Ōoku: The Inner Chambers

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Ōoku: The Inner Chambers
Ōoku - The Inner Chambers (cover art).jpg
First English edition of Ōoku: The Inner Chambers, as published by Viz Media
大奥
(Ōoku)
Genre
Manga
Written byFumi Yoshinaga
Published byHakusensha
English publisher
MagazineMelody
DemographicShōjo
Original runJune 28, 2004December 28, 2020
Volumes19
Live-action film
Directed byFuminori Kaneko
Written byNatsuko Takahashi
ReleasedOctober 1, 2010 (2010-10-01)
Runtime116 minutes
Television drama
Ōoku: Arikoto Iemitsu Hen
Directed byFuminori Kaneko
Written byMinako Kamiyama
Original run October 2012 December 2012
Episodes10
Live-action film
Ōoku: Emonnosuke Tsunayoshi Hen
Directed byFuminori Kaneko
Written byMinako Kamiyama
ReleasedDecember 22, 2012 (2012-12-22)
Runtime124 minutes
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and manga portal

Ōoku: The Inner Chambers (大奥, Ōoku) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Fumi Yoshinaga. It was serialized in Hakusensha's josei magazine Melody from June 2004 to December 2020, with its chapters collected in 19 tankōbon volumes. The manga is licensed in North America by Viz Media. It was adapted into two live action films in 2010 and 2012 and a 10-episode Japanese television drama series in 2012.

Ōoku: The Inner Chambers follows an alternate history of early modern Japan in which an unknown disease kills most of the male population, leading to a matriarchal society in which the Ōoku becomes a harem of men serving the now female shōgun.

The manga won an Excellence Prize at the 2006 Japan Media Arts Festival, a special prize at The Japanese Association of Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy's fifth annual Sense of Gender Awards in 2005, and the 13th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize in 2009.

Plot[edit]

Ōoku: The Inner Chambers is set in an alternate Edo period of Japan, where a strange disease that only affects men has caused a massive reduction of the male population, changing the Japanese social structure as women have to fill traditionally male roles. Eighty years after the initial outbreak, with four women for every one man, Japan has become completely matriarchal with women holding important political positions and men being their consorts. The most powerful woman — the shōgun of the Tokugawa shogunate — keeps a harem of handsome yet unproductive men known as the Ōoku inside Edo Castle.

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

Ōoku: The Inner Chambers is written and illustrated by Fumi Yoshinaga. It was serialized in Hakusensha's Melody from June 28, 2004 to December 28, 2020.[4][5]

Viz Media has stated the manga is "coming out in Japan at a rate of only one volume per year, with a projected ten volumes."[6] Pancha Diaz, Yoshinaga's editor at Viz Media, explained that Ōoku was chosen to be "part of the Viz Signature line of manga" because "they’re manga that don’t easily fit into the shojo [for young girls] or shonen [for young boys] projected market, which might appeal to older readers. Books that might interest people who like American comics but avoid manga due to preconceptions. [Viz Media] wanted them to have a different presentation, to look a little different. Lots of manga are meant to be read very quickly, almost like a static cartoon, but these are meant to be savored. That’s why we chose the larger size—to signal that to the audience."[6]

The manga is licensed in French by Kana and in Taiwan by Sharp Point Press.[7][8]

