I've read the last volume of the novel and my comment is, Tabuchi Kumiko SAIKOU!!! Now I understand why Atsu-hime was such a big success (haven't watch it yet though).
I really love how she can weave the existing historical facts into one whole story that flows naturally. The missing gaps fictious parts she added makes sense very well.
And I'm very glad Tabuchi-sensei has a very good sense of humor. None of the historical figures in this novel are boring. They all become interesting characters.
And what I love the most is Gou and Hidetada's miracle love story. There's this mystery part involved in their love story.
I think I will translate ALOT from this one, because I have so many favorite Gou and Hidetada's scenes!!*v*
But in this entry, I will start from the beginning of Gou and Hidetada's marriage. This scene quite tells you how the women in the Sengoku era always being used as a tool by the men.
Gou and Hidetada's next meet was 5 years after their first met in the Jurakudai palace. In those 5 years, Gou has married once again with Toyotomi Hidekatsu, Hideyoshi's nephew and they had a daughter together, named Sadako. But even before they reach their first anniversary, Hidekatsu died in the war.
Not long after that...
GOU ~Himetachi no Sengoku~
by Tabuchi Kumiko
Page 70 - 75
translated by yanie
"All right, about that,"
Hideyoshi called Gou over and he seem to have his face back to red. Hideyoshi who used to look like a demon, looks more human than Gou right now.
"I have something to discuss with you. Actually, it's more of asking you a favor,"
"What is it?"
Gou is ready for it. She has lost a place to live now, if he feels bothered with her existence there, she don't mind even if he ask her to live somewhere else temporarily.
For now, as long as she can live together with Sadako peacefully, nothing else matters for her.
"How about thinking of getting married again? What do you think?"
"Get marry again, I said,"
She felt her blood came up to her head.
"What do you mean? You forced me to separate with my first husband, then you killed my next husband... And now, you're telling me to get marry again!?"
Hideyoshi said nonchalantly. Gou's anger boiled even more.
"What is it this time?? Are you ordering me to be a political tool!?"
"So you understand already. That's right,"
Gou became speechless.
"I have talked about it to the other party. You may go there alone,"
"....alone? Sa, Sadako... how about Sadako!??"
"Just leave her here. Your husband-to-be is a bit too young. He might not welcome a child from your previous marriage,"
As her anger gotten greater, her face become more pale.
Nonchalantly, Hideyoshi continued.
"I think this would be a good marriage. You will be wed to the Tokugawa family in Edo. Your husband-to-be is, you know him right? The family's successor, Hidetada,"
For the first time in her life, Gou collapsed on the spot.
"Hidetada, you will get a bride,"
Ieyasu, his father, told him, not long after the Hidetsugu Incident, in the middle of August.
Without thinking much of it, Hidetada answered, "All right,"
As always he answered right away.
"What? You don't even care who's the woman?"
To see Ieyasu who seem not understanding his reaction, he said, "I can take a guess if I think of it for awhile,"
"You don't have to think of it. It's Gou-dono (Lady Gou),"
Hearing what Ieyasu said, Hidetada immediately let out a voice out of his head, "Go... go, go, go, Gou-dono!?"
"Hoo.... I didn't expect this kind of reaction from you. Actually I've also taken a liking on her since long time ago. As they said, destiny is something odd, huh,"
"It's not like that!"
"So, you don't like her?"
"This is not about like or not... A--afterall, she's---"
"That's right. She's six years older than you. She has been married twice. She also has one daughter,"
As he saw Ieyasu said it nonchalantly, he become speechless.
"Whaat. This is not a marriage that would burden you, this is just as easy as going to the Toyotomi clan as an adoptive son. But actually it has the essence as important as becoming Hideyori-sama's brother in law, as Hideyoshi's son in law. We can take it as that much. This is really a good marriage!"
Hidetada sighed and weaken his stiffened body. Then, he feels ashamed of his own panic.
Hidetada, you can only accept anything happening in your life, that's how you have lived your life all these time, right?
"So, Father, when will the wedding be held?"
"The earlier the better. Seem like this month is impossible, so maybe next month, we will hold it in September,"
"All right then,"
Hidetada is counting on his fingers quietly.
It has been five years since he met her for the first time in Kyoto. It has been that much, but she left him a vivid impression. She's a strong-willed, critical woman who immediately snaps. She is Lord Nobunaga's niece. That woman will be my wife?
..... oh, well. What happens later, let's think it later. Hidetada suppressed his yawn.
Meanwhile, Gou strongly refused Hideyoshi.
"For me, this is a very bad joke! And above all, why does it has to be that cheeky boy, that cynical boy who look down on everybody!? Furthermore, isn't he still a child!?"
"He's already seventeen now. We can't say he's a child anymore,"
"Anyone else would be better.... just please, not that Hidetada!"
"Don't disregard him!"
"Hidetada-- sama... please, just not Hidetada-sama. I RE-FU-SE!"
Despite him being fed up, Hideyoshi tried to endure it and repeated the same words over and over again.
"No matter how much the bond between our Toyotomi clan and that Tokugawa clan become stronger, it would never be strong enough without this marriage. ....there's no other place for you. No matter what happen, I will have to let you go to the Tokugawa. ....there's no point of talking about this further. Prepare yourself,"
Hideyoshi was about to get up, when Gou get closer to him on her knees and grabbed the end of his hakama.
"Are you telling me that I'll be continuing Lady Asahi's duty there?"
Lady Asahi was wedded to Ieyasu by force and she passed away due to illness.
Despite the fact that she is one of Hideyoshi's sister that he is proud of, she has lead a miserable life, and yet she stayed strong. Gou feels pain everytime she remembers her.
"Speaking of that, the first time you met Hidetada, was right before Asahi's death, huh. That's right, that's right. It's none other than Asahi herself who has put you two together! You have no other way but to accept this, no?"
"No! I've been hearing Lady Asahi's voice in my head telling me, 'Don't go! Don't go!' !!"
"Would you stop it already!!!"
Hideyoshi shook off Gou's hand and shouted, "You think anything can happen as you please?! One woman's marriage can make the world's peace!! You should be grateful about this! Do you understand? You understand right?!"
In a hurry, Hideyoshi was going to exit the room, but then he turned around, "If you really wish so, you may bring Sadako with you. I'll talk to Ieyasu,"
Gou stared into the space in the direction where Hideyoshi disappeared.
It's not that she hates Hidetada. Of course, she doesn't like him either, it's a fact that she doesn't like the way he make fun of other people. But actually, she had a favourable impression on him, the first time she saw his face. It's such an unfortunate thing for him to have a wife much older than him, like me, she thought.
She feels like she wants to oppose this world where everything is arranged by the men. Marriage, which is suppose to be one of the most important event, had been decided for her one-sided, and for three times too. She can't stand it.
Hideyoshi is not just a man. He has a ruling power. She absolutely understand, she shouldn't have disobey his orders. But she's feeling frustrated about it.
Gou heavily sighed. And then, she tried to remember Hidetada's face. But she can only remember his bangs covering his forehead and his freshly shaved head. His face stays vague.
TO BE CONTINUED
In the end, Chacha helped Hideyoshi in persuading Gou to leave her baby, Sadako, with them, and let her be raised as a Toyotomi, because she is Hidekatsu's daughter, afterall, she said. It would be wrong if she is raised as a Tokugawa, she said. Feeling very sad, Gou finally decided to let her eldest sister, Chacha, to adopt Sadako.
Next snippet would be Gou and Hidetada's wedding ceremony, and their first night conversation ^_^