™s on the second shelf in the cupboard.â€
Not a good sign, thought Ginjiro. Perhaps he hadnâ€™t brushed it off well enough after the final polishing and the piece required cleaning? He found the jar of oil and hurried into the bedroom.
Kaori lay on the futon, kimono pulled apart to reveal her moon-pale body. A small oil lamp burned by the side of the bed, casting her profile in shadow against the wall. Ginjiro knelt down beside her and handed her the oil.
â€œIs it dusty, my dear?â€
â€œNo. Iâ€™m just not feeling veryâ€¦ aroused. The dildo is big and it wonâ€™t go in easily.â€
â€œIs it rough? Does it need more polishing?â€ he asked, a little concerned.
Kaori looked up at him in dismay. She poured a little oil into her hand and smoothed it over the dildo. â€œThereâ€™s nothing wrong with the dildo, Ginjiro! Itâ€™s me. Donâ€™t you understand?â€
Suddenly, the intimacy of what she had done for him all these years â€“ trying each new design, taking his creations into her body, telling him exactly how each dildo felt â€“ became clear to him.
â€œOh, my dear!â€ he exclaimed, his voice hoarse with new emotion.
Her vulnerability tore at his heart. What had he done? How could he have been such a selfish, wretched husband? Heâ€™d used Kaori, not for his passion, but for his profit and his reputation. A wave of shame washed over him.
Gingiro lay his head on his wifeâ€™s pale, modest chest. â€œIâ€™m so sorry, my love. So very sorry! Leave the stupid thing be. It doesnâ€™t matter. â€œ
Her chest moved beneath him; he felt her stifle a sob. â€œItâ€™s alright, Ginjiro. I know your work is important to you. And youâ€™ve provided for me better than many husbands might. A wife must help her husband in all things.â€
She reached down between her legs and began to insert the dildo, but Ginjiro covered her hand with his own and stopped her.
â€œNo,â€ he whispered, kissing her cheek. â€œNever again will I use you this way.â€
She turned her head and kissed his lips, slipping the other arm around his neck. It had been so long since they had shared even this simple intimacy, it seemed strangely new. His heart, like a piece of coal on a morning hearth, seemingly cold, broke open and a flare of heat emerged. Ginjiro deepened the kiss, opening her mouth with his tongue. All the useless pride and ambition melted away in the sudden burst of passion and flowed into her mouth with his kiss.
His lips loved from hers, down her throat, trailing his lips over her skin, tasting the salt of a dayâ€™s work. He nuzzled one breast and then covered it with his mouth, feeling the nipple come to life as his tongue caressed it.
Small, work worn fingers brushed against his cheek. She raised her head, and pressed her mouth to his ear, her soft breaths coming faster. Ginjiro felt the hand around the dildo move, pressing inwards. Gently he replaced her grip with his own and, for the first time in his life, directed his own creation to its purpose. Kaoriâ€™s raised one of her legs, and angled her hips, moaning as the bulbous tip slid between her outer lips and nudged at her inner passage.
Ginjiro looked into his wifeâ€™s face. â€œAre you sure, my love?â€
Her eyes were half-closed. She nodded and wrapped her arms about his neck, pulling him back into another deep kiss. As he eased the exaggerated head of dildo inside her, a low, deep groan broke from her throat.
It was only when she blindly fumbled under his own clothes and, after much scrabbling, took his cock in her fist, did he realize that he was aroused â€“ more aroused than heâ€™d ever been in his life. Kaori squeezed him as he pressed the dildo deeper, her stroke as slow and measured as his own patient progress.
As he embedded it fully, feeling the resistance as it reached the end of her passage, Kaori broke the kiss, lying back and panting.
â€œItâ€™sâ€¦itâ€™s very big,â€ she panted. Her hand slick with sesame oil moved with long, slow strokes over Ginjiroâ€™s cock.
He shuddered and his cock twitched in her hand. â€œToo big?â€
Kaoriâ€™s gaze fluttered and then settled on his. Her dark pupils pulled him into a knowledge of her pleasure. â€œNo. Not too big. Butâ€¦ go slowly.â€
How wonderful, how secretive is a womanâ€™s body, Ginjiro thought. He began, mindful of her instructions, to slowly move the implement in and out of her cunt. He used the pace of her stroking as his guide.
Her eyelids closed and a beautiful, resplendent expression suffused her face. The sinews of her neck stood out as she arched it, her lips parted and spread in a delicious smile.
â€œDoes it fit well, my dear?â€
â€œOh, yes! It fitsâ€¦â€ Kaoriâ€™ panted. â€œJustâ€¦just perfectly.â€
Slowly the stroking of his cock gathered speed and intensity. Ginjiro matched her, fucking her steadily with is precious creation.
It wasnâ€™t easy. Her warm, slippery grasp, the sounds of her arousal, and the sight of her undulating body were terrible distractions. But the realization, that this thing he had created with his own hands could bring her so much pleasure, stayed him from his orgasm.
She trembled. Her belly muscles rippled beneath her flesh. â€œOh! My love!â€ she cried, arching her hips off the futon, â€œMy love!â€
Ginjiro held the dildo inside her, nudging firmly at the base of her passage while she came. The violence of her orgasm echoed in her grasp of his cock, and he noted its ebb as she loosened her grip and began to stroke him again.
Kaori let her hips drop to the mattress, sighing. Now, the look of deep satisfaction that washed over her face, the rosy flush that crept across her chest, the smile that lingered on her mouthâ€¦all those things drove Ginjiro into a lustful trance. Still holding his dildo embedded, he moved, pushing his pulsing cock through his wifeâ€™s grasp over and over, until he came, moaning, bathing her hand in his warm seed and collapsing beside her.
For many minutes they lay together silently until Kaori reached between her legs and withdrew Ginjiroâ€™s creation. He looked down at his work, streaked with his wifeâ€™s juices and then back at her.
â€œIs there anythingâ€¦â€
â€œItâ€™s perfect,â€ she said, anticipating his question. â€œBut I have a favour to ask you, now, Ginjiro.â€
He smiled and pulled her into his arms. â€œAnythingâ€¦anything.â€
â€œMake one for me.â€