No. Original release date Original ISBN English release date English ISBN
1 October 4, 2005[9]4-59-214301-9August 18, 2009[10]1-4215-2747-2
  • Chapter One
  • Chapter Two
  • Chapter Three
  • Chapter Four
  • End Notes
A young man, Mizuno Yunoshin, from a poor family resolves to give his sister a dowry by joining the inner chambers of the shōgun, a seven-year-old girl, leaving his childhood sweetheart behind to hopefully find a husband. He adjusts to the life of the Ooku with the assistance of Sugishita, including the advances of his superiors there. The shōgun dies and a new shōgun who is thrifty but who does not know the customs, Yoshimune takes power. Mizuno rises in the ranks to be in the group of men from whom Yoshimune can take a lover. She approves of his simple attire and chooses him to be her first lover, a position that customarily ensures his death. The morning after, he is taken to the woods to be executed, but is spared by Yoshimune, who gives him a new name and some money and tells him where his still-unmarried childhood sweetheart is. Yoshimune meets a Dutch ambassador by dressing in men's clothes and hiding behind a screen. She violates protocol by speaking within his hearing. Later, she discusses with her friend the customs of naming. Yoshimune later dismisses all the young men of the inner chambers, telling them to marry, and arranges for Sugishita to be in the pool of men from whom she can take a lover, and takes him as a personal attendant. Yoshimune seeks out the oldest member of the Ooku, who she suspects may know more about the strange customs, and he gives her a book called "Chronicle of a Dying Day".
2 December 4, 2006[11]4-59-214302-7December 15, 2009[12]1-4215-2748-0
  • Chapter Five
  • Chapter Six
  • Chapter Seven
  • Chapter Eight
  • Chapter Nine
  • End Notes
3 December 25, 2007[13]978-4-592-14303-1April 20, 2010[14]1-4215-2749-9
  • Chapter Ten
  • Chapter Eleven
  • Chapter Twelve
  • Chapter Thirteen
  • Chapter Fourteen
  • End Notes
4 December 24, 2008[15]978-4-592-14304-8August 17, 2010[16]1-4215-3169-0
  • Chapter Fifteen
  • Chapter Sixteen
  • Chapter Seventeen
  • Chapter Eighteen
  • End Notes
5 October 5, 2009[17]978-4-592-14305-5December 21, 2010[18]1-4215-3669-2
  • Chapter Nineteen
  • Chapter Twenty
  • Chapter Twenty-One
  • Chapter Twenty-Two
  • End Notes
6 August 28, 2010[19]978-4-592-14306-2July 19, 2011[20]1-4215-3961-6
  • Chapter Twenty-Three
  • Chapter Twenty-Four
  • Chapter Twenty-Five
  • Chapter Twenty-Six
  • End Notes
7 June 28, 2011[21]978-4-592-14307-9July 17, 2012[22]978-1-4215-4220-1
  • Chapter Twenty-Seven
  • Chapter Twenty-Eight
  • Chapter Twenty-Nine
  • Chapter Thirty
  • End Notes
8 September 28, 2012[23]978-4-592-14308-6September 17, 2013[24]978-1-4215-5482-2
  • Chapter Thirty-One
  • Chapter Thirty-Two
  • Chapter Thirty-Three
  • Chapter Thirty-Four
  • Chapter Thirty-Five
  • End Notes
9 December 3, 2012[25]978-4-592-14309-3January 21, 2014[26]1-4215-5877-7
10 October 28, 2013[27]978-4-592-14310-9November 18, 2014[28]1-4215-7242-7
11 August 28, 2014[29]978-4-592-14545-5November 17, 2015[30]978-1-4215-7979-5
12 June 26, 2015[31]978-4-592-14546-2November 15, 2016[32]978-1-4215-8643-4
13 April 28, 2016[33]978-4-592-14547-9November 21, 2017[34]978-1-4215-9215-2
14 February 28, 2017[35]978-4-592-14548-6November 20, 2018[36]978-1-4215-9775-1
15 December 28, 2017[37]978-4-592-14549-3May 21, 2019[38]978-1-9747-0316-6
16 October 29, 2018[39]978-4-592-16276-6December 17, 2019[40]978-1-9747-0840-6
17 August 28, 2019[41]978-4-592-16277-3August 18, 2020[42]978-1-9747-1488-9
18 June 26, 2020[43]978-4-592-16278-0June 15, 2021[44]978-1-9747-2223-5
19 February 26, 2021[45]978-4-592-16279-7-

Film[edit]

Fuminori Kaneko [ja] directed a live-action adaptation of the manga entitled Ooku Danjo Gyakuten (one English translation of the title being Lady Shōgun and her Men), specifically covering the Yoshimune and Mizuno arc of the story.[46] Filming began in the spring of 2010,[47] and the film opened on October 1, 2010.[48] Kazunari Ninomiya played the role of Yuunoshin Mizuno, a new addition to the shōgun's harem, and Kou Shibasaki played Shōgun Yoshimune.[49]

Drama[edit]

A ten episode drama, 大奥〜誕生[有功・家光篇] aired on TBS between October 12, 2012 and December 14, 2012, starring Masato Sakai and Mikako Tabe.[50] The screenwriter was Yumiko Kamiyama [ja].[51] It achieved an audience share of between 7.0% and 11.6% during its first airing.[52] Masato Sakai won a prize in the Galaxy Award for his part in this drama and another work of his.[53]

Reception[edit]

