Koshitsu no Sokushitsu *Imperial Concubine* by samantha
16 Shokudai "16 candle sticks"
Touga Taisho Emperor
Kimiko Taisho Queen emperess
Sesshomaru Crown prince/Sucessor
Inuyasha 2nd Prince
Jaken Sesshomarus personal attendant
Kikyo Inuyashas Royal concubine
Sango Court lady
Miroku Imperial physician
Souta Kagome brother
Kaede Imperial maid
Bankutso Head attendant
Disclaimer; I do not own any of the Inuyasha characters all rights are reserved for Rumiko Takahashi
It was 16th summer in the year of 1650 . It was a day her father closed shop to indulge her in the Summer Harvest Festivities and it was also her birthday. She didn’t expect much this year,the same went for ever year. Her expectations were always realistic .Food and perhaps if she was lucky an okobo.
Their modest lifestyle was not one of choice but with a small wooden ramen shack at the center of Edo Japan what else could she expect? Im just grateful to be able to help otousan. Kagome thought sadly. Hes not young anymore and well with Souta gone I dont know how well be able to get by .I wish there was more I can do . I spent all this time reading and learning calligraphy but what oppourtunity does an educated female have in Edo ? Its not like im from an aristocrat family where Ill have more opportunities. Frowning slightly the onna walked towards her fathers ramen shack she had heard his beckoning concerning her celebration
"Kagome -chan, Kagome - chan its time to light the sticks and offer prayers to the Gods" It wasnt much of a birthday but he managed to save enough for a small flower rice cake and a pair of silver and red Kanzashi. It was a months worth of what the shop made but it was worth it. Kagome was always modest she never asked for more than required ,she deserved this much.Shin sighed inwardly.He had bought her the silver and red hair ornaments in hopes that it might draw some additional attention to her face at the audition.
Kagome was very fair and attractive even for a commoners daughter, she had stormy blue eyes which were rare for human onnas .It was the best thing she inherited from her mother .Shin thought proudly as he lite the small burner and added various insences to the oil. Jasmine, vanilla,cedarwood. It was Kagomes favourite scent another thing she adopted from her mother.
Her eyes drew unwanted attention at times from young common boys and even some imperial youkai guards that often came to his shop for a soup bowl. He made sure to keep Kagome at bay during these times. He didnt want either of them to ruin her innoncence were males were concerned ,even if was just their wishful thinking or compliments. In order to pass the concubine audition at the Imperial household one had to be pure blemish free, untouched both in mind and deed. Kagome though educated was still innoncent in many ways, it was something he fought to reserve.
This is the only option I have for her, Shin thought sadly,becoming apart of the harem would ensure her personal security whether she rose in rank or remained a lowly concubine. Her life would be better than what he presently had to offer to her. But to become the Kōshitsu no Sokushitsu would mean finacial security for both herself and her family if she served the emperor well. Shin was not sure the youkai highnesses would choose a human for such a role however it was something he had prayed for concernng Kagome.
The Ten-no Shin thought with a shiver.Though handsome and wise he was also very ruthless when excercising authority. This was the reason he was highly respected in Edo Japan. He made an example out of many corrupt officials and locals in the past to get his point across. Due to this example no one had dared to slander his name or rebelled against his kingdom. It was truly the most powerful ruler he had seen in his lifetime.
"Otousan"! Kagome answered loudly sprinting towards where her father stood .She took in the small preparations he made for her with a smile he knew his daughter fairly well. Father knew that she was a modest creature spending alot on a mere date of birth would not have sit well with her. "How many times do I have to tell you im not a little girl anymore", Kagome murmmed softly. "Im old enough to get married now and even start a family now."
" I know well but after today I might not get to call you that again". Shin said sadly as he embraced his daughter slightly.He had entered her name into the auditioning , if she was fortunate she would enter the palace. Upon entering she would have to perform her duty as a concubine thus making her a woman and no longer his little girl.
"You mean if I get chosen".Kagome replied softly. Though she held a calm composure she was slightly anxious .Just the thought of her name being drawn for the assesment made her heart quicken. "Dont worry otousan I may not even get the chance . I know you want the best for me but is this our only option?I dont mind a modest life father Im not afraid of hardship.I always thought I would get to choose the man I would marry like you did with okaasan"
"Oh alright ",Shin coaxed softly as he led his daughter towards the low wooden table where he had layed out the flower cake and lit the small insence burner.
"Dont worry about it for now, your right it may not happen, but it can as well . I promise however if you are not chosen from the pickings to become apart of the harem I wont push this matter anymore .I will allow you this modest life and will allow you to date Hojo the farmer's son.I see the way you look at him " Shin said with a small grin. Hojo and his daughter had grown alongside each other for the past 16 years often times Hojo would supply their shack with fresh vegetables and seeds that was harvested from their crops. Kagome learned alot of argicultured knoweldge because of the farm boy. Though he was not literate where books where concerned it didnt exclude his physical knoweldge of the land and how he crafted his work.
