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The Shogun's Daughter is the 19th novel by Laura Joh Rowland and the 17th entry in the Sano Ichirō series.

Official Synopsis Edit

"Five months after the great earthquake that devastated Edo, the shogun's daughter Tsuruhime dies of smallpox. It looks like a natural death, but Sano thinks it's murder. There are suspects who have designs on the throne and might have wanted to eliminate the shogun's daughter so that she couldn't bear a son and complicate the issue of whom the shogun will choose to be his heir and successor. There are also people who were close to Tsuruhime and wanted her gone for more personal reasons. Sano's quest for the truth about her death will unmask the most ruthless killer he's ever met and have serious repercussions for Sano, his family, and the future of Japan."[1]

Dedication Edit

"To my in-laws: Bob Rowland, Jim and Audrey Rowland, Cynthia and Steve Gray, and Pam Rowland. In memory of Jim and Wanda Rowland and John Rowland.

Thanks to all the love and support."

Historical Note Edit

Before the prologue, there is a historical note, explaining how Japan experienced a series of unfortunate events starting with the great earthquake. It tells about how Tsuruhime died with her husband following not long after, and that some historical sources say that the chamberlain at the time tried to pass off his own son as the shogun's legitimate heir. However, it also says that other historical sources discredit this story. It gives a few more events of misfortune that befell Japan, before saying that this book is a look into what may have happened during such tumultuous times.

Plot Edit

Prologue Edit

As Tsuruhime lays on her deathbed, Namiji beside her, Lord Tsunanori and Lady Nobuko bicker. Tsuruhime then breathes her last. Namiji attempts to revive her, but to no avail. Lady Nobuko starts to cry, wondering aloud who will break the news to the shogun that his daughter is dead.

Chapter 1 Edit

Sano, General Isogai, and Ohgami Kaoru are called to an emergency meeting with the shogun. Many other officials are there as well. The shogun announces that his daughter has died and that he's decided to finally name his heir. Yoshisato enters the room with Yanagisawa following close behind. Sano is tasked with attempting to talk the shogun out of naming Yoshisato his heir, but before he can do so, Ienobu enters the room. Ienobu tries to get the shogun to retract his decision, but is overrode by Yanagisawa. This leads into Sano recounting what Yanagisawa told everyone about how Yoshisato is the legitimate son of the shogun and why he hadn't made an appearance until now. Sano tries in vain to talk some sense into the shogun, but is also sidelined by Yanagisawa. Still not convinced, the shogun affirms his decision. Yanagisawa reclaims his title as chamberlain and then rattles off demotions, which include Ienobu, Ohgami, Isogai, and Sano, who is now Chief Rebuilding Magistrate. He continues with a list of names, demotions, retirements, transfers, and reassignments. He finishes by demoting Masahiro to castle page, enraging Sano. The meeting is then disbanded and, on the way out, Isogai collapses. Ohgami draws his short sword and commits seppuku. The chapter ends with Sano horrified and knowing that his own fortitude is still to be tested.

Chapter 2 Edit

In the garden of Sano's estate, Reiko and Midori are sitting in a pavilion while Tatsuo and Akiko are chasing a kitten. The two are talking before they're interrupted by an argument that their children are having over the kitten. Midori yells at them before calling out for Taeko, who appears, revealing that she had been painting against her mothers wishes. Her newborn child starts to cry and Taeko takes her younger siblings plus Akiko into the house, the kitten close behind. Midori starts sobbing, regretting losing her temper. She talks about how Hirata's absence has made her family's living conditions terrible; no money to feed themselves nor any place to live. Reiko tries to reassure her that Sano won't cast Hirata off, but she knows how displeased Sano is with Hirata. They talk some more when they start to hear music. Sano enters the garden and tells them about how Yoshisato is now the next in line. Masahiro runs past them. Reiko wants to go after him, but Sano tells her to let him have his space. Midori takes her baby and the sash she had been embroidering and makes her way into the house. Sano recounts what happened at the meeting and both of them wonder why Yanagisawa is letting them stay where they are instead of completely relinquishing Sano's status and estate. A messenger comes to give a notice from Yanagisawa which states that Sano's salary has been cut in half and that most of his retainers are going to be relocated elsewhere. Sano and Reiko agree that Sano needs to do something about Yanagisawa's latest attack, but both are at a loss on how to go about it. The chapter ends with Masahiro running into the room to tell them that Lady Nobuko has arrived.

Chapter 3 Edit

Sano, Reiko, and Masahiro meet Lady Nobuko and her lady-in-waiting, Korika, in the reception room. Once settled, Lady Nobuko tells Sano about how she thinks Tsuruhime was murdered. Korika tells them how she found a soiled bedsheet among Tsuruhime's cabinet. A few days after her discovery, Tsuruhime fell ill. Lady Nobuko explains her suspicions about the bedsheet and that it was deliberately placed there by Yanagisawa so Yoshisato wouldn't have to contend with the shogun's daughter. Masahiro and Reiko grasp at this chance to get back at Yanagisawa, but Sano is hesitant, knowing that accusing Yanagisawa of murdering the shogun's daughter is a slippery slope. Sano asks if there were any other possible enemies to which, Lady Nobuko denies. She's persistent in her belief that Yanagisawa had a hand in Tsuruhime's death, even if he didn't plant the sheet in her room himself. Masahiro brings up the fact that Yanagisawa still has the shogun's protection since Yoshisato is now declared heir. Lady Nobuko is scornful, saying that the shogun won't let anyone get away with harming anyone or anything that's his, bringing up how Sano's mother was treated as proof. Sano still has reservations while Masahiro is all for it. Reiko is as well, but also remembers what he's already done just today. Lady Nobuko isn't concerned about what might happen to her, only that she'd gladly risk her own life if it means getting rid of Yanagisawa. After a little coaxing, Sano finally accepts. The chapter ends with Sano swearing everyone to secrecy.

Chapter 4 Edit

More to be added...

Character Appearances Edit

Debut Edit

  • Namiji
  • Kii Tsunanori
  • Korika
  • Ukyo
  • Gizaemon
  • Jinnosuke
  • Moriwaki
  • More to come...

Reappearing Edit

Character Deaths Edit

Name Cause of Death When
Togukawa Tsuruhime Murdered via smallpox Prologue
Ohgami Kaoru Seppuku Chapter 1

Locations Edit

  • Kii Province
  • Edo
    • Edo Castle

Glossary Edit

Coming soon...

Cover Variations Edit

Trivia Edit

  • On the official site, the summary given for The Shogun's Daughter says that "[Tsuruhime's death] looks like a natural death, but Sano thinks it's murder." In the novel, it is Lady Nobuko who believes Tsuruhime to be murdered, while Sano is the one in need of convincing.

References Edit

  1. The Shogun's Daughter, Laura Joh Rowland's website