It was nominated for the first annual Manga Taishō in 2008.[54] It was nominated for the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize three years in a row from 2007 to 2009[55][56][57] before it won the Grand Prize in April 2009.[58] Previously, the manga also won an Excellence Prize in the 2006 Japan Media Arts Festival[59] and special prize in The Japanese Association of Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy's fifth annual Sense of Gender Awards in 2005.[60] In January 2010, The American Library Association's Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) division listed first volume of VIZ Media version of Ōoku: The Inner Chambers in the 2010 Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens list.[61] The fourth volume of Ōoku: The Inner Chambers was ranked 5th on the Tohan charts between December 23, 2008 and January 5, 2009[62] and ranked 24th on the Tohan charts between January 6 and 12, 2009.[63] The manga won the 2009 James Tiptree Jr. Award, which is awarded to science fiction works which expand or explore one's understanding of gender.[64] In January 2011, the manga won 56th Shogakukan Manga Award in Girls' Category.[65] The seventh volume of the manga sold around 167,000 copies in its debut week and reached No. 1 on the Japan's Oricon weekly comic ranking for the first time in July 2011.[66]

In a review of the first volume, Casey Brienza of Anime News Network stated that "the manga is the perfect marriage of stylistic shortcomings to appropriate subject matter—the beautiful costumes are important players and plot points throughout the story, and the lack of character expression matches a world of intensely ritualized social interaction perfectly. Furthermore, while Yoshinaga isn't know[n] for her gorgeously rendered settings, artistic assistants provide much needed background detail and atmosphere."[67] Holly Ellingwood describes the manga as a "fascinating study of 'what if'", and praises Viz's presentation of the manga.[68] Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane found it difficult to connect with the characters in the first volume.[69] Katherine Dacey criticised the English translation of the manga, finding it awkwardly juxtaposed faux-old-English with modern language, and enjoyed the characterisation of Yoshimune.[70] She found the second volume more engaging than the first, but found the language distracting.[71] Carlo Santos of Anime News Network enjoyed the artwork which shows the period detail, but disliked the lack of character development in the second volume and the English translation.[72]