"Otousan"! Kagome exclaimed suddenly shocked at her fathers words she didnt think he noticed her love interest he was often unaware of alot of things concerning her. Her face flushed at the thought of Hojo.Yes he was her child hood crush..and feelings had started to develop these past years feelings that she didnt know if she was prepared to accept. Hojo was always her choice where a husband was concerned. He was kind ,loving ,patient and a hard working lad. He was not pampered he knew that everything came at a cost. He was not one to be idle. Her grandfather had taught her of the Shinto proverbs from an early age. The first concerning a future male. A good husband is an absent one
Hojo-kun...I cant think of anyone else I would rather be with she thought as her mind wondered on the farm boys whereabouts.
"Now its time to pray to the Kami Kagome .I spent a great feat on this rice cake .We cannot let it go to waste. Lets also pray that your fate takes it path." Shin interrupted softly as he knelt on the wooden floor.
"Hai",Kagome replied softly . Sinking to her knees she held a slim vanilla scented insense , offering it reverently before the make shift altar her father had created she closed her eyes and inwardly prayed to the Kamis above.
Kami-no-michi please guide me towards the right path..I pray that you allow me to marry a man and form a true conjugal bond from which only death can seperate us..Bless me Kami -no michi- hide my name from notice so that I may be spared from the harems picking..only then can I live a traditional modest lifestyle....
I am also not one to be selfish Kami-san I have a father and a brother to also consider and I beleive my fate is already sealed..so if it be your will to be chosen as the Kōshitsu no Sokushitsu please deny my previous request..
"Arigatō-gozaimashita" Kagome concluded softly. Leaning forward she blew out the 16 candle sticks that had dimmed away in the rice cake. She hoped her wish was considered ethical she had kept it neutral, her fate was not her own either way.
Three days later....
"Kagome chan I have news"! Her father had yelled across the ramen shack. He stood silently observing the small notice he had received from the Imperial guard earlier on.
"Otou-san what is it ,what news?" Kagome responded across the small court yard. She had changed out of her morning attire into one of her fathers old hakamas and cloth shirt. She had promised Hojo that she would plant the tunip seeds he had given to her in hopes that it would harvest by the next summer. Soiled in mud and a bit of animal dung she placed the bucket of water she had within her grasp at the side of the yard.What was the notice? she thought with apprehension."
Was I spared" ,she yelled hopefully .Running towards the make shift counter .Slighty out of breath she retreived the note and read the handwriting . It was written in precise calligraphy with the formal greeting;
"I Joo would like to invite you to our formal sado tea ceremony.
This is our basic ritual here at the Koshitsu Palace
Though you will not be chosen based on soley this performance all prospects must attend for etiquette purposes "
Addressed by Joo Kimiko Taisho
"Ye were chosen my child" , Shin exclaimed as he shook Kagome gently. " The kamis above they have seen our sufffering, our temperance was not overlooked "Her father went on sinking to his knees he lifted his hands prayerfully and chanted to the Kamis above
"Chosen"she whispered sadly. Grasping the notice firmly Kagome walked towards the turnip patch. She would never get to see the result of her work afterall. She would never get to witness the turnips harvested in mid summer with Hojo. Kami- sama you truly did deny my request. Perhaps I should have been more selfish. Perhaps Hojo-kun I should have been more selfish ,she thought as tears silently rolled down her cheeks.
Please bear with me in terms of my editorial skills its not the best and this is my first fanfic.Im open to a Beta Editior/Reader please message me if interested I will try to upload a few chapters a week it depends on what my 5 month old affords me lol
Short concubine History from website my story is based off of legitimate facts only
Before the Meiji period, when monogamy was not legally adopted, concubinage was common in nobles The purpose of concubinage was mainly for the production of male heirs, as well as for the sexual pleasure for males. In the Imperial House of Japan the son of a concubine often had a chance at being an emperor. Yanagihara Naruko, a high rank concubine of Emperor Meiji, gave birth to Emperor Taishō, who was later legally adopted by the wife of Emperor Meiji, Empress Haruko.
This is written from a Edo Historical Imperial Dynasty perspective Japanese terminology is below
Koshitsu Palace- Imperial Palace
Kōshitsu no Sokushitsu -Imperial Concubine
Arigatōgozaimashita-Thank you (longer terminology used when addressing higher diety/authority)
okobo- wooden sandals
Kanzashi -hair ornaments used in traditional Japanese hairstyles
Ten no - emperor
Joo -queen emperess
A good husband is an absent one- means a loving husband is one who provides ,works hard is diligent in his craft