13th Manga Division Excellence Award
Story manga [Japan]
The warlord FURUTA Oribe served ODA Nobunaga and TOYOTOMI Hideyoshi during the Era of the Warring States. This story is about his desire, success and possession. Set during the fighting among warlords and conspiracy to gain power, this story places greater emphasis on examples of beauty and culture as the Way of Tea, tea utensils and architecture. “Hyogeru”, in the title of this story, means “to act jokingly” or “clown around”.
Reason for Award
The hero of this story, built around the wabi-suki culture of the way of tea, is FURUTA Oribe, a feudal lord who loved the way of tea, and whom nobody pays attention to. The author portrays how, armed with a revolutionary esthetic value, SEN no Rikyu, who influenced many warlords, challenged authority figures, such as ODA Nobunaga or TOYOTOMI Hideyoshi; and how Oribe would boldly and wittily change Rikyu’s dying wish with the advent of the boorish TOKUGAWA era. While his depiction of Rikyu’s cruel death is amazing, it is worth noting that this story is based on YAMANOUE no Soji Ki, a record of meibutsu (special tea utensils) written by Rikyu’s disciple YAMANOUE, who met with a tragic end. Also appearing in this story are many pioneers of forms of Japanese art and culture other than the way of tea, which spread among the general public. These include HASEGAWA Tohaku, the wizard of partition paintings; the designer, HONAMI Koetsu; Izumo no Okuni, the mother of Kabuki; and IWASA Matabei, famous for Chimidoro Emaki and Rakuchu Rakugai Zu. The author, using bold deduction and interpretation, brings these historical figures to life, and unfolds the fictitious story as if it were real.