Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ooku: the Inner Chambers

What would happen if most of the men died in feudal Japan and women now ran the country? Ooku: the Inner Chambers by Fumi Yoshinaga explores this idea, with most of the focus on the palace and its male harem. Yes, male harem. As titillating as that sounds, this is a deftly woven tale of politics, intrigue, and love with some amazing art. Ok, maybe it's a little titillating too.

There’s a new ruler in Japan and she’s making changes, despite the traditions and reluctance of the castle staff. Along for this bumpy ride is a newcomer to the harem and a harem “old-timer,” who takes the newcomer under his wing. The language is old-fashioned, but the story is so good it doesn’t matter. There’s a reason this manga has won awards. It’s a lovely bit of alternate Japanese history with gorgeous details. And some very pretty men.
PS - If you know how to pronounce the title, can you tell me? Thanks!

~ Book Ninja

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