Download An Imperial Concubine's Tale: Scandal, Shipwreck, and by G. G. Rowley PDF

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 central consort. between those noblewomen used to be an imperial concubine named Nakanoin Nakako, who in 1609 grew to become embroiled in a intercourse scandal concerning 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. as an alternative, she was once shipwrecked and spent fourteen years in a distant village at the Izu Peninsula sooner than she was once ultimately allowed to come to Kyoto. In 1641, Nakako all started a brand new experience: she entered a convent and have become a Buddhist nun.

Recounting the awesome tale of this resilient lady and her war-torn international, G. G. Rowley investigates aristocratic kin documents, village storehouses, and the files 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 girls who sacrificed themselves at the fringes of the good battles that introduced an finish to greater than a century of civil battle. Written with willing perception and real affection, An Imperial Concubine's Tale tells the genuine tale of a woman's striking lifestyles in seventeenth-century Japan.

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The response of some was to cling ever more tightly to what remained of their cultural capital, especially literary texts and the practices that had grown up around them. These included giving lectures on the interpretation of important texts, compiling written commentaries on which such lectures were based, and holding parties where poetry was publicly presented. Paying warrior students sometimes attended, even hosted, p ­ oetry-composing parties, where they could rub shoulders with their noble, if impoverished teachers—even though, as in the case of Hideyoshi, such gatherings could be tense affairs.

By continuing to “work out” poetically, he honed his technique while asserting his place within the courtly tradition that was central to his being. Like all intellectual activity, composing poetry surely also provided Michikatsu with a profound source of solace. 19. Here is his beautiful poem on the topic “lamplight in the still of night”: shizuka naru kokoro no tomo to kakagetemo ukimi ni kuraki mado no tomoshibi42 In the still of night, though I share a lamp with the true friend of my heart, to one lost in misery dark the flicker on the shade.

52 Michikatsu perhaps managed to keep some of his silk court robes, at least for a while, but it seems unlikely that other members of his family would have been clothed in silk, at least while they remained in Tanabe. In the winter, they wore jackets padded with cotton wadding or silk floss to keep (minimally) warm. ”53 The structure rises from the south-facing wall of a U-shaped projection in the eastern ramparts of the castle. Immediately below it flows the outer moat. Beyond the moat a level plain planted with rice stretches all the way to the mountains.

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