Contains major spoilers for Ôoku: Eien (Emonnosuke/Tsunayoshi) (film, 2013) and Yoshinaga Fumi’s Ôoku, vol. 4-6 (manga).
Archive for the ‘Ôoku’ Category
Ôoku: Cross-Dressing in a Matriarchy
We’ve already discussed several speculative fiction pieces with cross-dressing characters in them. Yet, where a piece like BeruBara focuses on alternate history by adding in a few fictional characters to actual historic events, the world portrayed by Yoshinaga Fumi in Ôoku (大奥) is an alternate history in which most of the historical figures’ genders have been swapped. The author’s use of speculative fiction serves to illustrate contemporary issues of gender and sexism by showing them to us through a tilted mirror. How does cross-dressing function in a gender-swapped world?
Content: this section contains mild spoilers for the manga series Ôoku, and some spoilers specific to the plots of the Iemitsu (vol. 2-4) and the Ieshige-Ieharu arcs (vol. 8-10). The spoilers are primarily events that occur in the first volumes of each story arc (vol. 2 and vol. 8). (Keep in mind that because this is historical fiction, general information about said historical figures will contain some spoilers.) Some discussion of misogyny, transphobia, homophobia, and domestic violence. All images safe for work.
Posted in Ôoku, Gender, tagged Arikoto, Ôoku Eien, Bechdel Test, Denbe, Fumi Yoshinaga, genderswap, Gyokuei, Keshôin, manga, manga review, Nobuhira, O-den, Oooku, representation, Tsunayoshi, writing, Yoshinaga Fumi, Yoshiyasu Yanagisawa, Ōoku on 2014/05/09| 4 Comments »
Major spoilers for the Iemitsu (vol 2-4) and Tsunayoshi arcs (vol. 4-6), including the drama and the Ôoku: Eien film. Warnings: the plot of this story arc contains sexual assault and abuse, dubious consent, murder, the death of a child, and back-stabbing, and is generally NSFW.
One aspect of Tsunayoshi’s character that I found fascinating was her relationship to beauty ideals. (more…)
First of all, many thanks to the audience member who attended Kathryn‘s and my Sakuracon panel “Cross-dressing for Fun and Profit in Anime and Manga”! You were all great, and we enjoyed your questions and feedback. We’re planning on publishing a version of our presentation on our blogs (and hopefully elsewhere if we’re lucky) complete with images and hyperlinks, so stay tuned.
Although we ended up having to rush through the section on Ôoku, there seemed to be a lot of interest in the series. I realized when I was writing down information on Ôoku for a lovely con-goer who approached us afterward to chat about the series and Hiraga Gennai that I really, really needed to better organize my Ôoku posts instead of sending people to the category, which is starting to get rather large. (more…)
Posted in Ôoku, Gender, tagged Arikoto, Ôoku Eien, Bechdel Test, Denbe, Fumi Yoshinaga, genderswap, Gyokuei, Keshôin, manga, manga review, Nobuhira, O-den, Oooku, representation, Tsunayoshi, writing, Yoshinaga Fumi, Yoshiyasu Yanagisawa, Ōoku on 2014/04/14| 1 Comment »
Introduction here. Spoilers for the Iemitsu (vol 2-4) and Tsunayoshi arcs (vol. 4-6), including the drama and the Ôoku: Eien film. Warnings: the plot of this story arc contains sexual assault and abuse, dubious consent, suicide, murder, and all the back-stabbing. I’ve kept the mostly images PG-13 (there’s a little gore in one) but the content is not safe for work.
Brought to you by the Bechdel test
Let’s start with the most obvious point: Tsunayoshi can be a morally reprehensible woman precisely because the Ôoku has equal gender representation, both in her story arc and the work at large. (more…)
I have been thinking about this post for three years.
Posted in Ôoku, Geek Culture, Gender, Manga, Reblog, tagged Fumi Yoshinaga, Gender, genderswap, Have You Nerd?, manga, Ooku: The Inner Chambers, Translation, Yoshinaga Fumi, Ōoku on 2014/03/07| 3 Comments »
I know most of my readers are familiar with Yoshinaga Fumi’s Ôoku, but in case you’re new here or would like to recommend the manga to a friend, I wrote a guest post over on Have You Nerd? introducing the English-version of the manga.
In 1716, Tokugawa Yoshimune, the great-granddaughter of the first Tokugawa shogun, become shogun herself, despite being the third daughter of a branch family and having a low-ranking concubine as a father. During her reign as Shogun, Yoshimune enacted a number of reforms, though she maintained Japan’s closed-country status for fear of a foreign invasion if anyone learned that the country was actually run by women.
Not the version of Japanese history you learned in school? Then get thee to a purveyor of fine manga, for you have much to study.
Full article: “History Lessons from the Tokugawa Matriarchy: Ôoku: The Inner Chambers” on Have You Nerd?
If you’d like to read my more in-depth analyses of the Japanese version, check out my Ôoku masterpost here on the blog.