Gokenin Zankurou 御家人斬九郎

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Gokenin Zankurou 御家人斬九郎

“Gokenin Zankurou” is a historical novel written by Renzaburo Shibata. In the year of 1976, it was published by Kodansha Ltd and there are six volumes. Set at the end of the Edo Period, the main character, a low-rank retainer of the Tokugawa bakufu (or shogunate), is Matsudaira Zankurou (残九郎), who also goes the name of Zankurou(斬九郎). As shown, the kanji for “zan” is different. He is the youngest out of his 9 siblings, and his name implies that he is “unnecessary”. He is a swordsmaster, but he is also a playboy and drunkard. His fundoshi can be seen everytime as well. One of the characters that appear is a Tatsumi Geisha whose name is Otsuta, a favorite of Matsudaira’s. Her real name is Oonuma Taeko. She comes from a family of samurai, but because both her parents have unfortunately passed away, she was adopted by Tatsugoro, a gardener. She works as a geisha and she sometimes gives useful information to Zankurou. Both of them love each other, but because of her “iki” personality she cannot act meek or obedient, and both of them end up having a lovers’ quarrel.

Fuji TV produced a drama based on this novel and from 1995 to 2002, five series (a total of 50 episodes) were created. Watanabe Ken played Zankurou while Wakumura Mayumi played Otsuta.



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