Episode 455 – In the Shadow of the Pine

This week, the tale of Ogimachi Machiko–the aristocrat whose literary descriptions of her life in a samurai family became one of the most popular works of women’s literature during Japan’s Edo period.


Rowley, G.G. In the Shadow of the Pine: A Memoir of Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu and Tokugawa Japan

Bodart-Bailey, Beatrice. “Councilor Defended: Matsukage Nikki and Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu.” Monumenta Nipponica 34, No 4 (Winter, 1979).

Kornicki, P.F., Mara Patessio and GG Rowley, eds. The Female as Subject: Reading and Writing in Early Modern Japan


A contemporary painting of Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu. No such portrait for Ogimachi Machiko exists that I am aware of.
The Rikugien, now a park in the city of Tokyo. It was once far larger, and the personal garden of the Yanagisawa family.
The former site of Kofu castle in Yamanashi prefecture. Kofu domain had long been held by direct descendants of Tokugawa Ieyasu ever since he took it from the Takeda clan back during the civil wars. Giving it to Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu was thus both highly symbolic and potentially an avenue of attack–that the shogun was being manipulated by a bad advisor.
The retired Emperor Reigen, who was at the heart of much of Kyoto’s artistic culture at this time.

1 thought on “Episode 455 – In the Shadow of the Pine”

  1. Wow, this was a complicated one to follow. Court ranks and their relation to the shogunate are really complex. I forget if you did a whole episode on the ritsuryo and shogunal rank system or not. I remember during the End of the Samurai series you frequently mentioning the fudai/tozama daimyo, the hatamoto, and the roju. But was there ever an episode just about the general structure and rank of government officials?

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