National Archives of JAPAN

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Yojo Ihitsu

Mikikigusa (total 176 volumes) containing information and records written or filed by direct retainer Miyazaki Narichika during closing days of Edo period abounds with many interesting illustrations and beautiful color diagrams. Some of them are shown here.

In 5th year of Bunsei (1822), death of a girl who barely became 5 was a topic of conversations in Edo. Her name was Tsuyu. She borned as a daughter of Ikeda Sadatsune, former lord of sub-domain of Inaba-Tottori domain, and called himself "Kanzan" as a penname after retirement. On November 27 of the same year, Tsuyu ended her short life stricken by smallpox. Her posthumous Buddhist name was Jokan'in Gyokuro Joho Dojo. One reason why her death was made a topic was that 1600 propose and poetry items and Japanese poem "waka" were delivered to Ikeda Kanzan, Tsuyu's father, who was also a man of culture of first class at that time, by his friends and acquaintances, feudal lords and scholars, mourning her death. Moreover, letters that looked like her wills, Japanese poem "waka" and stanzas found after her death were block-printed by her father in faithful reproduction of her products and were distributed to many people. Condolences over untimely death of Tsuyu and over her premature talents increased. "Mikikigusa" contains these wood-block prints, allowing readers to see good handwriting of Tsuyu.