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Ōoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 3
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Ōoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 3 (Ōoku: The Inner Chambers / 大奥 #3)

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  453 ratings  ·  33 reviews
In this 17th Century Japan the Shogun is a woman...and the harem is full of men. The tale told in the Chronicle of the Dying Day continues as the young female shogun Iemitsu tries desperately to conceive a male heir. But her lover Arikoto seems unable to give her a child, and they must betray their hearts to save their country. Meanwhile, the Redface Pox continues its ruth ...more
Paperback, 232 pages
Published April 20th 2010 by VIZ Media LLC (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

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Nicholas Whyte

Having enjoyed Volume 1 and Volume 2 of this series, I had fairly high hopes for this third instalment of the alternate history of a Japan where almost all men were wiped out by a mysterious plague in the 1630s. It didn't quite scratch my itches; the focus is much more on the court sexual politics of the Ōoku itself, and the relationship between Arikoto and the Lady Chiye (posing as the shōgun Iemitsu Tokugawa), in particular the political need for her to
When I begin reading a manga series I always mean to write my reviews with each volume, so I do not conflate the story, and inevitably I always end up caught in the story and letting days go by, and then when I look back the volumes blend together.

So, this one, as I recall, is mostly the love story, and the slow transition of the Ooku from (view spoiler) I like the characters very much, and the ways
this mix of romance and worldbuilding is really appealing to me

fumi yoshinaga has a really good handle on how societies change. i wouldn't have believed a sudden shift to the world we saw in the first volume -- of course people would hope for the current state of affairs to be temporary -- and the way she illustrated how adapting to the loss of men in a society led to the change in gender roles visible in volume one was fascinating

also y'know, the romance, good stuff ;)

seriously speaking though,

It is becoming increasingly apparent that Ooku is not a light read. Its a comic with some heavy topics and some interesting intrigue.

Chie and Arikoto, two gentle lovers, seem to be doomed to unhappiness. With Arikoto unable to impregnate Chie, a Shogun cannot be born. A new lover must be found and Arikoto replaced.

It was enjoyable to see more of Arikoto's and Gyokei's story told. Their characters are interesting and they are individuals I can root for (though it seems they won't be having much
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I read Fumi Yoshinaga´s yaoi manga and I liked them. When I learn, that there is non yaoi work as well I had to read it. I was caught by the unique setting and tender story of love in the environment,where the traditional male and female roles are swapped. Tokugawa Japan was plagued with strange disease caller red pox, which was killing males and soon male was rare in all female society. Females slipped in to the male roles and males were kept for breeding purposes. Little jewels in a way. Ooku ...more
Ooh, the story keeps getting better and better. Still chronicling the 3rd shogun, we see a marked change in her temperament. She has learned to become a shogun and not just act like one, but even with all the power she wields, she is still a slave to her duty as a woman - to produce a heir for the next generation. It saddened me to see her and Arikoto's love being challenged by her duty. It also delves into the story of the person who created this entire system, the nurse of the original 3rd sho ...more
The third instalment in this series shows how the female shogun and her preferred lover the former Buddhist monk are unable to conceive a son, so she is brought a series of other men to conceive with. The background stories of a number of characters are provided and sexual politics of the palace explored. Eventually the wet nurse power behind the throne dies and the shogun is revealed as a woman to a country where women have taken on all formerly held by men and men have moved into brothels to s ...more
I enjoyed this book as much as the 2nd volume. It is a continuation of the story of the 1st woman Shogun. The translation I still find annoying but the artwork is its normal high standard.
I really felt bad for both Arikoto and Iemitsu when they were unable to produce an heir and Iemitsu was forced to lay with another man. It was also interesting to see how she became the 1st Shogun that was out in the open.

End of Spoiler

I am really enjoying this series and look forward to the upcoming
Jul 08, 2012 Anna added it
Arikoto is one of the more interesting characters in this series so far. Even though he initially resisted being part of the Inner Chambers, he has the charm and (political) saavy to know what to do to endear himself to the shogun and to the other men in the inner chambers. And he does really seem to care for the shogun, thus making it understandable that he would be so distraught when she had to bed other men since he couldn't conceive a child with her.
Sarah ~Sehrenity~
3-stars, not because the story is lacking (It isn't.), but because of the number of detailed backstories we get for side characters. I'm assuming these side characters play roles later in the story, but the abrupt ways they were introduced here makes the volume feel a little uneven.

