Ooku series, 2003-2005

(I watched the drama with Chinese subs so I don’t know how to translate some proper nouns into English. The translation is all in my way, maybe wrong. If you find anything difficult to understand, just tell me.)

After finishing Legend of Zhen Huan I felt in emptiness. I’ve watched other Mainland China palace dramas, so I thought I’d watch some palace dramas from Korea and Japan. But after watching the Ooku series I felt LZH was all I needed… ↓The kimonos were pretty and the actresses were good, but I only wanted to shout: “WTF!!!” 

  • Ooku: Dai-isho

The thinking of Shogun’s wife↓ went against all logic.

The 3rd Shogun’s lawful wife finally gave birth to a son, Tokugawa Iemitsu. Right after he was born, the Shogun(literally means “general”, was Japan’s real ruler at the time, even above Mikado/Emperor) sent him to a nanny named O-fuku, who just entered the palace for a very short time. The wife scolded O-fuku before getting out of delivery bed, saying: “From now on you and Iemitsu are my foes. I will have a second son to succeed to the throne!” Then she really had her second son and hated Iemitsu and O-fuku for the rest of her life.

… Wait a minute! O_O What just happened?!!

This reminded me of 4th prince’s mother De Fei in Bu Bu Jing Xin. Between her two sons she also prefer 14th prince than 4th prince. But that’s because 4th prince was raised by another concubine since birth for many years and there’s no love between mother and son. But in this drama, her son became her foe at birth?! The nanny became her foe before doing anything bad?! Before trying to gain the throne?! Didn’t make sense!! And fighting against a nanny? I don’t think a woman in her status should do such things to abase herself!

  • Ooku: Hana no Ran

The logics of the 2 characters Yasuko and Yanagisawa are even more confusing. 

The heroine Yasuko’s mother committed suicide after raped by the 5th Shogun. Yasuko herself was forced to divorce and marry the Shogun. At that time she wanted to kill him, but gradually forgot all about them! When Shogun died she was holding his body crying!! Have you lost all memory?!!!! Remember to take your pills OK?! 

The supporting actor Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu: The Shogun randomly picked a minister and went to rape his wife or daughter at his house. (and this is TRUE history!!! How come those ministers never tried to kill him?!!!!) Yanagisawa’s concubine was one of the victims. Then his concubine was pregnant with his baby, yet he claimed the baby was Shogun’s ’cause he wanted his son to succeed the throne.

Moreover, Yanagisawa killed Yasuko’s former husband so Yasuko wanted to revenge. But she lost her knife to his hand and he accidentally stabbed it into the Shogun. There were only 3 people presenting, so Yanagisawa could totally tell it was Yasuko’s fault!! The knife belonged to her anyway! Yanagisawa was trying to succeed the throne for his son all the time! So why didn’t he shift the blame on Yasuko? Why did he act like everything’s lost? Such a good chance!!

However, when other people finally came, Yasuko held Shogun’s body and said Shogun committed suicide! WTF were you doing you stupid woman!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Didn’t you just trying to kill Yanagisawa 5 minutes ago?!!!!!! Yanagisawa should be soooo dead so long as you tell the truth! Why?! Tell me why?!!!!! Have you lost all memory AGAIN?!!!! I told you remember to take your pills!!!!!!!! 

Enough about the characters.

This drama was shot indoor, so the women looked very dark skinned. Why didn’t the dresser put more make ups on their faces? They would look much better and closer to historical figures if whiter skinned! 

Uemonsa was a beauty that everyone praised. She had such high status and good manners. I like her~ There was a scene that she was teaching Genshi Monogatali to the women in Ooku. I was looking forward to it, but she was just reading the book in a flat tone. 😦

There were so much slapping in the drama! Every time 2 women fought they slapped. All I can hear was “piapiapia”!!! XDDDDDDDDDDDDD

The ending theme was beautiful, yet too modern for a period drama. 

I think this kind of jidaigeki dramas are more interesting than taiga dramas! 😛 But next time be sure the character of the roles are more believable plz! Look at the adaption of Yoshinaga Fumi’s manga Ooku! They are much better! 

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9 comments on “Ooku series, 2003-2005

  1. I was thinking of trying out Ooku (the one with Kanno Miho in it) but couldn’t find subs. Sounds like it would be disappointing though so………….I will pass. T___T I was also attempting to look for something to watch after LZH. *sigh*

      • I watched a few scenes from it but I’m not committed to it yet. I felt like it still has a bit of a modern feel because the main character is all spunky and blunt..and she has a romance before she enters the palace…

    • Yeah that’s the most common problem of most Korean period dramas. And she was pregnant with the boy’s child when entering the palace… = =||| I don’t like these two, they look like mother and son…………. The heroine was wayyyyyyy too old. XDDDD But she was much better after she entered the palace.
      I think this one is OK. Better than “Jang Ok Jung, Living in Love”. I’m still waiting for War & Beauty 2. 🙂

      • Yeah the heroine looks really old so I found it rather hard to believe that she was entering the palace O_O Normally I should think they would enter at a much younger age.

        Was War & Beauty 1 really good?

    • Yeah War & Beauty 1 was really good. In fact today’s palace dramas are all influenced by it, more or less. If you like palace dramas this one is a must watch. But I find the 2 heroines are very annoying. =.=

  2. Gou: Himetachi no Sengoku also deals with Shogun Iemitsu and Lady Kasuga (in later episodes) but it is way more historically accurate than what you describe.
    I highly recommend.

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