Leroy Douresseaux wrote that by the sixth volume, the focus of the series was much more on character drama and the political climate than on gender roles.[73]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn (March 18, 2010). "Ōoku: The Inner Chambers Wins Tiptree Award". Anime News Network. Retrieved November 28, 2019.
  2. ^ Douresseaux, Leroy (December 7, 2009). "Ooku: The Inner Chambers Volume 2". ComicBookBin. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  3. ^ "The Official Website for Ôoku: The Inner Chambers". Viz Media. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
  4. ^ メロディ 2004年8月号 6月28日(月)発売 (in Japanese). Hakusensha. Archived from the original on June 18, 2004. Retrieved August 27, 2020.
  5. ^ Pineda, Rafael Antonio (August 27, 2020). "Ōoku: The Inner Chambers Manga Ends on December 28". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 27, 2020.
  6. ^ a b Fitzsimons, Kate (July 20, 2009). "Relationships and Preconceptions: Fumi Yoshinaga's Ooku". Publishers Weekly. Archived from the original on 2009-10-30. Retrieved 2009-08-13.
  7. ^ "Le Pavillon des hommes tome 1" (in French). Kana. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  8. ^ 大奧(01) (in Chinese). Sharp Point Press. Retrieved October 4, 2009.
  9. ^ 大奥 1 (in Japanese). Hakusensha. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  10. ^ "Ôoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 1". Viz Media. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  11. ^ 大奥 2 (in Japanese). Hakusensha. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  12. ^ "Ôoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 2". Viz Media. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  13. ^ 大奥 3 (in Japanese). Hakusensha. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  14. ^ "Ôoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 3". Viz Media. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  15. ^ 大奥 4 (in Japanese). Hakusensha. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  16. ^ "Ôoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 4". Viz Media. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  17. ^ 大奥 5 (in Japanese). Hakusensha. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  18. ^ "Ôoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 5". Viz Media. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  19. ^ 大奥 6 (in Japanese). Hakusensha. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  20. ^ "Ôoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 6". Viz Media. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  21. ^ 大奥 7 (in Japanese). Hakusensha. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  22. ^ "Ôoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 7". Viz Media. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  23. ^ 大奥 8 (in Japanese). Hakusensha. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  24. ^ "Ôoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 8". Viz Media. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  25. ^ 大奥 9 (in Japanese). Hakusensha. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  26. ^ "Ôoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 9". Viz Media. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  27. ^ 大奥 10 (in Japanese). Hakusensha. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  28. ^ "Ôoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 10". Viz Media. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  29. ^ 大奥 11 (in Japanese). Hakusensha. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  30. ^ "Ôoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 11". Viz Media. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  31. ^ 大奥 12 (in Japanese). Hakusensha. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  32. ^ "Ôoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 12". Viz Media. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  33. ^ 大奥 13 (in Japanese). Hakusensha. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  34. ^ "Ôoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 13". Viz Media. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  35. ^ 大奥 14 (in Japanese). Hakusensha. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  36. ^ "Ôoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 14". Viz Media. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  37. ^ 大奥 15 (in Japanese). Hakusensha. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  38. ^ "Ôoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 15". Viz Media. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  39. ^ 大奥 16 (in Japanese). Hakusensha. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  40. ^ "Ôoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 16". Viz Media. Retrieved November 11, 2019.
  41. ^ 大奥 17 (in Japanese). Hakusensha. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  42. ^ "Ôoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 17". Viz Media. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  43. ^ 大奥 18 (in Japanese). Hakusensha. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  44. ^ "Ôoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 18". Viz Media. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  45. ^ 大奥 19 (in Japanese). Hakusensha. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  46. ^ "Ōoku: The Inner Chamber Manga Gets Live-Action Film". Anime News Network. 2009-04-09. Retrieved 2009-04-15.
  47. ^ よしながふみ「大奥」実写映画化!来春クランクイン (in Japanese). news.livedoor.com. Archived from the original on 2011-10-04. Retrieved 2021-01-15.
  48. ^ 大奥 (in Japanese). Ohoku. Archived from the original on 2012-10-05. Retrieved 2021-01-15.
  49. ^ "Arashi's Kazunari Ninomiya, Kou Shibasaki Star in Ōoku Film". Anime News Network. 2010-06-07. Retrieved 2010-06-11.
  50. ^ "Ōoku: The Inner Chambers Manga Gets Live-Action TV Drama, 2nd Film". Anime News Network. 2012-01-16. Retrieved 2012-03-27.
  51. ^ "Ooku:The Inner Chamber". TBS. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  52. ^ 堺雅人&多部未華子の男女逆転「大奥 ~誕生~」 最終回は8・3%. Sponichi Annex (in Japanese). 2012-12-17. Archived from the original on 2016-03-28. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  53. ^ 第50回ギャラクシー賞入賞作品一覧. NPO (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2016-04-20. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  54. ^ "12 Titles Nominated for 1st Ever Manga Taisho Awards (Updated)". Anime News Network. 2008-01-23. Retrieved 2009-04-15.
  55. ^ "Tezuka Cultural Prize Nominees for Manga Announced". Anime News Network. 2007-04-30. Retrieved 2009-04-15.
  56. ^ "12th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize Nominees Announced". Anime News Network. 2008-03-14. Retrieved 2009-04-15.
  57. ^ "13th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize Nominees Announced". Anime News Network. 2009-03-05. Retrieved 2009-04-15.
  58. ^ "13th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize Winners Announced". Anime News Network. 2009-04-19. Retrieved 2009-04-19.
  59. ^ "Ōoku". Japan Media Arts Festival. Retrieved 2009-04-15.
  60. ^ "Gender-SF 2005 SoG Awards: Yoshinaga Fumi". The Japanese Association of Feminist.
  61. ^ "2010 Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens". Yalsa. 2010-01-20. Retrieved 2010-01-26.
  62. ^ "Japanese Comic Ranking, December 23-January 5". Anime News Network. 2009-01-07. Retrieved 2009-04-15.
  63. ^ "Japanese Comic Ranking, January 6–12". Anime News Network. 2009-01-14. Retrieved 2009-04-15.
  64. ^ "2009 Winners - James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award Council". James Tiptree, Jr. Award. Archived from the original on 2010-06-19. Retrieved 2010-06-11.
  65. ^ "56th Shogakukan Manga Award Winners Announced". Retrieved 2011-01-22.
  66. ^ [大奥]最新7巻が初のコミック部門首位 オリコン週間本ランキング. Mycom Journal (in Japanese). Mainichi Communications Inc. July 7, 2011. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  67. ^ Brienza, Casey (August 12, 2009). "Ōoku: The Inner Chamber GN 1". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2009-08-12.
  68. ^ Ellingwood, Holly (2009-08-16). "Ooku: The Inner Chambers Vol. 1 (Advance Review)". activeanime.com. Retrieved 2010-06-11.
  69. ^ MacFarlane, Ysabet Reinhardt. "Ōoku: The Inner Chambers v1 Review". Mangalife.com. Archived from the original on 7 October 2009. Retrieved 2010-06-11.
  70. ^ Dacey, Katherine (2009-09-15). "Ooku: The Inner Chambers, Vol. 1". The Manga Critic. Retrieved 2010-06-11.
  71. ^ Dacey, Katherine. "Short Takes: Detroit Metal City, Jormungand, and Ooku: The Inner Chambers". The Manga Critic. Retrieved 2010-06-11.
  72. ^ Santos, Carlo (2010-06-07). "The Guilded Age - Right Turn Only!!". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2010-06-11.
  73. ^ Ooku: The Inner Chambers Volume 6

External links[edit]