Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Asian Languages & Civilizations

First Advisor

Laurel R Rodd

Second Advisor

Satoko Shimazaki

Third Advisor

Janice C Brown

Abstract

Takadachi, a kôwakamai ballad-drama published in the early Edo Period focuses upon the final episode in the life of Minamoto no Yoshitsune: his last stand and death at Takadachi castle. Although this kôwakamai focuses on an extremely popular figure, there has been little research done on the piece and it remains untranslated. This thesis provides a translation of the opening passages of Takadachi as well as a discussion of the ways in which it builds on the character of Yoshitsune as depicted in previous texts such as the Gikeiki and the Heike monogatari. I argue that Takadachi shows Yoshitsune acting contrary to his previous depictions in ways that shift the focus of the narrative to his retainers who present the ideal example of the loyal bushi dying in defense of his lord. It is this ideal form of loyalty, which exists primarily in literature, which was popular with audiences in the Edo Period and connects Takadachi to the idea that there was a concrete code of conduct for all bushi that became popular during the Edo Period.

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