The master, unaware of my observations and contemplations, continues to yank at his eyelids, making faces into the mirror. Finally satiated, his attention turns to the state of his eyes. "Thoroughly bloodshot. Must be chronic conjunctivitis." So remarking, he rubs his bloodshot eyelids, in a circular motion, with the flats of his index fingers. They may very well be itchy, but they're red enough already, without this added agitation. Much more of this, and he'll wear them down to nothing, like the sunken eyes of a salted sea bream. It's no surprise that when he finally re-opens his eyes and turns them back toward the mirror, they're cloudy and dull, like the winter skies of northern climes. They've never been bright to begin with. To describe them in the extreme, they're disarrayed, lacking deliniation between the whites and the darker pupils and irises. Just as his soul dwells in vague obscurity, his eyes float lost in the depths of their sockets. This was long attributed to congenital eczema or the after-effects of smallpox, and they say that the master, from his earliest days, was administered home remedies, whether ground from insects plucked off willow trees or concocted from brown frog parts. For all his mother's efforts, however, and contrary to all her hopes, his eyes, to this day, are dull as the day he was born. In my opinion, the master's dull eyes have nothing to do with congenital eczema or smallpox. The sad state of his listless eyes, as I see it, owes itself to nothing other than the murky constitution of the brain in his head. The workings of a dull mind, over time and as matter of course, are bound to manifest themselves somewhere. His mother, unaware of all this, subjected herself to needless concern. Where there's smoke, there's fire, and where there are dull eyes, there's a mind is steeped in folly. The master's eyes are a window into his soul, and his soul, like a Tenpō-era one-sen piece, is empty at its core. His eyes, also like the Tenpō one-sen piece, are oversized with respect to their worth.