ōoku: the inner chambers, vol. 2
Curious about why female lords must take on male names, the shogun Yoshimune seeks out the ancient scribe Murase and his archives of the last eighty years on the Inner Chambers - called the Chronicle of the Dying Day. In its pages Yoshimune discovers the coming of the Redface Pox, the death of the last male shogun, and the birth of the new Japan....
This takes us back almost eighty years beginning around 6 years after the death of the last male shogun. In the previous volume Yoshimune goes to Murase to ask about the Chronicle of the Dying Day and in this volume two the Chronicle plays out.
In the first volume there was some humor and attempts at lightheartedness. Here is just a lot of bleakness, violence and tragedy. Kasuga will not let anything stop her from saving the Tokugawa name. Murder, kidnapping, whatever, she'll do it. She is a terrifying character.
There was just a lot of sadness, but we got to see the transition from being a place that housed women for the shogun to a place that housed men who thought that their male shogun was still alive and favored men. The secrets that were kept and doled out to a select few who were then doomed never to leave the Inner Chambers.
I am anxious to get back to Yoshimune to see how she will have taken this account and what she will do, if anything, to change the state of affairs in Japan. And also, how she will deal with the Inner Chambers.