The main story, however, features a great character study in interpersonal relations, sacrifice, palace politics, and ambition. Great stuff.
In this volume we get the rest of the story of the beginning of the plague and how Japan switched over from a male dominated society to a female dominated society. It was interesting, and at times incredibly sad because of the lenghts people went to to try and preserve their way of life but I still can't wait for it to go back to the Emperor from the first book, which will hopefully be happening in the next book.
sweet pea
although this volume is still set in the "past" timeline, it is much more interesting than the previous volume. palace politics, royal obligations, and thwarted love add drama to the pot. we also see the coalescence of the "modern" system of womyn's leadership and the inner chamber. the series continues to intrigue and i'm excited for the "modern" storyline to resurface.
Continuing the story from volume 3, we learn more of Lady Kasuga's past, and watch as Lady Chie grows into her role and accepts her duties as the shogun Lord Iemitsu. Meanwhile, the former monk and constant love Arikoto takes the reins of the inner chamber and outside, the world changes as men continue to rapidly die from the pox, leaving only women to take their place.
An interesting and fascinating exploration of gender and how it affects societal norms and values when the ratios of the sexes change. The translation is a bit clunky--there's a terrible lot of forsooths, thee's, and eres in trying to impart the flavor of classical Japanese, but it's worth ignoring because of the story and the characters.
I'll have to agree with a few other people, the English adaptations is really lacking. There large blocks of text make it almost unappealing but I read on anyways. The story is still great, but I still can't get over at how badly the text is done. Mind you, I could never do better, but I'm sure people who do these things for a job can.
I could have given this four stars, if only:

a) I could tell the male characters apart easily from the artwork

b) The characters didn't cry "NAAAAAAAAAAY!" every time something unpleasant happened. I understand that the dialogue is trying to establish the setting...but horses say "neigh." People say "no."
This series has got to be in my top ten favorite graphic novels of all time, maybe even more like top three. The third volume doesn't disappoint. Recommended for history buffs, Japanophiles and people who don't read manga but want to try one on for size.
The red pox continues to ravage Japan and its effects are felt everywhere, with few men left and famine striking the land. In this volume the first woman shogun reacts to circumstances and we find out more about the development of the male Ooku.
Nov 19, 2012 Sara rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those who love Japanese history
Recommended to Sara by: my best friend who knows me well
This volume brings you up to the point where the Chief Scribe first becomes the Chief Scribe and the shogun is revealed to the public as female. Lots of changes for Arikoto and the shogun. Can't wait to read the next volume.
I felt a little more lost in this one than on previous volumes, though that may be MY fault for not remembering what's already happened/not knowing more about Japanese history. At some point I will reread these all together!
Roderich Edelstein
Oct 10, 2010 Roderich Edelstein marked it as to-read
I still don't know if I want to read this :| when Arikoto got together with that one chick (her name elludes me at the moment) it bugged me. I think I'll read it just to check what happens to Gyokei :D
Not as riveting or original as the first in the series, but pretty good. The "court speak" translated into English gets a bit tiresome, e.g. "Think on't" and "Oft" and "mayhap" instead of maybe.
didn't find this quite as wow-inspiring as volume 2 (i guess because 2 seemed so fresh and new in terms of the historical re-envisioning) but i still loooooove how the backstory is fleshed out.
Great premise (3/4 of men are stricken with a disease that kills in turn of the century Japan). Book one kind of stands alone, and then the story really picks up in book two & up.
"So cool." That's literally what I said out loud when I got to the final page. I forget what an amazing storyteller Yoshinaga sensei is. I'll have to pick up more of these Ooku volumes.
So beautiful, such great characters, such an intriguing story, and it is so well done! Fumi Yoshinaga is one of my new writer/artist heroes! Her work is exquisite!
This volume is heavy on the court intrigue, and especially illuminates how far some of the characters are willing to go in aid of their goals.
Apr 05, 2011 Holly rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Manga fans of great writing and art
Recommended to Holly by: All of the awrads that the series has won
This series is intense, very alternate reality Japanese, and disturbingly painful and passionate in an off center way, brilliant!
The English adaptation in this volume is noticeably more awful than in previous ones, alas, but the story continues to be fantastic.
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