Thursday, October 2, 2014
Author: Rumi Komonz
Publisher: Balboa Press
I received Rumi Komonz's Kicho&Nobunaga as a Christmas gift last year. After reading the book many times and going through each page carefully, I must say that Kicho&Nobunaga is one of the better Sengoku fiction/historical novels. The story is about Nobunaga's wife, Nohime (1535-1612), who came from Mino Province during the Sengoku Era. She was brave, beautiful, and intelligent. That being said, she was barren and desperately wanted her own child. Unfortunately, it never happened. Nohime finds out quickly Nobunaga was no fool, brave, odd, smart, cunning, and saw the future better than most people. She also know Nobunaga is cocky and overconfident which leads to his death.
If I had any complaints about this well written book, there are two. First, some of the names do not have a long vowel symbol, which makes reading the novel a bit awkward. For example, the Mori of western Japan is spelled Mohri and Omi is Ohmi. Azuchi was spelled as Azchi. One other problem was the names. Mrs. Saucepan as Onabe no Kata (Nobunaga's concubine) and Lord Strange as Oda Nobutada (Nobunaga's oldest son). Still, even with the minor setbacks, Kicho&Nobunaga is a great book.
The novel has a lot of positives. It contains a character and key events list. This makes the novel easier to understand. It contains many of Nobunaga's key events such as Okehazama, the construction of Nijo mansion, the lacquered skulls at Gifu Castle in 1574, and of course, the Honnoji Rebellion. Mrs. Komonz also explains Nohime's life after Nobunaga's death in which she became a nun and lived a quiet life. Also Mrs. Komonz believes that Nohime held some secrets that are are not known and will never been known. I tend to agree.
How well written was the novel? Here are some other reviews:
"Experience the world of samurai." Yoko Pinkerson, author
"Love in the turbulent setting." Elizabeth Beattie, writer, Making Sense
"Beautiful and evocative." Victorian Writers' Centre
Out of five stars, I am giving Kicho&Nohime five out of five. *****
Kicho&Nobunaga is the only book in English that will give you all the details into Nohime's life as the wife of Oda Nobunaga. More importantly, life as a woman in an era where the sword was mightier than the pen.
Nohime no tame! Nobunaga no tame! Tenka no tame!