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Inspired by the classic tale of the prince and the pauper, Daughters of Nijo: A Romance of Japan by Onoto Watanna features a sweet and amusing narrative in which two sisters trade places and lovers.

Sado-ko was raised to be a princess. Massago was raised as a lowly country maid. Though raised in separate classes and homes, fate conspires to bring Massago and Sado-ko together again.

With poor living conditions and an unfair workload, Massago is unhappy as a country maid. Meanwhile, at the palace, Sado-ko spends most of her time in solitude, feeling solemn about her future as Prince Komatzu’s wife. The other court ladies disprove of her, judging Sado-ko for not succumbing to Western influences like they have. After the palace commissions Massago's fiancé, Junzo, to create a sculpture, the two sisters reunite and decide to trade places. In their new lives, Sado-ko and Massago find happiness at last, but when Aoi, a lady of the court, starts to cause trouble, she threatens to ruin the twin sisters' plans.  

Published in 1904, Daughters of Nijo: A Romance of Japan by Onoto Watanna is now presented in an easy-to-read font and features a stunning new cover design. With these accommodations, Daughters of Nijo: A Romance of Japan is restored to modern standards while preserving the original and precious mastery of Onoto Watanna’s work. Add this beautiful edition to your bookshelf, or enjoy the digital edition on any e-book device.


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Publié par

Date de parution

16 février 2021

Nombre de lectures

0

EAN13

9781513276311

Langue

English

Poids de l'ouvrage

3 Mo

Daughters of Nijo
A Romance of Japan
Onoto Watanna
 
Daughters of Nijo: A Romance of Japan was first published in 1904.
This edition published by Mint Editions 2021.
ISBN 9781513271316 | E-ISBN 9781513276311
Published by Mint Editions ®
minteditionbooks.com
Publishing Director: Jennifer Newens
Design & Production: Rachel Lopez Metzger
Project Manager: Micaela Clark
Typesetting: Westchester Publishing Services
 
C ONTENTS B EFORE THE S TORY’S A CTION I. T HE C HILD OF THE S UN II. A N E MPEROR ’ S P ROMISE III. M ASAGO IV. A B ETROTHAL V. G OSSIP OF THE C OURT VI. T HE P RINCESS S ADO - KO VII. T HE P ICTURE BY THE A RTIST - MAN VIII. A S ENTIMENTAL P RINCESS IX. M OON T RYST X. C OUSIN K OMATZU XI. A M IRROR AND A P HOTOGRAPH XII. M ISTS OF K AMAKURA XIII. D AUGHTERS OF N IJO XIV. S OLUTION OF THE G ODS XV. T HE C HANGE XVI. A F AMILY C OUNCIL XVII. T HE N EW M ASAGO XVIII. A M OTHER B LIND XIX. W ITHIN THE P ALACE N IJO XX. A N E VIL O MEN XXI. “Y OU ARE NOT S ADO - KO !” XXII. T HE C OMING H OME OF J UNZO XXIII. T HE C ONVALESCENT XXIV. A R OYAL P ROCLAMATION XXV. T HE E VE OF A W EDDING XXVI. M ASAGO ’ S R ETURN XXVII. A G RACIOUS P RINCESS AT L AST XXVIII. “T HE G ODS K NEW B EST !”
 
