Daughter of the Katsura: Part One of Michiru’s Tale
16th century Japan. Michiru, the daughter of a samurai lord, escapes a kidnap attempt on the way to her wedding. Forced to flee into enemy territory with her few remaining guards, she must evade capture and make her way to her new home. There are two secrets she must keep; That they are carrying her dowry in gold, and that she is falling in love with the man sent to bring her to her new husband. More
Sixteenth century Japan; a country wracked by centuries of war and upheaval. Michiru’s marriage was meant to strengthen the alliance between two clans, the Katsura and the Arikawa. The headstrong Michiru did not want to think about marriage. Especially to a man she had never met. But as the daughter of a samurai lord, she knew she had little choice. Despite her reservations, Michiru agrees to the marriage and sets out, accompanied by her lady-in-waiting, Keiko and her teacher, the veteran samurai Shuji, leaving behind all that she has known for a new life.
At the first inn, she meets Yatsuhiro, the commander of the escort sent by her husband-to-be, Lord Sojiro of the Arikawa. Presented with flowers and poetry by the gallant captain, strange feelings stir in Michiru. But enemies lurk in the dark, determined to capture their prize; The young bride and the treasure she carries. Forewarned of the presence of ronin, masterless samurai for hire, hiding in the town, and discovering most of their soldiers drunk, drugged or dead, Shuji urges Michiru to flee with her dowry, a substantial quantity of gold. Aided by one of Yatsuhiro’s peasant soldiers Ōmono, Michiru along with Keiko, Yatsuhiro, Shuji and a few guards, cut their way out of the trap and disappear into the night.
Evading her pursuers, Michiru and her companions are chased into enemy territory, trying to find a path to her new home. Having lived a sheltered and privileged life, Michiru faces not only the dangerous men who seek to capture her, but also the harsh reality of the commoner's life in a society dominated by the warrior class to which she belongs. Along the way she must learn to command, not only others, but also her own heart that threatens to betray her and the very purpose of her journey.
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