Shunkan

Shunkan (俊寛) (c. 1143 – 1179) was a Japanese monk who, after taking part in the Shishigatani plot to overthrow Taira no Kiyomori, was exiled along with two others to Kikai-ga-shima. His story is featured in the Heike monogatari, and in a number of traditional derivative works, including the Noh play Shunkan and jōruri play Heike Nyogo-ga-shima. Twentieth century authors Kan Kikuchi and Ryūnosuke Akutagawa also produced works entitled Shunkan.

Yoshitoshi-Vertical diptych of the sea-1887.jpeg
Shunkan depicted on an 1887 vertical diptych.

Biography

Shunkan was a member of the Murakami Genji branch of the Minamoto samurai clan, and the son of Hōin Kanga, a priest of the Buddhist temple Ninna-ji. He served Emperor Go-Shirakawa as a close aide and was associated with the Hōsshō-ji.

In 1177, he met with a number of others in secret in his mountain villa in Shishigatani (some sources, such as the Gukanshō, say the villa belonged to someone else), and plotted to overthrow Daijō Daijin Taira no Kiyomori who, along with other members of the Taira clan, dominated and controlled the Imperial government. The plot was discovered before any actual action was taken, and Shunkan was exiled, along with Fujiwara no Narichika, Narichika's son Fujiwara no Naritsune, and Taira no Yasunori, to an island called Kikai-ga-shima, south of Kyūshū's Satsuma province. There is debate as to whether or not this was the same place as the island bearing the name Kikai today.

Later that year, according to the Heike monogatari, when the Imperial consort Taira no Tokuko was pregnant with the future Emperor Antoku and was having difficulties, Kiyomori, her father, granted amnesty to Yasuyori and Naritsune, in order to appease their angry spirits, in the hopes of easing his daughter's pain. Shunkan was thus left alone on the island, the fourth exile Narichika having been executed by the Taira some time before.

He was found two years later, in 1179, by a monk from his temple by the name of Ariō, who brought a letter from Shunkan's daughter. Having already sunk into deep despair during his time alone on the island, Shunkan read the letter and made the decision to commit suicide. He refused food, and died of starvation. Ariō then brought the monk's ashes and bones back to the capital.

Ashizuri

The manner in which Shunkan drags his feet on the beach is referred to as ashizuri. Shunkan's attitude after he is left behind is often described as childlike and as though he is having a temper tantrum. Earlier years often had him depicted as a child in illustrations and the idea that Shunkan's tantrum was childish persisted for years. However, greater attention is paid to the ashiziri. In fact, each different variation and translation of the Tale of the Heike remains consistent in that great detail is paid to Shunkan's ashiziri. This technique of foot-dragusually in both prints and series, mainly, those of the Utagawa school. In Kabuki, the motif of vengeful spi ging that Shunkan performs after being left on the island is notable for being similar to techniques used in Kabuki theatre.

Shunkan is a figure that appears often in the theatre of Kabuki,

Legacy

The present location of Kikai Island is unclear, but it is believed to be one of the following:

  • Iōjima, Kagoshima: A bronze statue of Shunkan was erected in May, 1995. Part of the Kikai Caldera.
  • Kikai, Kagoshima: Contains a grave and bronze statue of Shunkan. According to Suzuki Hisashi, the anthropologist who examined the grave, the excavated bones were long-faced cranial bones belonging to a noble suggesting that they belong to a high class person from outside the island.
  • Iōjima, Nagasaki: Contains a grave of Shunkan.

References

  • Brazell, Karen. ed. (1998). Traditional Japanese Theater. New York: Columbia University Press.
  • McCullough, Helen Craig. (1988). The Tale of the Heike. Stanford: Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-1803-2
  • Sansom, George (1958). A History of Japan to 1334. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. pp. 267–9.
Fujiwara no Narichika

Fujiwara no Narichika (藤原 成親) (1138–1178) was a Japanese court noble who took part in a plot against the Taira clan's dominance of the Imperial court.

Narichika was the son of Fujiwara no Ienari. For his role in the Shishigatani Incident in 1177, he was exiled, along with his son Fujiwara no Naritsune, Taira no Yasuyori, and the monk Shunkan to an island called Kikai-ga-shima in the far south of Japan. Narichika was later executed by the order of the Taira.

Fujiwara no Naritsune

Fujiwara no Naritsune (藤原 成経, d. 1202) was a Japanese courtier of the Heian period who, after plotting against the Taira clan, was exiled along with his father, Fujiwara no Narichika, and a number of other co-conspirators to Kikai-ga-shima. He and his companions in exile, Taira no Yasunori and the monk Shunkan, feature prominently in a number of traditional Japanese dramas, including the Noh play Shunkan and the jōruri puppet play Heike Nyogo-ga-shima which was later adapted for kabuki as well.

The lord of Tanba province, Naritsune was married to a niece of Taira no Kiyomori, chief minister in the Imperial government. He features prominently in early chapters of the Heike Monogatari as it relates the tale of the plot and subsequent exile. According to that text, shortly after his father was exiled to Kikai-ga-shima, Naritsune was, in the sixth lunar month of 1177, summoned to Fukuhara and then to Bitchū province before himself being sent to Kikai-ga-shima.During his time on the island, Naritsune, along with Yasuyori, became a fervent adherent of the Kumano faith, regularly performing rituals and prayers for the kami of the Kumano Shrines. Some months after their banishment, the Empress Tokuko suffered an illness which was blamed on the angry spirit of the late Narichika. To appease the spirit and restore the health of the Empress, Naritsune and Yasuyori were pardoned. News reached them near the end of the ninth lunar month of 1178. After visiting his father's grave, Naritsune returned to Kyoto in the third month of the following year. He was then reunited with his young son, who had been roughly three years old (by Japanese traditional reckoning), and another child, who had yet to be born when he was exiled. Reinstated into the service of the Retired Emperor Go-Shirakawa, he regained his rank, and would later be promoted.

