The cover of my period novel, Kisetsu - Volume 1: Spring
, set in XVth century Japan. Kisetsu (in japanese, “seasons”) is a cultural-historical dive in medieval Japan, and a story focused on the relationships and personality of complex characters, that guide the reader through this world under a deep, personal perspective. The seasons, so significant in japanese culture, are portrayed in the novel not simply as background, but through a symbolic context that permeates all the plot and the character's growth.
Kisetsu doesn't focus on a sole protagonist. It's non-linear narrative travels through the intertwined lifes of many people. The plot progresses in chapters comprising scenes, with points of view alterned between the characters, being each scene's character core indicated by the heraldics (mon) at it's opening. Not necessarily linked directly, but always connected by time and/or subject, these scenes dinamically move the plot foward, presenting diverse, and not rarely opposite, viewpoints among the different characters.
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Kisetsu - Volume 1: Spring - PrologueJapan, XVth century – middle Muromachi Period (1392-1573)
Sixth year of the reing of Emperor Sora
Thirty-second year of the Bakufu of Ashigawa Yoshinobu
Height of Spring
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The Sun rose slowly over the horizon, coloring the sky in rosy tones. Aoi muffled a silent yawn. Her lady would wake up soon, and tea should be served. The hallway was quiet. It was the height of Spring, and the festivities of Hanami had already been going on for three days. Tonight’s banquet and tomorrow’s ceremony would close the event, and the young maid felt relieved.
Not that the celebration that year wasn’t the most beautiful one she had ever witnessed… But the opulence of the decorations and the sublime beauty of cherry blossoms wasn
Kisetsu: Spring - Chpt1, Scene 1Chapter 1
– Alright... can you write Ryuu?
It was a fresh morning in Nara, and in order to enjoy the clear sky, the lady of the mansion and her son had decided to sit at the porch of the East wing, from where they could see the lake and the garden.
– Ryuu... it’s too hard.
– But it’s your name, isn’t it? It’s important to know how to write it.
– ...I can write Daichi.
The lady Masako was thirty-two years old. She was a woman of delicate features, soft complexion and long dark hair, it’s front cut nose-high in straight bangs that gracefully framed her oval face. First daughter of Kujou Masamoto, the illustrious kampaku to Emperor Sora, she had honoured him, at the age of sixteen, by marrying Ryu
Kisetsu: Spring - Chpt1, Scene 2
Ryuu Hideki, lord of Owari province and the castle of Nagoya, and ruling daimyo of Tokaido, Mino and Yamato, was a proud, austere man. Althou he had just arrived from a long trip to the allied city of Osaka less than half an hour ago, his appearance was flawless when Kyuumura Kentaro, who had traveled in the same retinue and not even changed from his travel clothes yet, presented himself and his wife before him, at the main hall of his mansion in Nara.
The head of the wealthy Ryuu household was forty years old. With arched eyebrows and elegant features, he conveyed a distinguished presence, stressed by a haughty posture. His dark hair was tied in an impeccable bun, and a meticulously trimmed goatee adorned the tip of his chin. He was dressed in a dark hue of teal, same color of the fan in his hand, and had the