By G. G. Rowley
Japan within the early 17th century was once a wild position. Serial killers stalked the streets of Kyoto at evening, whereas noblemen and girls mingled freely on the imperial palace, consuming saké and gazing kabuki dancing within the presence of the emperor's valuable consort. between those noblewomen was once an imperial concubine named Nakanoin Nakako, who in 1609 grew to become embroiled in a intercourse scandal related to either courtiers and younger women within the emperor's carrier. As punishment, Nakako was once banished to an island within the Pacific Ocean, yet she by no means reached her vacation spot. in its place, she was once shipwrecked and spent fourteen years in a distant village at the Izu Peninsula prior to she used to be eventually allowed to come to Kyoto. In 1641, Nakako started a brand new event: she entered a convent and have become a Buddhist nun.
Recounting the amazing tale of this resilient girl and her war-torn international, G. G. Rowley investigates aristocratic kinfolk information, village storehouses, and the documents of imperial convents. She follows the banished concubine as she endures rural exile, gets an unforeseen reprieve, and rediscovers herself because the abbess of a nunnery. whereas unraveling Nakako's strange story, Rowley additionally unearths the little-known lives of samurai ladies who sacrificed themselves at the fringes of the nice battles that introduced an finish to greater than a century of civil battle. Written with prepared perception and actual affection, An Imperial Concubine's Tale tells the genuine tale of a woman's amazing existence in seventeenth-century Japan.
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Extra info for An Imperial Concubine's Tale: Scandal, Shipwreck, and Salvation in Seventeenth-Century Japan
The Kiyohara daughter was married off to a warrior, and her child by Yoshiharu—the future Yūsai—was later adopted into another warrior house, the Hosokawa. He was nurtured in the Kiyohara academic tradition and received instruction in such courtly arts as kickball and the composition of Japanese poetry; but he also maintained close ties with his natural father, Yoshiharu, and his two younger half-brothers, Yoshiteru and Yoshiaki, who became the thirteenth and fifteenth Ashikaga shoguns respectively.
Income that accrued to a person or institution from estates or enfeoffments was calculated in terms of the number of koku produced by that land. Introduction • 11 than 200 years. 20 This effectively barred the daughters of the five regental families from becoming imperial consorts, since they could not accept appointment to a lesser position. Nor could they be seen to marry “beneath” them and so, like excess daughters of Japanese emperors, many were made nuns and lived out their lives in convents.
2 Despite their plundering of aristocratic privilege, Japan’s warriors, even the most powerful, never sought to usurp the imperial throne. Instead, they aspired to the artistic accomplishments of the aristocrats from whom they had wrested the wealth and honors of the court, and they were prepared to pay to acquire them. ”3 They also came to realize that with careful husbandry, their polite accomplishments—whether in poetry, painting, calligraphy, music, or even their version of kickball— could serve as a source of income.