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Where was Oryo?

 
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Dash101
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 9:10 am    Post subject: Where was Oryo? Reply with quote
We've talked a lot about the assassination of Sakamoto Ryoma here. And most of you are well versed on the subject. But one question that lingers in my mind, and that has not been satisfactorily answered is where was Oryo during the week of December 10?

We know that Sakamoto returned to Kyoto on November 30, 1867. Its certain he would have seen Oryo at this time though very little is reported during the period between the end of November 30th and December 10, the day of the assassination.

EDIT: Does anyone have further insight into this?


Last edited by Dash101 on Sun Mar 02, 2008 2:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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heron
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
According to the Kyoto National Museum catalog __龍馬の翔けた時代 – The Age of Sakamoto Ryoma, Ryoma brought Oryo from Nagasaki to Shimonoseki in Keiô 3 (1867), to the house of a friend and associate of his, the merchant Itô Sukedaya. Only one letter exists to her, telling her about the Iroha affair, relating his activities and explaining he has to go to Kyoto. This letter was among the family heirlooms of the Iguchi family, which gives weight to the family tradition that Oryo was looked after by them in Kyoto after Ryoma’s death. But before his death she must have still been in Shimonoseki.

In his letters to Itô, whom he calls Kyuzô, Ryoma mentions Oryo, and asks Itô to look after her. He also deplores his constant money worries. After his death Itô writes to Miyoshi Shizo and Indô Noboru. Miyoshi is to break the news to Oryo. Maybe it was he who brought her from Shimonoseki to Kyoto.

There’s also an existing letter from Teradaya Tose to Oryo expressing her condolences. It is written from a rented house so is tentatively dated after the Toba-Fushimi war in which at least part of the Teradaya burnt down. Oryo’s mother is in Tose’s care. This letter was also in the Iguchi family bequest.

Interestingly, most of the letters that survive, apart from ones to his family, are those written to friends and colleagues in Chôshû. Miyakawa Teiichi who curated the exhibition suggests this indicates the esteem Ryoma was held in in Chôshû. He is known to have written to many in Satsuma, but few of these letters survive.

By the way, I think the word you mean is insight Very Happy
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Dash101
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:
Interestingly, most of the letters that survive, apart from ones to his family, are those written to friends and colleagues in Chôshû. Miyakawa Teiichi who curated the exhibition suggests this indicates the esteem Ryoma was held in in Chôshû. He is known to have written to many in Satsuma, but few of these letters survive.


Amazingly enough, Miyakawa has been a colleague of mine on the project and sent me the 龍馬の翔けた時代 publication as well as a few other documents for my research. ( I also sent him a photographic calender of my home country Canada as a kind of thank you, that totally pales in comparison!)

He is, as I would consider, a foremost expert in the field, and yet even with my conversations with him, I cannot fully understand WHY Oryo was in Shimonoseki instead of Kyoto. Its interesting but documentation during the 30th to the 10th is sparse if existent at all. Considering the previous material it seems strange that that particular week, there are very few missives still left in existence.

But still, perhaps Heron you've read into something in a way that I haven't... I think I may have to re-read the "big grey book" as my wife calls it, because the situation with Oryo still lacks reason in my mind...

Ok, I guess I have plans for Monday, Tuesday...

PS: Thanks! Sorry for the type-o!
-alex
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heron
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Yes, I thought you must know him since you have been in touch with the museum.

I think there were a lot of gaps in Ryoma's life, not only that period.

There's another piece in the exhibition, a song Ryoma wrote or sang, after coming back from the pleasure quarter, to soothe Oryo's wounded feelings. The conclusion I came to was that even though they famously had the first Japanese honeymoon, their marriage can't be compared to a modern marriage. I don't see what is surprising about her staying in Shimonoseki: they probably never had a household together. She was left in safety with a sympathetic family while Ryoma went off on whatever business he was engaged in. What was the set up in Nagasaki, do you know? Ryoma seems to have stayed with many different people, and probably that was common then. I've been to a few merchants houses in Yamaguchi and Shimonoseki where the tradition is that shelter and other help were given to various shishi.

Anyway I look forward to your re-reading of the "big grey book" as there are probably many things I have not understood properly.
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Dash101
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Quote:
I think there were a lot of gaps in Ryoma's life, not only that period.

There's another piece in the exhibition, a song Ryoma wrote or sang, after coming back from the pleasure quarter, to soothe Oryo's wounded feelings. The conclusion I came to was that even though they famously had the first Japanese honeymoon, their marriage can't be compared to a modern marriage. I don't see what is surprising about her staying in Shimonoseki: they probably never had a household together. She was left in safety with a sympathetic family while Ryoma went off on whatever business he was engaged in. What was the set up in Nagasaki, do you know? Ryoma seems to have stayed with many different people, and probably that was common then. I've been to a few merchants houses in Yamaguchi and Shimonoseki where the tradition is that shelter and other help were given to various shishi.


You're absolutly right about the gaps of information in Ryoma's life.

A difficulty with properly understanding Oryo and Ryoma's relationship from my view, is that Ryoma, even during his lifetime had a reputation that was bigger then he really was. (His ghost-army of 300 men from the Kaientai comes to mind). Its often difficult to separate what is fact and what is either fiction or a rose colored image of the people who left us their thoughts on his life. This is true of the relationship as well and I think that is perhaps why it is so confusing particularly in his relationship with Oryo. Oddly enough his one other major serious relationship when he was in Edo with 'Sana' is also very hard to fill in with accurate detail.

I have a good outline of Ryoma's accommodation in Nagasaki during 1867, but nothing more detailed then what you probably have.

Quote:
your re-reading of the "big grey book" as there are probably many things I have not understood properly.


In fact I will have to re-read it because there are several areas that I don't think I understood properly including this particular aspect of things.
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