Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
During the mid-fifteenth century, under the shogunate of Ashikaga Yoshimasa, lives a warrior lord by the name of Sasaki Sadakuni, lord of the Province of Yamato. He has two sons. One, twenty-five years old and named Katsura, is the son of Sadakuni’s first wife; the other, twelve-year-old Hanagata, is the son of Sadakuni’s second and present wife, Lady Spider. Katsura, a handsome young man, is taken into the luxurious and self-indulgent service of the shgun at Kyoto. There, at the instigation of one of his retainers, Fuwa Banzaemon, Katsura falls in love with a dancer, Wisteria-wave, and he begins to lead a life of pleasure.
A retainer of the House of Sasaki, Nagoya Sansabur, is sent to Kyoto to present a treasured painting to the shgun. Learning how matters stand with Katsura, he does his best to make the young lord mend his ways, but to no avail. Meanwhile, Banzaemon himself is discovered to be in love with Wisteria-wave, and he is discharged from feudal service. Sansabur is sent back to the Sasaki provincial headquarters. At the same time, a loyal retainer, Sasara Sampachir, kills Wisteria-wave and goes into hiding. On the same night, a disloyal retainer, Hasebe Unroku, steals the treasured painting and disappears.
The next day, Banzaemon’s father, Road-dog, steward to the House of Sasaki, arrives as Sadakuni’s emissary. He severely reprimands Katsura for his dissolute ways and discharges Katsura’s retinue as being disloyal. Behind...
(The entire section is 1197 words.)
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