B EFORE THE S TORY ’ S A CTION
In the early part of the year of the Restoration there lived within the Province of Echizen a young farmer named Yamada Kwacho. Although he belonged only to the agricultural class, he was known and honored throughout the entire province, for at one time he had saved the life of the Daimio of the province, the powerful Lord of Echizen, premier to the shogunate.
In spite of the favor of the Daimio of the province, Yamada Kwacho made no effort to rise above the class to which he had been born. Satisfied with his estate, he was proud of his simple and honest calling. So the Lord of Echizen, having no opportunity of repaying the young farmer for his service, contented himself perforce with a promise that if at any time Yamada Kwacho should require his aid, he would not fail him.
Kwacho, therefore, lived happily in the knowledge of his prince’s favor; and since he possessed an excellent little farm which yielded him a comfortable living, he had few cares.
He had reached the age of twenty-five years before he began to cast about him for a wife. Because of his renown in the province, Kwacho might have chosen a maiden of much higher rank than his own; but, being of a sensible mind and nature, he sought a bride within his own class. He found her in the person of little Ohano, the daughter of a neighboring farmer. She was as plump, rosy, and pretty as is possible for a Japanese maiden. Moreover, she was docile and gentle by temperament, and had all the admirable domestic virtues attractive to the eye of a youth of the character of Yamada Kwacho.
Though their courtship was brief, their wedding was splendid, for the Prince of Echizen himself bestowed upon them gifts with all good wishes and congratulations. Life seemed to bear a more joyous aspect to Kwacho. He went about his work whistling and singing. All his field-hands and coolies knew him for the kindest of masters.
The young couple had not been married a month, when a great prince, a member of the reigning house, visited the Lord of Echizen in his province. Report had it that this royal prince was in reality an emissary from the Emperor, for at this time the country was torn with the dissensions of Imperialist and Bakufu. It was well known that the Daimio of Echizen owed his office of shogunate premier to the Mikado himself, and that he was secretly in sympathy with the Imperialists. Consequently there were great banquets and entertainments given in the Province of Echizen when a prince of the royal family condescended to visit the Mikado’s vassal, the Daimio of Echizen. The whole province wore a gala aspect, and the streets of the principal cities were constantly enlivened by the passing parades and cort è ges of the retainers of the visiting prince.
Owing to the presence of his august guest, the Lord of Echizen was obliged to send a courier to Yedo with proper apologies for not presenting himself before the Shogun at this time. He showed his confidence in Kwacho by bestowing upon him the honor of this important mission.
The young farmer, while naturally loath to leave his young bride of a month, yet, mindful of the great honor, started at once for the Shogun’s capital. Thus Ohano was left at home alone.
Being but fifteen years old, she was fond of gayety, of music and dancing, and it was her dearest wish to visit the capital city of the province, that she might see the gorgeous parade of the nobles. With her husband gone, however, she was forced to deny herself this pleasure, and had to remain at home in seclusion under the charge of an elderly but foolish maid. Ohano became lonely and restless. She wearied of sitting in the house, thinking of Kwacho; and it was tiresome, too, to wander about the farm fields and watch the coolies and laborers. Ohano pined for a little of that excitement so precious to her butterfly heart. Much thought of the capital gayeties, and much conversation with the foolish maid, finally wrought a result.
Ohano would put on her prettiest and gayest of gowns to visit the capital alone, just as though she were a maiden and not a matron who should have had the company of her husband.
As the city was not a great distance away, they could use a comfortable kurumma which would hold them both. Four of the field coolies could be spared as kurumma carriers. In delight the foolish maid dressed her mistress, by this time all rosy with pleasurable excitement and anticipation. The adventure pleased them both, though the foolish mistress assured the foolish maid repeatedly that they would go but to the edge of the city. Thus they could see the great parade of the royal prince pass out of the city gates, for this was the day on which the prince was to leave Echizen and return to Kyoto. All his splendid retinue would accompany him. It was only once in a lifetime one was afforded the opportunity of such a sight, Ohano declared.
They started from the farm gleefully. All the way mistress and maid chatted and laughed in enjoyment. Before they had reached the edge of the city a countryman told them the royal cort è ge was even then passing through the city gates, and that they must leave the road in haste, for the parade would reach their portion of the highway in a few minutes.
The foolish maid suggested that they alight from the kurumma, that they might have a still better view of the parade. So after the maid the rosy-cheeked little bride, with her eyes dancing and shining, her red lips apart, her childish face all gleaming with pleased curiosity, swung lightly to the ground also.
They were just in time, for the royal parade had taken the road, and the outriders were already in view, so that the kurumma carriers were forced to drag their vehicle aside and fall upon their faces in the dust. The foolish maid, following their example, hid her face on the ground so that she lost sight of that she had come far to see. Ohano, however, less agitated than her servants, instead of prostrating herself at the side of the road, retired to a little bluff near the roadside. She thought she was far enough from the highway to be unseen; but as she happened to be standing on a sloping elevation, and her gay dress made a bright spot of color against the landscape, she was perfectly visible to such of the cort è ge as chanced to look in her direction.
Very slowly and leisurely the train proceeded. Nobles, samurai, vassals, retainers, attendants, the personal train of each principal samurai, prancing horses, lacquered litters, norimonos, bearing the wives and concubines of the princely staff, banners and streamers and glittering breastplates, all these filed slowly by and dazzled the eyes of the little rustic Ohano.
Then suddenly she felt her knees become weak, hands trembled, while a great flame rushed to her giddy little head. She became conscious of the fact that the train had suddenly halted, and that the bamboo hangings of a gilded norimon had parted. As the curtains of the norimon were slowly lifted, the six stout-legged retainers carrying the vehicle came to a standstill, while one of them, apparently receiving an order, deftly drew the hangings from side to side, revealing the personage within. The norimon’s occupant had raised himself lazily on his elbow and turned about sidewise in his carriage. His eyes were languorous and sleepy, slow and sensuous in their glance. They looked out now over the heads of the retainers, upward toward the small bluff upon which stood Ohano.
For some reason, perhaps because she saw something warmer than menace in the eyes of this indolent individual, Ohano smiled half unconsciously. Her little white teeth gleamed between her rosy lips. She appeared very bewitching as she stood there in her flowered gown in the sunlight.
A moment later something extraordinary happened to Ohano. She knew that stout arms had seized her, that her eyes were suddenly bound with linen, and then that she was lifted from her feet. Her giddy senses reeled to a dizzy unconsciousness.
When next she opened her eyes, she found that all was darkness about her. Consciousness came to her very slowly. She knew from the swaying movement of what seemed the soft couch upon which she lay that she was being carried somewhere. Ohano put out a fearful little hand, and it touched—a face! At that she sat up crying out in fright. Then the person who lay beside her stretched out hands toward her, and she was suddenly drawn down into his arms. He whispered in her ear, and his voice was like that of one speaking to her in a dream.
“Fear nothing, little dove. You are safe with me in my norimon. But to see you was to desire you. Do not tremble so. You will appreciate the honor I have done you, when you realize it. You shall be

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