An Imperial Concubine's Tale: Scandal, Shipwreck, and - download pdf or read online

By G. G. Rowley

ISBN-10: 0231158548

ISBN-13: 9780231158541

Japan within the early 17th century used to be a wild position. Serial killers stalked the streets of Kyoto at evening, whereas noblemen and girls mingled freely on the imperial palace, ingesting saké and observing kabuki dancing within the presence of the emperor's important consort. between those noblewomen was once an imperial concubine named Nakanoin Nakako, who in 1609 grew to become embroiled in a intercourse scandal regarding either courtiers and younger ladies within the emperor's carrier. As punishment, Nakako used to be banished to an island within the Pacific Ocean, yet she by no means reached her vacation spot. as a substitute, she was once shipwrecked and spent fourteen years in a distant village at the Izu Peninsula prior to she used to be ultimately allowed to come back to Kyoto. In 1641, Nakako started a brand new experience: she entered a convent and have become a Buddhist nun.

Recounting the extraordinary tale of this resilient lady and her war-torn global, G. G. Rowley investigates aristocratic relatives documents, 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 finds 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 prepared perception and real affection, An Imperial Concubine's Tale tells the genuine tale of a woman's notable existence in seventeenth-century Japan.

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Additional resources for An Imperial Concubine's Tale: Scandal, Shipwreck, and Salvation in Seventeenth-Century Japan

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Located on the top of the mountain was first burned down, and thereafter, Nobunaga sent many harquebusiers into the mountains and woods to hunt for bonzes who might be hiding there. The soldiers were to spare nobody, and they executed this order promptly. This victory did not satisfy Nobunaga, however. As he wanted to quench his thirst for revenge still more and thus strengthen his reputation, he ordered his whole army to immediately devastate the remaining houses of the bonzes, and to burn down all 400 or so temples of the very famous university of Fiyenoíyama [Mount a Courtier’s life, in and out of the world • 21 Hiei].

The emperor was fifteen. It was the custom for aristocratic males, when they came of age, to be provided with an experienced older woman who would take responsibility for the young man’s sexual initiation, so we may assume that Sakiko was not the first woman in GoYōzei’s life; nor would she be the only one. 21 But Sakiko remained the highest ranking of GoYōzei’s women, and without a doubt the most important of them. In the twenty years between 1590, when she was fifteen, and 1610, by which time she was thirty-five, she gave birth to no fewer than twelve of GoYōzei’s twenty-five children, more than any of his other women.

The Imagawa had lost out to surrounding warlords; their territories carved up, they could no longer patronize the courtiers who had gathered around them. For the next ten years, until Saneki’s death in 1579, Michikatsu was able to read and study texts with him. When Saneki was summoned to the palace of Prince Sanehito to lecture on Genji, Michikatsu accompanied him, and in his spare time he copied a text of Genji, probably recording notes from his uncle’s lectures as he went along. 14 Imperial Censure When they were not practicing the family arts, some nobles were living recklessly—for who knew what death and devastation tomorrow might bring?

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An Imperial Concubine's Tale: Scandal, Shipwreck, and Salvation in Seventeenth-Century Japan by G. G. Rowley

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