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Posts Tagged ‘Madenokouji Arikoto’

Part 3: The New Culture

Image from Amazon.co.jp

In the final installment of my look at the cultural revolution during Iemitsu’s reign in Yoshinaga Fumi’s manga 『大奥』 (Ôoku), I’d like to explore the political and cultural changes to the (female) Iemitsu’s Edo through the connection between fashion and political power.

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Part 2: Political Power and Female Daimyô

As the events happening within the ôoku reflect the changes in sexual culture this reimagined Edo Period, Yoshinaga, with her wonderful  knack for world-building,  shows the full societal impact that the decimation of the male population and the unbalanced sex ratio have on the greater political and social culture.

"A woman's voice?" (Vol. 3, p. 215)

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Manga Review: 『大奥』(Ōoku:The Inner Chambers), Vol. 2

Image from Amazon.co.jp

Read the review of Vol. 1 here. Ôoku masterpost here.

Sad to leave Yoshimune and Mizuno of vol. 1 behind for the next story arc, I reluctantly started vol. 2 of Ôoku, but I quickly left my regrets behind as I got absorbed in the story. Readers, this manga is a tour de force. It’s not just the art or the writing– this volume put me through an emotional wringer in a way that only the endings of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind and The Rose of Versailles have.

As Yoshimune reads the records of the ōoku, we travel back in time to the 1630s. The manga starts with an explanation: The first two Tokugawa shoguns, Ieyasu and Hidetada, were men. However, the third shogun, Iemitsu, fell victim to the Red Pox. Little by little, we piece together the (disturbing) story of how the female Tokugawa line started.

Spoilers, of course, follow.

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