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26 "A Samurai Story" all stories.

page 130

Takahashi Katsuhiko (b.1947 in Iwate)
Sharaku Murder Case, 1983, 29th Edogawa Ranpo Prize
Somondani, 7th Yoshikawa Eiji Literature Rookie Prize
Hokusai Murder Case, 1987, 40th Japan Mystery Writers’ Club Prize
Kaen, 2000, 34th Yoshikawa Eiji Literature Prize
53rd NHK Hoso Bunka Prize in 2001
Homura Tatsu and Hojo Tokimune, were produced into the NHK Through-the-Year Drama.

A Synopsis of To Tempt Heaven by Takahashi Katsuhiko
Written by the translator, Nishimura Yoshitaro, Professor Emeritus of Fukushima University

The hero, Masa Kunoe, was born in Nanbu in 1536. His family name Kunoe simply means the number nine, but he is the number one among the major lords of Nanbu Clan. His nickname, Demon of the North, declares him as a musha.
What is musha and who is one and when and how is it realized? That is the main theme of To Tempt Heaven. Are Masa, Nao and Hideyoshi all mushas? Yes, they are. History seems to assign their fate upon them. Hideyoshi survived as if surfing upon the concept or skimming its essence, Masa tempted it and was defeated, and Nao alone survived longest by adjusting to it most beautifully. What is musha then? The novel shows us in twelve hundred page history ‘How to live as a musha?’ Bushi, musha or samurai is a member of a military class in Japan in former days.
There existed three powerful trends in the northern district of Japan (Oshu or Michinoku): Genji Clan, Emishi Tribe and Fujiwara Family. Before 16th century Genji controlled other two, but not completely. Then blustery wars began to roar all over Japan and particularly in the north again. Those abovementioned protagonists fought against but their cause of conflict was the same as that between Genji and Emishi through history
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