Overview for Chapter G: Presents the life of the Japanese emperor who abdicated in 1629 and then dedicated the rest of his life to promoting Japanese cultural traditions and artistic forms as a poignant resistance to the assertion of Tokugawa authority. The chapter emphasizes the development of different Buddhist sects in Japan, describes the Floating World, and discusses sexual diversity in the human experience.
1. In what ways does Go-Mizunoo's experience ask us to redefine the definition of historical power?
2. Did Go-Mizunoo make a mistake by abdicating when he was 33?
3. Tōfukumon'in's marriage was arranged, just as Eleni's was and just as happens in the parts of the world today. What benefits do arranged marriages have? What limitations? Is the passage of time what changes views of arranged marriages or its it some other factor?
1. Find examples of Buddhist relics. How do these compare to Catholic relics?
2. Write a dialogue between Go-Mizunoo and Iemitsu in Nijō Castle that honors Japanese politeness, but captures the tensions between them.
3. Design a different monument honoring the Twenty-Six Catholic Martyrs in Nagasaki.
• This beautifully illustrated catalog written in conjunction with an exhibition at the Auckland Art Gallery offers an art historian's perspective of the Floating World. See: Rossella Menegazzo, Reflections on the Floating World(Auckland: Auckland Art Gallery Toio Tamaki, 2020), https://rfacdn.nz/artgallery/assets/media/2020-reflections-on-the-floating-world-gallery-publication.pdf
Map for Chapter G: This map by the author is in the print edition of the book and shows the important places in and around Kyoto for Go-Mizunoo.
“Jizo Bodhisattva,” (detail), painting on silk, anonymous, c. 1300 - c. 1350, courtesy of Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, AK-MAK-162.
This 19th century pint shows the entrance to the Shimabara pleasure district in Kyoto; smiling courtesans and visitors on the balcony watch as a drunk man is led away by a man and a woman. From: “The Willow Tree at the Gate of Shimabara” print by Utagawa, 1832-1836, courtesy of the Rijksmusuem, Amsterdam, AK-MAK-1613
In this scene from the kabuki theater, a boy pulls away from a man who wants him to perform a sexual favor. In the Floating World of Shimabara, where homosexuality was quite accepted, such an act of sexual harassment would have resulted in the man being dismissed as a crude bore. From: “Samurai and Wakashu,” painting on silk by Miyagawa Isshō, early 18th century, courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2018.853.25.
Aerial view of Nijo Castle, Kyoto, courtesy of Emmanuel Sergent, William Adams https://www.williamadams.fr/
This is a view of the estate and surrounding countryside that Go-Mizunoo designed in the 1650s. From: "Shugakuin Imperial Villa, Kyoto Japan," August 28, 2008, courtesy of Wiiii on Wikimedia Commons.