Imperial Concubine's Tale
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Imperial Concubine's Tale

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ISBN-13:
9780231158541
Einband:
Buch
Seiten:
0
Autor:
Rowley
Gewicht:
514 g
Format:
229 x 163 x 23 mm
Sprache:
Englisch
Beschreibung:
In elegant and oftentimes lyrical prose, G. G. Rowley tells the extraordinary story of an aristocratic woman whose sexual escapades brought her unexpected notoriety. The cast of characters includes everyone from the emperor and the founder of the Tokugawa military regime to servants, nuns, and farmers. Of particular note is the amazing array of documents germane to this account, from poetry and court documents to a temple diary and a fictional narrative that purports to tell the 'true story.' In Rowley's skillful hands, they are all brought to bear in portraying life as it was lived in the early seventeenth century. -- Anne Walthall, University of California, Irvine G. G. Rowley has applied her formidable research skills and wonderfully adroit writing style to uncovering the lost story of a lady caught in a scandal that brought down the emperor's wrath. Her eye for the telling detail and obvious delight in animating the human side of a bloody period of political warfare make An Imperial Concubine's Tale a rich and fascinating document for anyone interested in Japanese history. -- Liza Dalby, Japan scholar, author of The Tale of Murasaki Using a wide range of materials--diaries, poems, court documents and records, tales, local histories, even notes from her own fieldwork--G.G. Rowley traces the life of Nakanoin Nakako, daughter of a court aristocrat. In elegant prose, she recounts what can be known about the Nakanoin family, focusing on Nakako who, thanks to this book, can no longer be called obscure. -- Steven D. Carter, Stanford University, author of Haiku Before Haiku: From the Renga Masters to Basho
List of IllustrationsPreface and AcknowledgmentsIntroductionChapter 1. A Courtier's Life, in and out of the WorldChapter 2. The Year 1600: A World Again at WarChapter 3. At the Court of the DragonChapter 4. ScandalChapter 5. The Tale of KazanChapter 6. ShipwreckChapter 7. The Long ReprieveChapter 8. SalvationEpiloguePrincipal CharactersGlossaryAbbreviationsNotesBibliographyIndex
Japan in the early seventeenth century was a wild place. Serial killers stalked the streets of Kyoto at night, while noblemen and women mingled freely at the imperial palace, drinking sake and watching kabuki dancing in the presence of the emperor's principal consort. Among these noblewomen was an imperial concubine named Nakanoin Nakako, who in 1609 became embroiled in a sex scandal involving both courtiers and young women in the emperor's service. As punishment, Nakako was banished to an island in the Pacific Ocean, but she never reached her destination. Instead, she was shipwrecked and spent fourteen years in a remote village on the Izu Peninsula before she was finally allowed to return to Kyoto. In 1641, Nakako began a new adventure: she entered a convent and became a Buddhist nun. Recounting the remarkable story of this resilient woman and her war-torn world, G. G. Rowley investigates aristocratic family archives, village storehouses, and the records of imperial convents. She follows the banished concubine as she endures rural exile, receives an unexpected reprieve, and rediscovers herself as the abbess of a nunnery.
While unraveling Nakako's unusual tale, Rowley also reveals the little-known lives of samurai women who sacrificed themselves on the fringes of the great battles that brought an end to more than a century of civil war. Written with keen insight and genuine affection, An Imperial Concubine's Tale tells the true story of a woman's extraordinary life in seventeenth-century Japan.