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A version for WiiWare, titled Minna de Puzzloop (みんなでパズループ, Minna de Pazurūpu) in Japan, Magnetica Twist in North America and Actionloop Twist in PAL regions, was released in Japan on April 22, 2008, June 6, 2008 in Europe, and on June 30, 2008 in North America.

Mai Hoshimura

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On May 31, 2009, her contract with Sony ended.

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Mimi Meme Mimi

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Scandal (Japanese band)

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Setoguchi (瀬戸口) is a Japanese surname, meaning "mouth (口) of the channel (瀬戸)". People with this surname include:

Tokichi Setoguchi (瀬戸口藤吉, 1868–1941), Japanese composer and conductor

Devin Setoguchi (born 1987), Canadian ice hockey playerFictional characters with this surname include:

Nobu Setoguchi, a main character in 1990s–2000s Japanese comics series Wangan Midnight

Hina Setoguchi, a main character in 2016 Japanese animated film Suki ni Naru Sono Shunkan o

Shishigatani incident

The Shishigatani incident (鹿ケ谷事件, Shishigatani jiken) of June 1177 was a failed uprising against the rule of Taira no Kiyomori in Japan. The conspiracy was discovered, and its perpetrators arrested and punished before any part of their plan was put into action.

The incident is also known in Japanese as Shishigatani no Inbō (鹿ケ谷の陰謀), the Shishigatani Conspiracy or Plot. The name comes from the location where the conspirators met, a mountain villa belonging to Jōken Hōin, in the Shishi Valley (Shishigatani) in the Higashiyama area of Kyoto.

Shunkan (play)

Shunkan (俊寛) is a Noh play which takes place in the aftermath of the Shishigatani Incident, and focuses upon one of a trio exiled to "Devil's Island" (Kikaigashima, 鬼界島), off the coast of Satsuma province, as punishment for a plot against the ruling Taira clan. Though two of the three are pardoned, the third, the monk Shunkan, is left alone on the island.

Shunkan Sentimental

"Shunkan Sentimental" (瞬間センチメンタル) is the fifth major single (eighth overall) released by Japanese pop rock band Scandal. The title track was used as the fourth ending theme of the anime Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. The single was released in two versions: a limited edition that was housed in a Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood cardboard jacket and came with a bonus track, and a regular edition with a first press consisting of an alternate cover, a special Scandal booklet, and a Brotherhood sticker. The second B-side, "Yumemiru Koro wo Sugitemo", is a cover of Hillbilly Bops' song of the same name, which was the answered song of their previous single, "Yumemiru Tsubasa". The single reached #7 on the Oricon weekly chart and charted for thirteen weeks, selling 32,624 copies. It was certified platinum by the RIAJ for selling over 250,000 digital copies in January 2016.

Suki ni Naru Sono Shunkan o

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The Tale of the Heike

The Tale of the Heike (平家物語, Heike Monogatari) is an epic account compiled prior to 1330 of the struggle between the Taira clan and Minamoto clan for control of Japan at the end of the 12th century in the Genpei War (1180–1185). Heike (平家) refers to the Taira (平), hei being an alternate reading of the first kanji. Note that in the title of the Genpei War, "hei" is in this combination read as "pei" and the "gen" (源) is the first kanji used in the Minamoto (also known as "Genji") clan's name. The Tale of the Heike is often likened to a Japanese Iliad.

It has been translated into English at least five times, the first by Arthur Lindsay Sadler in 1918–1921. A complete translation in nearly 800 pages by Hiroshi Kitagawa & Bruce T. Tsuchida was published in 1975. Also translated by Helen McCullough in 1988. An abridged translation by Burton Watson was published in 2006. In 2012, Royall Tyler completed his translation, which seeks to be mindful of the performance style for which the work was originally intended.

It was famously retold in Japanese prose by historical novelist Eiji Yoshikawa, published in Asahi Weekly in 1950 with the title New Tale of the Heike (Shin Heike Monogatari).

Yellow Generation

Yellow Generation (known as YeLLOW Generation in Japan) was a female J-pop trio signed under Sony Music Japan's DefSTAR Record label from 2002-2006. The group was best known for the singles Kitakaze to Taiyō (北風と太陽 North wind and sun), and "Tobira no Mukō e" (扉の向こうへ, "To the Other Side of the Door"), which was the second ending theme for the anime Fullmetal Alchemist.The trio was made up of the members Yuki (ユキ), Yūko (ユウコ), and Hitomi (ヒトミ). Altogether the band had released two albums and nine singles, but after a year of silence the band finally decided to part ways on November 15, 2006.

Yukari Tachibana

Yukari Tachibana (橘 ゆかり Tachibana Yukari; born 8 October 1965 in Tokyo, Japan) is a Japanese actress. She appeared in Happy Wedding (Oishii Kekkon) and Moment Girl (瞬間少女, Shunkan Shoujo), among other film and television roles.

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