The aim of this article is to describe the reception and development of the episode of Segawa-Uneme with a focus on the representation of his wife Kiku. The episode, which originally appeared in Taikō-ki written by Oze-Hoan in 1625, is about a samurai warrior who was miraculously permitted to return home from Korea on the strength of his wife’s affectionate letter. It was criticized for its maudlin plot, but Kiku was favorably received as a good wife faithfully devoted to her husband. The prose versions of the episode emphasized her beauty and accomplishments to more sentimentally depict the couple’s happy married life before the Korean expedition. It was also adapted for dramas which were usually constructed on the binary opposition of duties and emotions to feature the wife’s strong affection for her husband. In early modern times the episode came to be received as a story of a faithful wife and developed into a melodrama with an emphasis on her love.
Nenashi-gusa (1763) is Hiraga-Gennai’s drama which was based on the death by drowning of Ogino-Yaegiri, an “oyama” kabuki actor. In the drama a kappa (a Japanese water goblin) plays an important part as a guide who sends Yaegiri to hell. There is an illustration of the kappa in the fifth volume, but very little has been said about it except in Teiri Nakamura’s Kappa-no-nihon-shi (1996). It is very likely that the author borrowed the illustration from Gotō-Rishun’s Zuikan-shashin (1757) with the aim of entertaining his acquaintances who must have noticed that it implicitly referred to the reported appearance of a kappa in the year before the publication of the drama. In addition to an analysis of the illustration, this article explores the structural similarity between Nenashi-gusa and its sequel, the probable influence of the author’s personal relations through herbal medicine on the formation of the drama, and so on.
Ihon-dōbō-goen (1720), Shoji-Katsutomi’s historical essay on Yoshiwara, was widely read as excellent material for studying the major red-light district in Edo. It was allegedly revised and retitled Hokujoryo-kigen by a poet named Toryū in the Tenmei Period. My research on the forty-seven variant editions of the essay shows that Toryū had continued his revision work until the second year of the Kyōwa Period. The essay reprinted in the first volume of Chinsho-kankōkai-sōsho is based on the edition possessed by Shikitei-Sanba. His comments on the margins will provide a clue to knowing how it was received in the late Edo Period. But the collection gives few details about its revision process. To make up for its incompleteness I turn to three copied editions with his comments. Samba referred to those comments in writing his “gokan” illustrated books, but he might have no intention of using them for a literary purpose because he just wrote them on the margins as notes.
In the third year of the Kansei Period Santō-Kyōden and Tsutaya-Jūzaburō were allegedly punished according to the edict of publishing regulation issued in May, the second year of the same period. But the edict is mentioned neither in Edo-machibure-shūsei and Sankumi-shomotsudonya-shokitei nor even in the town magistrate’s letter of inquiry about the punishment addressed to the senior councilor. Moreover it has so many flaws ––a dubious citation from a cancelled edict of the Kyōhō Period, a clause contradictory to the law, and others–– that it hardly looks like a formal edict. According to the town magistrate’s letter to Matsudaira-Sadanobu reprinted in Zatsutome in the Cabinet Library, it is in October that the edict was issued to book wholesalers after it was written at the chief councilor’s dictation. In May there was only the note of the dictation in the town magistrate’s office. Then the writer and the publisher must have been punished for publishing their “share-bon” books with no knowledge of the edict.
Fujitani-Nariakira and Banbayashi-Mitsuhira, the “kokugaku” scholars of the Edo Period, divided the history of the styles of early modern waka poetry into two periods. While Sangyoku-shū established an elegant and ethereal style of poetry from the Muromachi Period to the late eighteenth century, the plain style of Ruidai-fukugyoku-shū became more dominant in the nineteenth century. In the eighteenth century the Jige poetical circles were explosively on the rise. Under the influence of the Dōjō school they usually referred to Shin-dairin-waka-shū and other poetry collections of the school which were modeled after the works of Emperor Go-Mizunoo’s circle. In this way the trend of eighteenth-century poetics was created through the publishing media. In the nineteenth century, however, the school’s ambiguous tone became out of fashion. Instead, as the number of lay poets was on the increase, the Jige school developed its own plain style more suitable for topics from their daily life. This is the goal of early modern poetics.
This article chronologically traces the development of the true stories of Ōshio-Heihachirō from the Edo Period to the Meiji Period to see their whole aspect in a new perspective. The stories can be classified into the following five groups; the “Naniwa-hikki” series (Naniwa-hikki, Kyōran-taihei-ki, Naniwazu-ashi-no-hanashi, and Miyo-taihei-ki), Taihei-kagami, Tenpō-naniwa-hanashi, Tenpō-taihei-ki, Shinpen-tenpō-taihei-ki. In Tenpō-naniwa-hanashi, Tenpō-taihei-ki, and Shinpen-tenpō-taihei-ki there appeared an additional episode of Heihachirō’s younger days. The narrative theme came to be more centered on the character than the rebellion. In this way Tenpō-naniwa-hanashi and Tenpō-taihei-ki became a narrative model for the modern version of Ōshio-Heihachirō stories such as Naniwa-no-ume-ōshio-banashi and Tenma-suiko-den.